About the project

The project was born on fate. For those who don’t believe in fate, it was more of a right place at the right time. In fall of 2010 I was entering my last year of college at RIT, way upstate New York and very far from any ocean. Dreading another  year of being completely landlocked, I brought my board up to school to paddle around on Lake Ontario and atleast have that (the year before I had actually caught a few waves during a random windy day). So as I went for a paddle on a sunny and windy morning, I arrived to see surfer’s hanging around the beach and finishing up a session. I began talking with them about surfing on the lakes and maybe doing a photo story or something on them. I knew surfing on the Great Lakes was possible, but never expected what the following months brought. Within a month I was at the beach anywhere from 2 to 10 times a week filming and Preconceived Noceans was born.

See surfing on the lakes is almost mystical and rare. Swell is very vulnerable and has many more factors then swell in the ocean. The air has to be cold, the water slightly warmer, and you need pretty strong/ gale force winds to churn it up. These ideal conditions are usually found from fall to early spring. It requires a lot of patience and the will to sometimes take a long drive in hopes to find swell. But hopefully sooner then later,  you’ll be smiling from frozen cheek to frozen cheek as you pull into crumbling barrel three hundred miles away from the ocean. For there is a price to pay for this glory and happiness; the most consistent season for the Lakes is during the winter months, when mighty low pressure and gale force winds sweep across the lakes and stir swell. So sessions are started by driving through storms, and fighting the wind that whips off the frozen water. Once in the water, you just have to dodge some icebergs, and move constantly to keep your body temperature up. You can become a member of the frozen snot club once icicles hang from your face. And all you can do is smile, knowing you just got a great ride hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean.

After filming last year, I was reviewing my footage and trying to decide what direction I was taking the project in. The quality of the waves on the lake can match that of the ocean, but it is rare. I was not getting the footage to turn the project into a “shred film”. But what I witnessed was the “soul” of surfing. The drive it instilled on the surfer’s who entered 34 degree water when it was near 0 outside, the celebration after pumping your legs off along a 2 foot crumbly wave until it dissipates on the inside. Pure stoke.

That feel opened the doors of the project. This past summer we filmed events that brought surfing to places and people who needed to feel that life and passion that surfing bears. We filmed the S.E.A. NYC Paddle, a 26 mile paddle around Manhattan to raise money for Autism. To follow that up, we filmed Surfer’s Healing, a camp started by Izzy Pascowitz to calm Autistic children and use the ocean as therapy. We then filmed AMP Surf, another event that takes amputees and veterans surfing. In Asbury Park, Marilyn Schlossbach and her husband Scott Szegeski pull together a camp that takes children from the Boys and Girls club surfing every week. They hope to remove the children from negative elements on the streets and improve the future generations of Asbury Park. Each event draws forth different people with distinct personalities. But once one takes that step into the water, they are all the same; hooked for life and trying to pass on the passion.

There is not a definite end in sight for the film. In fact, I don’t even know what final direction the project will take. We hope to continue to cover different stories and make the film the best it can be. Hopefully the film will be released sometime late 2013 or 2014.

Come see the true power of surfing. Surfing shot from a slightly different angle. The film celebrates life, happiness, and taking the road that seems hidden, and sometimes impossible. It becomes about beginning to see the world, instead of looking where told.

It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter what others say. Where there is water, there is a way.

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