Story Behind the Shot: Cold War Surf 2020

This year’s Cold War Surf contest (@coldwarsurf) was held on March 7th at one of the most well-known surf spots on Long Beach Island. As with every year, the contest is team-based with Sam Hammer (@hammered_sam) and Andrew Gesler (@gesler) each leading hand-picked teams of local pro surfers. The rosters are the who’s who of NJ heavy hitters so you’re pretty much always guaranteed to witness some top tier surfing.

Timing is everything in surfing and for this year’s contest, the timing was just right. The morning of the 7th saw chest- to head-high surf with a few larger sets sneaking in. The shape was a bit jumbled thanks to a mix of a few different swell directions and periods, but there were definitely some gems to be had. As heats were run and the day continued, the surf actually grew – by the end of the contest there were head-high to 1-2’ overhead sets.

This photo was taken during the last heat of the day. I think it was the gnarliest wave of the entire contest – just look how thick that lip is! Sam Hammer dropped into this one and somehow came flying out as the chandelier and foam ball surrounded him. If I was a judge this would have been a 10, but it wasn’t enough and Team Hammer ended up losing the contest. Still, it was a great day all around with some epic rides from both teams. Check out the full sequence of photos on my Instagram.

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