No one is going to be shocked when I write that natural disasters have increased dramatically in the past 50 years; roughly 40 natural disasters were reported each year in the 1950s but today the number is closer to 400. Greater communication to remote places allows for a more accurate number of reported events but it is undeniable that global warming is causing the increase and Hurricane Sandy is no exception. In East Coast Rising you see how Hurricane Sandy demolished many areas on the northeast coast and then the region’s ability to rebuild with the aid, determination and the steadfast spirit of local surfers.
The film depicts how surfers are so interwoven into the communities they live to the point of doing whatever possible to aid in the wake of a devastating event like Hurricane Sandy. Post-Hurricane Sandy local surfers of New York and New Jersey (some of the interviewed surfers have thick New Jersey and New York accents which is awesome) donated food and time in order to restore the demolished coast; it is heart warming to see this camaraderie. Maybe it is the 4/3 suits, the prevalence of bushy beards or the familiar stoked grins but the ties binding the surfers in this film are reminiscent of the bonds of the surfers of the Pacific Northwest.
East Coast Rising shows surfers at their best out of the water. The heart of East Coast Rising is that surfers are no longer lazy Spicoli-esque characters but environmentally- and community-conscious dudes and dudettes who are willing to lend a hand for the betterment of their ocean and their fellow being.