Archive for July, 2010

 

The Grateful Dead had a line in a song that always struck me: “once in a while we can get shown the light in the strangest of places if we look at them right.”  I share that, because even though the ocean has been flat, I have still seen surfing in so many places in my travels recently. 

First, I had the opportunity to sit and discuss surfing with Sam Hammer yesterday.  We got together over a cup of coffee in Point Pleasant.  It was an awesome interview, and as always Hammer proved himself to be a solid guy.  I look forward to sharing the contents with you soon. 

Secondly, I was riding my bike yesterday morning trying to mind my cardio in the event that waves do come (and they will).  In my travels I came across this piece of wood sitting next to a dumpster in Bradley Beach.  I sought the owner of the shop out, and when he saw me standing next to the thing all I had to do was point.  He said, “what, do you want to make a board out of that?” 

So, You Think it Will Float?

 

I said, “I think it will float” to which he responded “of course it will float.  That is the way they used to make them.  Take it away.”  Another project to add to the list. 

Lastly, I came across another Todd Stewart film.  I know that the summer is busy, the beaches are packed, but this is a great reminder that we can still have a nice get away with the ocean.  Does anyone else smell autumn in the air? 

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Recently ate out at one of the local favorites and these characters were making sure nothing unsavory took place. 

Do you know what time it is? It’s time for bass…

Old school meets hippy horticulture painted on a seashell.  Must be the Jersey Shore.

Lost all of my money to this character in a game of Texas Hold “Em.

 

Surfboard Mike said “damn those wings were good.”  Like only 10th avenue can…

 

Surfers always want to know where the waves at?  But the real question is, “where the gold at?”

While the waves were not epic this weekend there wasn’t a shortage of stoke to go around in the local surf scene.  Friday in Manasquan, NJ offered an excellent evening of surf entertainment at the Algonquin Theater.  Sponsors included Starbucks and Surf Taco and both were on hand feeding and watering the masses free of charge.   

The evening opened with a blistering set of music from Quincy Mumford.  His band sounded excellent and was well received from everyone in attendance. 

Jay Alders had set up residence in the lobby and he and his crew mingled while he exhibited his surf art.  In support of the evening, he and Scott Imbre, co-owner of Original Skateboards, raffled off a long board skate board emblazoned with Jay’s art.

...and the Lucky Winner is?

 After Quincy Mumford’s set the evening transitioned to a screening of the Original Skateboards film Fire on the Mountain.  The film truly captures the spirit of adventure that is at the heart of any great road trip.  The obvious bond shared by all parties involved in the high stakes mission to skate down White Face Mountain made the movie.  It also includes a killer soundtrack and some excellent cinematography.  The crowd went nuts when the closing credits rolled.


One of the other free drawings had the ecstatic winner walk away with two VIP tickets to the Matt Costa show that will take place at the Algonquin after the Beach Bash in Manasquan on September 18th.  This promises to be a cool day as it takes place in conjunction with the Belmar Pro.  Mark your calendars.

Finally, this free event was capped off with a showing of Taylor Steele’s Castles in the SkyNeedless to say everyone in attendance left feeling great and waiting for that next chance to get some good waves.

Imbre and Alders
Original Skateboards

Quincy Mumford

Video still of storm map (© The Weather Channel)It can’t be easy to be a Gulf Coast Surfer right now.  The spill is terrible and getting worse, jobs are scarce and now they cannot even pray for waves.  Normally, they must watch the charts, and when tropical depressions like the one in the news begin to form they start waxing boards, changing fins and staking mental claims to their favorite breaks.  But now what?  Now a storm is harbinger of trouble and possible environmental destruction- not of tubes and all day sessions.  Surfers prying for flat spells? Is this what the world has come to? 

Others however, can carry on with business as usual, and so that means hoping for waves.  There looks to be an off chance that the Mid-Atlantic Corridor could see something to ride for the weekend. While it is nothing to get overly excited about, there could be some small scale southerly wind swell.  Monitor tides and local flags for the best chance to get a wave.

If you are lucky, the swell may coincide with the Channel Island Board Demo which takes place on the 24th and 25th.  For my friends on the west coast, Pacific Beach in San Diego is the place to be on Saturday.  Ocean City, Maryland will have the demo on Saturday and Ocean City, New Jersey will be holding on Sunday.  If you happen to make it, feel free to check in with a report. I would give you all of the dates but you can get them here. There are many more stops to come, so get down to the beach!

I recently spoke with Sam Hammer, the famous Jersey ripper.  Sea Sand Surf will be getting together with him to discuss all things surfing in the coming weeks.  I can’t wait to find out about his surf camp.  Stay tuned.

Finally, Daniel is still in the woods.  If you are not looking in on his blog, I suggest you do.  He is on the adventure of a lifetime, and I got the start of Surfer Into the Woods Part II last time he was off of the trail.  I am sure we can finish it up in the coming days. 

Before he left we had a great debate about whether The Drums had created one of the great surf songs of all time with Let’s Go Surfing.  I thought they had. Daniel thought it was a 80s rip off.  Will someone please settle the score?  Is this an all-time surf song or is it trash?  

The first word that comes to my mind so far this summer is hot. The thermometer has soared every day, the lawns are brown and the crickets are too tired to chirp.  One of the saving graces is that the Mid-Atlantic Corridor has been pleasantly active and waves, while not nearing the epic range, have been abundant. 

The buzz in the forums and in the water is that everyone has had plenty of time getting wet, and this morning’s dawn patrol was no different.  For those of us who could not shirk the responsibilities of the office another day, but wanted to surf, we awoke to waist high glass. The messages and reports I received throughout the day indicated that the wind waited until late morning to make it choppy and sloppy.  

As I left one of my favorite spots around 6:30 this morning to make it to the office I saw Travis “Big Hack” motoring toward his break in his Jeter Mobile.  I know that Tim from Identity Surf took his Green Bean out for the first time.  The feedback is that it performed well.

The Green Bean in the Final Stages

I was there last week when he put the finishing touches on the sanding in the shaping bays of Essence Surf.  The board looked great as the photos can attest.  I believe it is 6’11’’ and my first thought was that it would be a great ride as a single fin.

Local Shapers Getting it Done

Speaking of Gene Wahl and Essence Surf, he has begun to shape my Quasar.  When I was there last week he was working with a student, but we hashed out the last details regarding the shape.  I am really looking forward to giving it a whirl, especially if the skate park conditions continue.

A Quick Photo From After My Session

While visiting the bay, I also left Big Red behind for repairs.  The road to recovery has been long, but the board is finally in a place where it can receive the treatment that it needs.

Get Me To the Hospital

As far as happenings, Cypress Hill and Slightly Stoopid are sharing a bill in Asbury Park on Sunday, July 25th.  I am sure that it promises to be a great night of music.

Stay cool.

 

I know I have blogged about this before, but often times surfing is about learning lessons in the water that apply to my life outside of the waves.  For instance there is patience, and a willingness to wait for a wave and be at peace in the process.  This mindset works wonders in a crowded grocery store or when frustration or anxiety bubbles inside of me.  

There is also the lesson of commitment; either the commitment to drop in on a wave, or paddling out in conditions that challenge my own ability.  At times it is has been the commitment to work my way back into the water from a nagging injury or a prolonged flat spell.  I have been able to apply this perseverance to all areas of my professional and family life with great rewards.  The commitment to surf always pays dividends. 

I learned another lesson on gratitude this weekend.  We had a small swell and the opportunity to surf was there.  After a morning session I went and watched the Warrior Challenge with some folks from the Training Room.  These fine people were raising money for Task Force Dagger which was established to assist wounded special operations soldiers and their families in their time of need.  I am very grateful that these men and women risk their lives so that we can do many things, including surf.  

Hugh Meehan Supports the Walter Reed Foundation

Josh Motta of Seven Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg

Protecting a Local Break

 This event raised $10,000 for a very worthy cause.  I have a tendency to get caught up in my daily life and I lose sight of the fact that some people give so willingly.  It was a great day to be reminded.

Another place where I learned something recently was via a short film created by Todd Stewart titled The Surf Magazines Don’t Talk About Lapsed Catholics.  It is amazing, and touches on a few of the primary lessons that any surfer needs to learn (and in my case relearn again and again).  

Enjoy and thanks for checking in.  

As predicted right here at Sea Sand Surf, Donovan Frankenreiter brought some waves along on that magical pink tour bus he rides around in as he strode into Asbury Park.  He also brought some good music and soulful jams with his band to The Stone Pony last night.

Despite the rain, the crowds showed up in force.  The evening started with some mellow vibes provided by Mishka and his sleepy guitar.  Donovan took the stage shortly after and provided some extra sweet music.  He stopped several times during the set to proclaim his day of surf, telling the audience that his bassist got the ride of the day “right out front there.”

When a few members of the crowd gave him some good-natured grief, like only Jersey could, he looked down over his trademark mustache and said, “no seriously man.  We were right out front.  Right across the street there, getting waves off of the jetty.  Where the hell were you?” This got the audience to set up a mighty roar, with hoots and hollers all around. 

One of the other highlights of the evening was Donovan’s shout-out to Jay Alders, who was in effect himself.  Jay had some of his amazing surf art on display and it was an excellent complement to the whole scene.  It was great to see Jersey surf represented so well.

It is cool to know that Donovan walks it like he talks it too.  It is one thing to be all about peace and goodness from the stage, but it is another to make it happen for real. Check the video and note the helping hand. Awesome that he is out there spreading stoke.  It is a great reminder for me that we can all do our little part.