Archive for the ‘waves’ Category

We had some good waves last weekend in New Jersey.  The March winds blew and blew, the passing storm shook the trees and filled the lakes, and in the wake a nice swell persisted in the face of howling offshores.

While surfing on Sunday I found myself feeling immensely grateful for the opportunity to be in the water.  It is a small miracle to be able to paddle out, to have legs and arms and a body that will allow it.  It is an equal miracle to have found surfing at all; to be given the opportunity.

Rarely is this gratitude lost on me, but last weekend it was more pronounced.  With the devastation in Japan I could not help but reflect on how quickly life can turn.  The phrase, “that there is no day promised to you” came to mind as I watched the sun weave its way through the mid-March clouds.

Internally I had a flickering reminder that “there is no wave promised to you either.”  Life can change on a dime, all the more reason to give thanks for the opportunities we have, as we are having them.

De La Soul, rap group extraordinaire, had an album out back in the day titled Three Feet High and Rising.  And while I could probably remember 80%  of the lyrics for Hip-Hop karaoke, it is not the music that stays with me, rather it is the album title.

Three Feet High and Rising is the perfect way I like to think of an incoming southerly swell.  If you are familiar with the album you may remember the refrain where Posdnous asks, “how highs the water ma’ma” and Plug Two replies “three feet high and rising.”

There are times when I am paddling out and I will hear this as clear as a bell and I just need to laugh.  Or even better, there are times when I am hoping for waves and some random object will make me stop and think, “yes, that would be the perfect wave height for me right now.”

Hence the red fire plug.  I passed it on my drive yesterday, and it caught my eye.  All I could think to myself was, how highs the water ma’ma?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0irL1M15DH8&playnext=1&list=PLB58D37F7688379FA

 

 

Saturday Morning Swell

Posted: February 26, 2011 in waves
Tags: , , , , ,

A nice swell in the water. Hope you are getting a few. In the water soon!

As the last winter storm pushed out to sea it left some damn fine surf in its wake.  The waves turned on for an a few hours in the middle of the day and the wind shifted off-shore.  It should not go unsaid that the water temperatures were hovering just above 37 degrees, which meant that the crew who made it out were able to feast as opposed to famine. 

Below are a few of the photos I snapped. 

No need for a GPS to find your way here.

An unknown rider summoning his inner guide

Make a right at the light and go straight into night

More tube time than the Holland Tunnel

A mid-winter traffic jam

With barely a soul to see

 

Which suits this guy just fine

I know it may be a little too late (or early) to revisit Earl, but Tim Bourne of Identity Surf shot a great video of some Jersey surfing that I wanted to post up.

For me, the video could not have come at a better time. 

Let’s face it, most of can’t surf whenever we feel like it.  There are jobs, families, responsibilities and all of the other facets and complexities of the day-to-day that can keep us out of the water.

Personally, this will often cause a disconnect.  So wrapped up in my busy life, I will at times forget what it means to be a surfer.  I will even occasionally think that I may be done.  “Who has the time?” my brain will tell me. 

It is in moments like this that I am reminded of the infamous line from the Godfather III when Al Pacino says,  “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

As a surfer, I don’t mean say this with the same brutal angst felt by Michael Corleone.  I actually apply the line with the utmost gratitude and affinity for those who help share the stoke.  Afterall, if I stopped surfing today I can’t turn State’s Witness.  The best I can do is tell you about a few unknown breaks that work best on a south swell at mid-tide.

So this time, with the burdens of “all things life” feeling, well, burdensome- it was Tim’s excellent video of a bunch of guys getting glad on the waves of Earl that drew me back in. 

 

Now, I will feverishly follow the reports in the hopes that I can get in the water again soon.  Happily thinking to myself, “yes, I am drawn back in!”

Floating Over Igor

I have had the fortune of meeting some really cool people through surfing.  As a sport it has a way of bringing people together, because it is true that “only a surfer understands the feeling.”  Igor, and his swell, helped fortify that level of shared community even further.

On Friday evening I surfed with Philly Dan.  We met in Ocean Grove because he was interested in buying a board I had for sale. We got a few waves together and he walked away with my Local Motion.  Having never met before I was stoked to have had the chance to grab a few waves with someone new. 

Cool Pictures from Michael Pallers

 But parting with a board is sweet sorrow.  I realize that they are only pieces of foam and fiberglass, but I cannot help but forming emotional attachments.  In many ways it feels like getting dumped by a girl in high school- you know deep down it is not a big deal, but still it sucks.

On the other hand, now there is room in my quiver for a new board. That is where Gene Wahl and Essence Surf will step in.  I know he has big things happening with his designs and I am excited to see where he is heading. I am also happy that Philly Dan will get some really great waves with it.

 After we had surfed early Igor together, with evening settling in, I met Michel Paller.  She was one the beach shooting these pictures, which she was kind enough to share with Sea Sand Surf.  She was super cool and is down for shooting pictures of anyone’s epic session, just send her an email. Pallers@juno.com

The guys in the photos were sharing in the fun.  They had surfed in LBI Friday morning and came north of the Jersey Bend to grab a few.

 The conditions were not the greatest, but it was a nice start to things.  After all, what is better than surfing some fun waves with new friends?  I can’t think of much.

 

On the continuum that begins at hype and ends somewhere in reality, Earl was on the reality side of the border- somewhere between fantastical imagining and gritty, in your face 3 dimensional manifestation. The swell was the focal point of countless hours of news programming, keeping Sam Champion and Al Rocker pleasantly fed.  So the hype level was high. 

As a surfer I can always tell when East Coast Swells make their way into the mass consciousness of our collective society.  I measure this by the text messages that I receive.  If there are waves and I only hear from surfers, well then, all is right in the world and few are paying attention.  When the swell is heavily hyped I receive messages from coworkers, friends and family telling me to be safe.  It is by these messages that I am able to tell if the swell has the infiltrated thoughts of popular culture.

Sam Champion Told You to Stay Out of the Water

In this area Earl was on the radar.  I received 4 separate well wishes by really good people, cheering me on and imploring me not to drown. 

The only question was if Earl would deliver?  Happily, Earl came with the goods, albeit, not perfect but real. The Saturday morning session was crowded, warm and intense.  The long swell lines were hard to pick and the line between makeable sections and a rinse in the washing machine blurred continually.  By the evening the incoming tide interjected a second level of juice and the walls held up longer. Everyone relished in a second session.

It was this second session that projected Earl from a storm of general hype, to a swell worth adding to the card catalog of surfing memories.  I heard some rumblings that the evening swell was more a product of a faltering Fiona than a feisty Earl, but I have no idea.  That is where the professionals like Duke Storm step in and explain the semantics to laymen such as myself.  What I can tell you is that Labor Day Weekend 2010 will be remembered for the waves Earl sent our way.

Feel the Trim

Earl Had Everyone Running for Cover