Archive for the ‘beach’ Category

 

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.  

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With Memorial Weekend in the books it is time to get the summertime action in full gear.  The wave outlook is looking slimmer than Iggy Pop in a cocaine factory, but do not despair.  The fine folks at Jetty are offering a screening of the movie Cold Water in Philadelphia.  Yes, they are giving out free beer.  It is also a great chance to look back fondly on the very productive winter that was. 

If that is not your cup of tea, check out the lineup at the Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival.  The Avett Brothers are headlining.  For those not in the know, they crank out some great rootsy rock and roll and they definitely can bring it to you live.  Check out their tune I and You and Love.

Appel Farm Arts & Music Center Logo

Thanks for checking in!

 

The weather has certainly cooperated for an absolutely amazing Memorial Day Weekend at the Jersey Shore.  As the clouds parted and summer wafted in the air, people lined up to get a spot on the sand.  The beaches were crowded by 9 a.m. and continued to swell as the heat rose. 

As most people know, a day at the beach is about simplicity; a warm peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a tube of sunblock and an old pair of flip-flops magically become the “finer things in life.”  In essence, it is about getting to the edge of the ocean and leaving it all behind. 

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As is typical of Memorial Weekends past, the ocean did not produce for the surfers.  The waves laid flat, except for the Saturday morning wave that came up between 6 and 10 a.m.  I was able to get a session with 20 of my closest friends (more on crowds another time). 

 

The good news is that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a very active tropical season.  They are calling for as many as 23 named storms with anywhere between 8 and 14 hurricanes.  By my very unscientific account we have a chance to see waves every week and maybe even some very good ones at that. 

This could be great for us, terrible for the folks in the Gulf States.  The oil still flows unabated.  However, Kevin Costner may have a solution.  I cannot believe that I just wrote that, but you can see the video here.  You just have to forget that Costner starred in The Bodyguard and then it is utterly believable. 

Thanks for checking in and enjoy your Monday BBQs!

 

There is a good chance that we will have a small wave in the water tomorrow morning. I have packed my 7s Superfish in the trunk of my car and I will get a look at it with my morning coffee.  After surfing I intend on bringing the 6’4” Local Motion to the board swap taking place at the Brave New World over Memorial Weekend.    

The shop is generally overpriced, but they have the best selection of gear and clothing in the area.  Check their website out.  The trick is to look for the deals.  I did get my Xcel wetsuit there last summer for 99 bucks.  It was hidden in the back of the racks, so it cannot be all bad. 

The Spring Lake 5 is tomorrow morning too.  I will not be running but it is a great scene.  It always feels like that is the start of summer!

Face it, if you have checked in to Sea Sand Surf before you know that I have to start this post discussing the worst environmental disaster facing our planet in a long time.  I will try not to bore you with the details other than to say that this “spill” is currently estimated to be 2 to 3 times larger than the Valdez disaster.  Of course no one is really sure how much oil is leaking, so I will suffice it to say that it is “a lot.” 

British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward has been working diligently to think of creative ways to stop the leak with no end in sight.  Today he was overheard saying to President Obama that “Bounty is the quicker picker upper.”  I guess that sure beats stuffing the hole with golf balls.  However, if they used that method Tiger Woods might become relevant again, and Hayward is apparently leveraged heavily in Nike stock, so for him the golf ball method would be a “win-win.” 

Thankfully, President Obama has declared a 6 month moratorium on offshore drilling which is just enough time for everyone to forget this ever happened.  Coincidently the end of the moratorium will come as a new season of American Idol begins.  The hope is that this will stop anyone from actually formulating an opinion in their free time.

This is not to hint that the news is all bad.  Today, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez came out and said that a moratorium is insufficient, and that a ban on offshore drilling is the only acceptable decision.  Send him an email and tell him to keep fighting for our ocean and our beaches.

As a final note on the topic, you know it must be bad when it is all I want to write about after coming off of 2 days of very good surf.  I will leave Localswell to chronicle the events for you as Tom Spader has amassed a collection of awesome photos that detail the excellent south east swell that just passed through.

If you are looking for a board this weekend get on over to Brave New World in Point Pleasant.  I just got off the phone with Ryan and he told me they have a board swap starting Friday at 10:00 am and it runs through Memorial Day Monday.  Get your board over early before the sale starts as lots of folks will be cruising down to the beach for sure.

Thanks for checking in!

As we get ready for summer road trips and days at the beach I thought I would give you a few albums that are worth your while.

The Hold Steady, Heaven is Whenever- Craig Finn is back, not that he and his band ever left.  It seems like they have been on tour nonstop since Boys and Girls in America.  The bar room anthems are better than ever, with great piano and guitar. They are out on the road too and are absolutely worth seeing live. 

The National, High Violet- With deep baritone vocals from Matt Berninger The National have cut their own cloth. They should have a spot for anyone who longs for dripping sweaty songs that never really bare themselves completely but tantalize enough to keep you coming back for more.

The New Pornographers, Together- These guys jangle and ramble with melodic sense and power pop chords.  It helps that Neko Case is one of the key vocalists.  Anything she touches turns to gold.  A few listens to the album and you will never think of Canada the same way.

 Thanks for checking in!

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.