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Three decades of mesmerizing, telltale imagery from the pioneer of extreme cold-water surf photography distilled into one 200-page, 10x10 hardcover book.


LONG BEACH, NY, May 21, 2022 — New York surf photographer Mike Nelson and North Carolina surf journalist Matt Pruett drew from their combined 55 years of experience in surf media to create North of Nowhere: The Surf Photography of Mike Nelson. A thoughtfully curated, expertly crafted, sleekly delivered, top-shelf book, North of Nowhere offers an intimate look at a bygone era-turned-hyperactive zeitgeist through the words and images of Mike Nelson, the pioneer of extreme cold-water surf photography on the East Coast. Surfline senior writer/editor Matt Pruett served as ghostwriter and editor of the project.


“Mike Nelson is a true legend, a revolutionary pioneer in his field,” says Dick Meseroll, renowned surf photographer, Eastern Surf Magazine co-founder/photo editor and East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame inductee. “And his best work is all right here in this wonderful book for us to enjoy — dramatic, blazing, four-color imagery shot on both film stock and digital. Full Nelson. Full stop.”


Encapsulating 30 years of Full Nelson Photography, North of Nowhere tells the story of a momentous, distinctly raw era in surf culture through the words and images of one of New York’s most inimitable figures. The abysmal low points: 9-11 and Hurricane Sandy. The glorious highlights: facilitating pro contests and putting his buddies in movies and on the covers of magazines. And the confusing transitions between: opening a surf shop and navigating the tectonic shift from print to online media… Nellie swam through all of it, shot most of it, and delivers the best of it on a 200-page, 10x10 hardcover platter. Best served cold.


“Nellie was the provider of surfing for my whole generation,” says Balaram Stack, New York’s marquee professional surfer who’s featured on the book cover. “And for me he was the luckiest piece of the puzzle. He’s just the OG of New York surfing. I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere without that dude.”


“Mike Nelson is the silent workhorse of the New York surfing community,” says Will Skudin, the East Coast’s preeminent big-wave pro. “And for such a soft-spoken and down-to-earth guy, he nonetheless created a foundation for so many of us to build on.”


“Mike Nelson is one of the most influential people to ever come from the East Coast,” says longtime New Jersey pro surfer Sam Hammer. “From his pioneering days of cold-water surf photography to the surf community he’s created in Long Beach with his surf shop to bringing the largest contest ever to the East Coast… It’s pretty damn inspiring.”


North of Nowhere is now available for purchase via the website, .