Thursday, June 27, 2013

Share the Love

Summer is here and that means the masses are descending on the Jersey shore.  This is great news for those that make their living over the next couple of months, for businesses recovering from Sandy, and for anyone that has the pleasure to enjoy the beautiful Jersey shore.  Who is not good for?  Often times surfers--especially those year-round guys and gals.  This is partly due to the smaller, weaker waves (although the warmer water can offset that issue).  No, the main complaint of Jersey surfers during the summer months is crowds.  And not just crowds, but the crowds that contain so many newbies to the sport.  I know that my favorite breaks often look like the picture above, making a surf session feel more like an obstacle course than a relaxing morning spent in the water with your buddies.  So is this post an angry surfer's rant?  A way to vent my own personal frustration?  Or a call for all those new to surfing to stay away from my favorite breaks? Actually it is none of the above.  This post is a plea to all surfers to remember when they started and maintain the spirit of surfing.

I didn't start surfing until I was 18 years old.  I was going to college in Florida and the guys I started hanging around with all surfed.  I always wanted to learn how to surf so I thought, how hard could this be? Well, it was a whole lot harder than I anticipated.  My buddies eventually helped me out but initially they gave me an old beat up longboard and said paddle hard. I survived the paddle out (barely) to only get worked trying to take off on wave after wave.  This went on for quite a few sessions before my friends got tired of laughing at my epic wipe outs and offered me some real advice and tips.  Slowly but surely I started to get it and eventually I was capable of not totally embarrassing myself.

That brings us to today where my talents have not progressed much further, but I still love every session.  The point is that we all may not be tremendously talented surfers but we all share two things: 1. A love of surfing and being in the water.  2. A similar starting point where we all floundered to get to our feet.  So as the breaks get crowded and the newbies start dropping in on you, remember your starting point and how difficult surfing can be.  Then offer some advice, teach them the etiquette of the lifestyle, and make sure they respect others and the rules of surfing.  By helping them become better surfers it will make everyone's summer surf sessions that much better.  Surfing is a great lifestyle and I firmly believe the world is a better place when more people surf; so share a wave, share the love and remember, surf for fun!


  1. It's crowded out there! There were about 15 people stacked up at 8th street in Asbury Park yesterday for 2+ ft waves. One was one guy catching just about every good wave that came through and riding it all the way in--on a beat up old soft top. A lot of people were dropping in on him, maybe because the good waves were scarce, but probably because they just weren't looking that far left. He was perfectly cheerful about it. I talked to him for a while on the beach. He said one of the reasons he was on the soft top was because the weekends tend to be heavy with newer surfers, with lots of drop-ins, collisions, etc. On behalf of all us weekenders and visitors, thanks to the gracious locals. (the guy recognized the Matador label, by the way. Two other people did, too.)

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