When most of us hear a hurricane forecast, our first thought is to head for shelter. Not the case for Lowepro storyteller Ryan Struck. Struck, a professional photographer, director and avid surfer, finds hurricanes provide an ideal opportunity for extreme surf and compelling photography. Below, Ryan shares his experience surfing and photographing Hurricane Hermine.

Hurricane Hermine wave New York

The color palate of Hermine was beautifully muted.

Come summer time, the beach vibes and good times start flowing here on the East Coast, along with the official start of Hurricane Season. Though it kicks off in June, typically we don’t see a solid swell until the last weekend of August. Hurricanes are not the only things that bring waves to the Northeast, in fact wind swells are far better bets in the dead of winter.

Surfer during Hurricane Hermine

Surfer Tyler Vaughan drops into a big wave off Long Island in New York

What makes hurricane swells such as Hermine so special is that they are powerful systems that can send huge surf and warm water our way. You’ll notice my friends and I are in wetsuits, though you could easily wear trunks as the water is so warm this time of year.

Surfer drops into large wave during Hurricane Hermine

Surfer Brian Zinski drops into the bomb of the day. Note how small he looks compared to the wave.

The winds were most favorable in New York the fist few days of the storm, so I packed everything into my ProTactic 350 AW and met my friends just outside of the city. Putting my Canon 5D into a waterproof housing and donning swim fins, I followed the surfers out into the line up. After taking quite a few waves on the head, I finally made it out into the right zone.

An empty wave breaks in New Jersey during Hurricane Hermine Septemeber 06 2016.

There were plenty of good waves to go around, so much so that some gems went unridden.

I’m happy I came away with some interesting images of what Hermine brought everyone on the coast. The best part about being a surf photographer is witnessing the pure beauty of perfect empty waves unfold in front of your eyes.

Wave Breaking in New York During Hurricane Hermine

A wave in New York breaking like a horseshoe, provides a full view of its beauty.

Surfing Hurricane Hermine in wet suits in New Jersey

The waves were fast and backless in New Jersey the very next day.

About Ryan Struck

I am a 30 year old, self-taught Brooklyn based photographer and director. Earning a BA in History allowed me to investigate the things that have occurred in the world of which I knew nothing about. In that same spirit, photography and filmmaking allows me to be curious about the world and what surrounds us. I enjoy saving poignant moments through a visual medium, documenting lifestyle often fulfills this desire quite nicely. I love what I do. When not at home shooting I can be found traveling in search of surf and inspiring natural lighting. My desire to capture moments that help viewers imagine the instant the shutter was clicked fuels my passion to combine beautiful light, people and places.

Jessica Medina

About Jessica Medina

Jessica Medina is the WW Marketing Communications Manager for Lowepro. You can reach her at jmedina@daymen.com

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