Archive for April, 2010

Image: Oil leak in Gulf of Mexico If this image does not give a New Jersey surfer pause nothing will.  This is a portion of the now 85 mile wide oil slick that is destroying the Gulf of Mexico and is threatening beaches and marine life. 

Keep in mind that the rig that sank off of the coast of Louisiana is currently spewing 5,000 barrels of oil a day.  “Officials” do not have a conclusive timeframe for when they will be able to shut the oil flow off.  Some reports have estimated it to be a minimum of 30 days.  There are plans in place to light the slick on fire to “burn it off.”

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon

Please keep in mind that this rig was 50 miles from shore.  The proposed exploration off of the lovely coast of New Jersey will take place within 15 miles of Cape May. 

offshore-graphic.jpg

An event like this would destroy our beaches, kill our wildlife and pollute our estuaries for a long time.  This does not even factor in the loss of our ability to surf.  Imagine not being able to hit your local beach break because  you were too busy trying to rescue seabirds.

Get informed.  Contact a local New Jersey Senator like Robert Menendez and let him know your views.  Stay stoked and let your voice be heard.

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  This guy has it right.  He is on it at a moments notice and he never misses a chance to hit the point when it is firing.  Unfortunately, we can stare all we want but the projections for swell in Jersey look fairly bleak for the next few days.  There is an off-chance that we may catch a little window of waves on Sunday morning if the winds lay flat.  If you have it in you to start the day with an early check you may get lucky.  Keep your eyes on the ocean.

I went for a surf today.  The waves were 2-3 with offshore winds and some glassy little bowls.  Spring is here and it is almost time to lose the hood! I rode the Local Motion and was still in the Psyco II suit.  I am looking forward to getting out of the winter gear completely and loosening up.  When I was finished surfing I was starving!  

Every surfer knows that nothing is better than settling in for a good plate of food after a solid session.  One of the best local spots to make that happen is 10th Avenue Burrito in Belmar, New Jersey.  They just left their “hole in the wall” location for new digs and the upgrade is excellent.  The food is as good as ever.  Authentic Mexicali vittles.  

 

10th Ave. has a laid back atmosphere too.  The walls are decorated with the work of local artists and there is always a good song playing.  My wife loves the veggie burritos.  Keep praying for waves and stay stoked! 

Come And Get Your Fill

From 10th Ave. With Love

  

 

 

Surfers can get a little stir crazy when it is flat.  This guy would much rather be getting a good barrel, instead he is getting shoulder rides after a late night watching movies and eating salt and vinegar chips.  Fear not, waves will be here again soon. 

 

It did not help that the board swap down at the Beach House was cancelled today due to rain.  It has been rescheduled for May 16th.  Get your boards ready and find something new to ride. With the summer months coming it is a great time to expand your horizons.  You can always swap it out again next year if you get a lemon.  Bradley Beach should represent.  Identity Surf needs to bring a stick through along with EssenceSurf 

I will bring my 6’4″ Local Motion pin tail.  When it is clean and hollow you will get shacked!  Big red is still on the mend. 

Take Me To The Hospital

 Check back for a movie review of Single Fin Yellow.  Off to see the fine people at 10th Avenue Burrito.

 
Did you know that BP, the owner of the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico this week, had previously been fined $87 million for failing to correct safety violations?  At that time they had a refinery explosion that killed 15 people.
 
 
 The current disaster in the Gulf  caused by BP has created an oil spill that has spread over an area of 10 miles. 
 
Do we really need to have oil exploration off of the shores of New Jersey?  Stay aware, be active, join Surfrider.  Protect our oceans.
 
 

Surfing is as much about passion as it is about any one emotion. Certainly, there is the love of the sport which begins as respect for the mere physical act.  There is the adulation experienced when catching a nice wave and riding it successfully.  Often times there is the excited burst of energy that comes from being in the ocean, much like a feeling of contented bliss.  Of course there is the awe that the ocean inspires, which I wrote about in a previous blog titled Both Sides of the Gun.  Even though these are all real emotions associated with surfing, passion is what drives the surfer’s engine.  

What else would enable a surfer to commit to the art of surfing given the challenges associated with it?  In order to maintain the life of a surfer it is ever important that the passion be fueled.  I am not the first to chronicle the near religious devotion that many surfers acquire as they participate in the sport.  I propose that this devotion is due in part to the fact that surfers are plugged into a source greater than themselves, which is the ocean, but that is fodder for further exploration another time.  

The Fuel for the Fire

So what is a person supposed to do when they feel the fire inside of them begin to die?  Is it time to buy a pair of roller blades and a helmet made in China?  Maybe it is an opportune moment to take up knitting or to build bird houses?  That is it!  Hang up the Xcel wetsuit, trade in the 7s Superfish and stop looking at Localswell and Surfline all together.  Forget that Magicseaweed exists. Should you tell yourself that Al Merrick is a romance novelist and convince yourself that a wave is something the prom queen does to the people in her court? 

I do not think so my friend.  There are things a person can do to cultivate this passion.  One of them is what you are doing now, and that is to read about the sport.  It is equally important that you discuss surfing with other surfers.  It is important that fellow surfers help keep the passion alive for one another through the down times, the flat spells, injuries and the times where access to the ocean is just not happening. 

One of the last, and most productive things a surfer can do is to mind surf a wave.  When you are unable to get on the real deal, you can just sit back and imagine yourself dropping in.  Look for the sweet spot in the photograph and picture the line you would draw.  Are you hanging back and waiting for the barrel to overrun you or are you looking for a place to ride high? I suppose it does not matter much, as long as you fan that flickering flame before it sputters out completely.  

 

Few people dislike the idea of “cardio” workouts more than me, however cardio is necessary to develop the stamina needed for those long paddles against currents and through rips.  This is challenging enough in warm water, add to it a 6mm wetsuit that weighs 20 pounds when wet, and getting out passed the breakers with the lungs to turn and go on a nice set is extremely difficult. So carido, while being evil is a requirement for the surfer who wants to stay in the game.

You can train your cardiovascular system in a number of ways. Running outside is fine or use a  treadmill when you are out of time.  Anywhere between 2-4 miles on a consistent basis will get the job done for most of us. While this fulfills the purpose of getting a cardiovascular workout, you may also think about playing soccer or basketball instead.  The required starts and stops emulate the dash toward a good wave in energy output.  If you can find a steady tennis partner that is a good way to go as well. 

Remember to make staying fit a priority.  The spill over into your surfing and overall health will come with many rewards.  Who knows, it may make the difference between dropping into the barrel of a lifetime or getting skunked on the inside like Wilbur?