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When surfer and photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh arrived to his local spot to check the swell the sight he was greeted with was a little unusual to say the least – slow-moving waves of slush.

“I just noticed a really bizarre horizon, the snow was up to my knees, getting to the water. I saw these crazy half-frozen waves. Usually on a summer day you can hear the waves crashing, but it was absolutely silent. It was like I had earplugs in my ears,” Jonathan told Drift.

“When I got to the top off the dunes I saw that beginning about 300 yards away from the shoreline the ocean was starting to freeze.

Slush wave

The high temp that day was around 19°F (around -7°C). The wind was howling from the southwest which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not so good for surfing, but since the surface of the sea was frozen slush the wind did not change the shape. What resulted was perfect, dreamy, slush waves. Most waves were around 2 feet with some larger sets slushing through around three foot or waist high. What an experience to be absolutely freezing on the beach watching these roll in while I mind-surfed them! I wonder if a shaper can make me a special designed slurfboard?”

I’ve been asking all the fishermen and surfers I know if they have ever seen such a thing and they have all reported that this is a first

The next day I drove up to see if they melted but beginning that same 300 yards away from shore the water had frozen solid and there were no waves at all. I’ve been asking all the fishermen and surfers I know if they have ever seen such a thing and they have all reported that this is a first, a result of it being the coldest winter we’ve had in 81 years.  I guess the people I asked weren’t old enough to remember a colder winter than this!”


Photo Credit: Jonathan Nimerfroh
Instagram: @jdnphotography
Website: www.jdnphotography.com

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