NEW YORK — As the tri-state sought shelter from this week’s nor’easter, one man went surfing for the “first time” — or did he?
Well, as some suspected, no, that’s not quite the case.
Adam Winerip has since been identified as the surfer interviewed by reporter Kirstin Cole during Tuesday’s storm — an interaction that has gone viral, garnering more than a million views on PIX11’s Facebook accounts alone.
Cole spotted Winerip walking from the Long Beach coast, surfboard in hand, and asked live on-air how the waves treated him.
After stating the waves were “a little sloppy” and that he “floated about a mile,” he got a laugh by asking her for a ride home.
But it was the next statement that got everyone’s attention: “I think I’ll try surfing again. … this is like, my first time surfing.”
This, as social media users speculated and surfing aficionados knew, is not actually the case.
In fact, Winerip has been surfing since he was 13 years old, he tells Surfline.com in an interview about the stunt.
Long Beach Surf Shop even refers to him as a “local legend,” LIHerald.com reports.
“Before I paddled out I told my buddy Josh that I was going to surf National to get on the news (that's where the vans usually hang out during storms). I was only half serious,” he tells Surfline. “I was daydreaming a bit in the water about what I would say if I got interviewed. That kind of interview has been done straight a thousand times so I was determined to shake things up.”
So yes, PIX11 viewers, we’ve been had.
But as Cole let Winerip know, “anyone who strolls out of surf during Nor'easter can have my mic.”
A note to everyone wondering if Cole honored "the legend’s" request for a ride — the answer is no. As anyone watching the full newscast knows, he walked away before the live shot ended. If he had stayed, Cole says she would have loved to have offered a ride! Although we’re not sure where the surfboard would go.