Posts Tagged ‘country’

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?”





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? 

Call me crazy, but it seems that amid all of the fist pounding and brow beating associated with the spill in the gulf, that something is missing.  As we invent mechanisms to gather every drop of the precious crude and figure out ways to mitigate the financial damage to mega-corporations we wait for someone to provide a plan.  Politicians are making threats and babbling around in circles, acting as if they are not at the mercy of powerful oil lobbyists.  Scientists are focused on stopping the leak and mitigating damage to the environment, as well they should be right now.

But where is the long-term vision?  Recently, over dinner with some friends and family this conversation arose and consensus was pretty clear that if this disaster does not provide the impetus for our country to seriously seek an alternative fuel source to power our cars and lives, what will?

So that is the problem isn’t it?  With all of this happening, the destruction, the loss of human and wildlife, and the heavy burden of emotional despair both near and far, it is still, in essence, behavior as usual.  This is a concern.  If not now, when?  If not this, what?

There is one silver lining in this massive gray cloud that is the spill in the gulf, and that is the amount of human ingenuity that has been thrown at the problem.  Government, business, and local person alike have thrown their backs and wallets into finding a solution.   I know that necessity is the mother of invention, and so I know we will invent a way to stop this leak eventually.

So join me now for a moment and picture this:  as the spill is stopped, and the clean-up begins our attention is bound to shift. Rather than the resources currently allocated to fixing this problem dispersing back to their ordinary lives, what if an even larger project began.  What if all of the intellectual property, the mechanical knowhow, the men and women, the bankers and lawyers, the politicians, scientists and business people immediately went to work on creating a viable alternative to fulfill our needs?  What would happen if BP shifted the context of its business model away from drilling and chose to become the leader in this pioneering endeavor?

I would think that if there were such a willingness expressed under the proper leadership this tipping point might lead us to a brighter tomorrow.             

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!



Imagine waking up on a September morning after a fitful night of sleep.  It is just after sunrise, the air is cool, but warming quickly with the sunshine and there are only two lazy clouds floating in the blue sky.  You hop on your beach cruiser and ride a few blocks to check the waves, a warm cup of coffee in your hand as you jaunt casually down the street.  Along the way you see one of your buddies who has rustled himself early too, his smile sheepish and excited.  

It is just as you had hoped.  The projected south swell you knew was coming because of Magicseaweed is cranking away.  The long period walls are compliments of a hurricane spinning well offshore.  The winds are out of the west and the ocean is glass.  This is what East Coast surfers live for.    

Your first inclination is to gulp the last sip of your java as you bolt back home to grab your favorite board.  This cannot happen fast enough.  The birds are singing, the summer crowds have gone back to their urban haunts, and you could not feel happier.   

Worth a Few Minutes of Your Time?

Except, there is one small problem.  The oil spill caused by recent drilling off of the eastern seaboard is a natural disaster of major proportions.  As a surfer you can do little but volunteer to clean crude oil from the dying seagulls.  The dead fish along the shoreline merely remind you that the perfect waves breaking off of the jetties are now off-limits. 


You are overcome with sadness as you stand there with your friend.  You are rendered helpless, a silent observer with no words or actions to reverse the events that have so badly spoiled the beach that you love. This spill is even worse than the one that took place in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.    

You would never admit this now as you somberly watch a gull blackened with a sickening sheen struggle to fight the pull of the undertow; but you did nothing when you had the chance.  You chose to sit quietly by as your local politicians planned to drill.  Sure, you read some stupid blog and even considered joining Surfrider, but “you did not have the time.”  You came close to emailing your Governor, but something “important” came up.     

As your friend, with tears in his eyes, bemoans his wish to surf one of the perfect peeling rights, you stay quiet once again.  You could never share now that you did not express your opinions to the Federal Government, to your Senator or your Congressman when you had the chance. Afterall, you are just one surfer and what difference would that have made right?


Thanks to you for checking in.  The waves laid flat today outside of the possiblity of grabbing a longboard, but the weather is sweet and life is good.  I came across this movie trailer and I have a musician that I think is worth a listen for you.

Check the trailer for Wah Do Dem here.  The film looks mighty right.   Who hasn’t been lost only to realize that they were really found the whole time?


If you have not already done so, give Sean Bones a listen.  We can all use a little Easy Street now and then?  Sugar In My Spoon is on the iPod.  Bones gives out a nice dose of earthy surf music.

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?