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03/25/14 New York Surf Photographer Andrew Blauschild

Since 1986, photographer Andrew Blauschild has caught many a wave in New York’s surf history. Or at least his lens has, from the days when weather radio was a source of swell information to the current crest of surfing’s popularity. The guy is, in fact, a product of local surf history himself. “My grandmother took some lessons from Tom Blake,” he says of the man responsible for modernizing the surfboard and pioneering surf photography by creating waterproof camera casing. “The stories are vague but my mom told me that’s how she learned about surfing. After high school, my mom moved to California briefly and did the whole hippie surfing thing. She told me all about those times as I grew up and the stories were a big influence.”

Spending his late teens to early 20s in South Hampton, Blauschild soaked up local wisdom on “conditions, history, and respect of the lineup.” The crew he surfed with led him to decide on a career of snapping the sea. Embedding himself further in the community, he put up Kookbox in 2008, a board and wetsuit store for the surfer’s surfer. Still, the real thrills lie in the click of his camera. Choosing a spot in the zone that covers Eastern Long Island to New Jersey, Blauschild spends 30 minutes “hunting for shots” before he himself heads out to surf.

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Snowstorms this season have made for some rewarding swells, however steadying oneself for a shot during a New York winter can get tough. “About 10 years ago, during a Nor’easter swell, it had to be close to or below zero with the wind, so I dug myself into a cliff overlooking the break. After an hour of shooting and getting the shots, I was frozen,” he recounts. “The problem occurred when I slipped and fell 15 feet, broke my lens, and face planted in the snow. That really sucked.”

The chance of danger hasn’t deterred him. After almost three decades of capturing everything from local surf legends to seaside love affairs, Blauschild shares a few photos with NOUS and the stories behind them.

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