Updated: March 16, 2017 3:40 PM ET | Originally published: March 16, 2017 3:40 PM EDT

This week, winter storm Stella left much of the Northeast snowbound and frozen, with high tides and flooding in some coastal areas as well. The unusual conditions inspired some cold-weather activities, including—for one New York man—surfing.

While turbulent weather can be ideal for long-boarders, surfing is not usually considered a “winter sport” per se. That didn’t stop one bold Long Beach, N.Y. resident from hitting the waves to see what he could shred in the midst of the stormy conditions.

“I heard that offshore winds were good for waves, so I figured since New York’s south-facing the north winds would be offshore,” he told a PIX11 Morning News reporter, decked out only in his wetsuit. He also told the reporter it was his first time surfing.

“You thought this was the best day to go out surfing as a first-timer?” she asked, incredulous.

It turns out the the local legend was just joking; he’s been surfing for years.

Note to other aspiring surfers: it’s safer—and warmer—to wait for summer.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described the surfer. He has been surfing for years, and was not trying the sport for the first time.

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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