Against All The Elements, Surfing New England's Most Brutal Winter

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Calling it "the most intense weather I've experienced to date," New Hampshire-based photographer Brian Nevins, who goes as far as Japan and Alaska to chase the world's best action sports athletes, found a wild story at home in the dedication of New England's surfers to keep surfing despite the record cold temps, snowbanks that dwarfed seawalls, and water so cold, waves of frozen salt water slush were washing up on shore.

Having grown up in New England as both a skier and a surfer, it would always mesmerize me that, when a big winter storm would barrel through, I would pass people on my way inland–towards the mountains–who were heading the other way, surfboard on the roof, to surf that swell that storm brought in despite the freezing temps, fresh snow, and howling winds.

Both elements–fresh pow and big swell–are rare in New Hampshire, so during the few good winter storms, you had to choose one or the other to chase. I developed a tremendous respect for those who made chasing the best waves during the thick of January, when the water was dipping below 40 degrees, the focus of their free time. No beach babes and no tans, just solitary marches to the beach and head-numbing duck dives.

A little chilly for ya? Check out Brian Nevins' summer photo book, which should make you feel just a little bit warmer inside.

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