It’s no secret that experienced surfers flock to Long Beach to charge the winter swells.
And while that may be the norm among locals, it may come as a surprise to casual observers when they catch surfers riding waves in the middle of a storm. But it’s safe to say that anyone attempting to surf for the very first time during a nor’easter — or claiming to do so — would come as a shock to most people.
That's what happened on Tuesday, when a PIX11 news crew was filming on the boardwalk during the latest winter storm and encountered local surfer Adam Winerip, who emerged over a railing and onto the boards, holding a surfboard and wearing a winter wetsuit. Naturally, reporter Kirstin Cole approached Winerip and asked him how the waves were.
Winerip said that he experienced some action on “sloppy” waves. When asked how long he had been in the water, he told Cole — without a hint of sarcasm — that he had floated for about a mile during what he claimed was his very first time surfing.
“You thought this was the best day to go out surfing as a first-timer?” she asked.
Winerip said he heard those “offshore winds” generate good waves.
As if that weren’t hilarious enough, the interview continued to get better.
“Do you have a van here by any chance?” Winerip asked Cole. “Do you want to give me a ride back to my car?”
Cole said that her crew might be able to accommodate Winerip, who asked what channel she was with and went on his way.
Winerip just happens to be an experienced waterman who could be seen on his Instagram page surfing some impressive waves — he has also taught at Skudin Surf camps — and Long Beach Surf Shop referred to him as a local legend. The video went viral and racked up thousands of views and hundreds of shares on social media.
Some clearly didn’t get Winerip’s attempt at humor when the segment aired — at least not at first — and his claims sparked the ire of some who said that he was putting his safety, and those of emergency responders, at risk. Others, especially locals, said they knew that he was just messing around.
After the segment, Winerip's humor continued on social media.
“I’ve been stand-up paddleboarding for a few years now and I figured how hard can doing it laying down be?” he said on Instagram. “Never thought I’d make the news.”
For her part, Cole took the interview in stride and joked about it
“This surfer got me good,” she said. “Can I plead waterlogged brain? Ten hours of storm coverage, oy!”