To the majority of the surfing world - the wave of the winter will be ridden on a tiny strip of beach in the middle of the Pacific that we call the North Shore of Oahu. But here's the thing… 99% of the surfing population doesn't have access to this stretch of reef. 99% of the surfing world does 99% of their surfing at home.

Our home just so happens to be a bit colder….

Thick rubber and numb skulls - that’s what surfing in New England is all about. This photo contest is an ode to the local surfers who are getting out there when the wind chill is in the single digits and the water temps are below 40. The New Englanders that drop in, set their rail, and commit knowing they will take a few cold ones on the head on the paddle back out.

And to all of the local photographers who make their way to the coast on the gnarliest days of winter to get the shot.

Like last year, the idea of this contest is simple: We are looking for your best waves, your "Wave of the Winter" ridden in New England. The contest is open to all surfers and photographers, with no entry fees or divisions, and few simple rules.

2019 Second Place
Andrew Wilson / Cody Degroff


Wave must be ridden/photographed in New England between December 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.

Winner will be announced at the Wave of the Winter tour New England stop around early May.

Prize Purse over $2000, including a one of a kind Tora x Warm Winds collab surfboard -- hand made by Neil at Tora Surfboards.


To participate in the Wave of the Winter: NE photo contest, please submit photos via WOTW submission page. You will need to complete the form to upload the submission. Keep in mind that submissions must be accompanied by the state the photo was taken in, the date, name of surfer and photographer, and the Instagram handles of the surfer and photographer.

If you are having trouble with the web submission form, please reach out to [email protected] for assistance.

Photos with an unknown surfer or empty wave may be submitted with the purpose to be displayed on our live gallery as well as during the event, but will not be eligible for the contest.

Once we begin getting submissions we will be displaying them on a live gallery page and include the link on this site. Towards the end of the contest period we will open a user voting period!

Note: The above link is for PHOTOS ONLY. To submit a video clip for Wave of the Winter:NE, please visit Surfline's submission page by clicking here. Video submissions sent in through our site will not be eligible.


While we do appreciate seeing your photos of stylish turns, airs, or simply awe-inspiring empty waves to mindsurf, this is (after all) the Wave of the Winter. The judges will be leaning towards big, open barrel shots... the deeper the better. Here's the breakdown of how the judges will be scoring:

Wave Size - 25%

Degree of Difficulty - 25%

Style - 25%

Overall "Heaviness" factor - 25%


Protect your coastline while you score the wave of the winter.

The coast is a gateway for plastic and other debris to enter the oceans. Doesn't matter where you are, if you take a look down on your way to the water - you will spot one or two (or more) pieces of plastic waiting to enter the ocean.

While we are out there chasing the wave of the winter, lets do what we can as surfers and surf photographers to keep our shore clean. We challenge you to grab one piece of trash from the coast on your way out. It might seem like nothing, but it really does make a difference.

This year we are stoked to partner with the folks over at Clean Ocean Access (COA) for Wave of the Winter. They are a local non-profit environmental group focused on improving ocean health with a mission of action today so future generations can enjoy ocean activities.

At the WOTW event in the spring, we will be holding a raffle with some pretty epic prizes up for grabs! All proceeds of the raffle will go to COA and directly support their goals of eliminating marine debris, improving coastal water quality, and protecting and preserving shoreline access.

2019 Third Place
Sam Morrissey / Morgan Galipeau
Rhode Island


2019 Regional Winners

2018 Regional Winners


By participating, Surfers and Videographers acknowledge they are participating at their own risk and that neither Warm Winds nor any Sponsor is responsible for any physical harm that may befall any Surfer or Videographer as a result of participation in these Contests.

Eligibility Wave of the Winter New England is open to all individuals who provide photo of a wave surfed in New England (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine).

Sponsors Inlcude Warm Winds Surf Shop, O'Neill (clothing + wetsuits), Tora Surfboards, and Surfline/Wavetrak.

Timing: The contest begins on December 1, 2019 and will run until March 31st, 2020.

How to Enter: To participate in Wave of the Winter New England, a surfer or photographer must submit a photo entry of a wave surfed within the contest time frame. To submit a photo, the surfer or photographer must send the clip to [email protected] along with the date of origination, both photographer and surfers name and IG handles. If the photo submissions does not conform to the photo guidelines or content restrictions below, the sponsors, in their sole discretion, may remove your submission and disqualify you from the contest if your submission does not conform.

There is no limit to the # of times you may submit photos. However, we do ask that if you have a sequence to choose the top 2 img/wotw rather than sending them all in.

By submitting photos photos to the Wave of the Winter contest, you agree to allow Sponsors to share these clips as a way to promote the event via social media and web. In the event your phot is shared by one of the sponsors, you will be tagged as the photographer/surfer in the photo.

Photo Guidelines: All entries must be funneled through the [email protected] email address. The may be attached to the email, linked to using drop box or google drive, etc.

  • - Photos must be in HD quality
  • - Photos with poor quality will not be accepted.
  • - The submission must be submitted without any watermarks.
  • - For questions regarding photo entries, email [email protected]

Contest winners will be announced at the Wave of the Winter event held in Early May - date and location TBD. You do not need to be present in order to win.