Unknown to many, the beaches of New York and New Jersey are home to a diverse and vibrant cold-water surfing community. Ice Cream Headaches, published by Damiani, captures a snapshot of this often overlooked surfing culture in America’s most dense metropolis.
Over four years, writer Ed Thompson and photographer Julien Roubinet, who met surfing at Rockaway Beach, logged more than 4,000 miles driving from Eastern Long Island to Cape May, interviewing and photographing surfers, surfboard shapers, artists and documentarians who contribute to the scene. “From local legend and Montauk fisherman Charlie Weimar to Pulitzer-prize-winning author William Finnegan to professional surfers with global followings such as Quincy Davis, Mikey De Temple and Balaram Stack, the New York surf community is a colorful one,” states the press release for the book.
Ice Cream Headaches highlights the surfers who experiment with new forms, materials, ideas and surfing styles in Atlantic waters. The book also takes viewers inside the stomping grounds of the surfers who call New York and New Jersey home, surfers who are willing to wade through a foot of snow on the beach to surf frigid waves in thick wetsuits. And, in the fall and summer, during peak hurricane season when the water briefly warms up, these same surfers ride in boardshorts.
Thompson and Roubinet asked nearly everyone they interviewed why they don’t move somewhere with warmer waves. “All of them said the same thing,” writes Thompson in the book’s preface: “in New York and New Jersey, you can always find a peak to surf alone or with a few good friends.”