Posts Tagged ‘Manasquan’

Below are ten very unofficial suggestions you may wish to adopt as resolutions for the year twenty-eleven.  Either way SeaSandSurf wishes you a year of peace and good times. 

1) Don’t hate on the beach that is growing on the floor of your car.  Sand is beautiful.

2) Drink more pre-surf coffee so you can stay warm during those winter sessions.

3) Don’t doubt it- when it’s your turn to go, paddle and go.

4) Road trip!

5) If you find yourself mind surfing in the middle of the afternoon then you must be doing something right.

6) Don’t let the boss know.

7) Surf on a day that is beyond your comfort zone, even if it means a surf trip to Tahiti.

8) Go ahead, hoot that stranger in the line-up into the wave of the day.

9) Snake one for old time’s sake.

10)  If anyone can get away with wearing a pair of purple Uggs you can. No, for real!

A special thanks to Daniel “Surfer Into the Woods” Yackewych for helping to formulate the scientific list above.

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It is official.  The NFL is on my television and the evenings are cool.  I have pulled some of the last tomatoes off of my back yard vines and the summer has gone to bed.

Sure, it will get hot for a few days again.  The beaches might even get crowded on a Saturday afternoon, but June is further away than February.

Surfers know that this is not the time for despair though.  My tip: keep stretching, exercise and get ready for Hurricane Igor

If you are looking for some social activity, don’t forget the Surf Bash at the Algonquin Theater in Manasquan on September 18th.  Who can’t use some excellent surf art from Jay Alders and the mellow music of Matt Costa?  With Surfrider and Original Skateboards helping sponsor, it will be a good evening.

Also, mark your calendars for the New York Surf Film Festival which takes place on the weekend of September 24th in Tribeca.  Looking at the program The Dark Fall and Being Captain Zero both jump out at me. 

In that same vein, I thought I would share this short film by Carmen Vicari; just another talented East Coast guy getting it done.   Thanks for checking in.

10 Things That Made Danielle Great

1)      The water was warm, and the sun was shining

2)      The crowds.  Hell man it is summer.  If you can’t beat ‘em (and you can’t) join ‘em

3)      Finding a nugget to yourself, like this unnamed fortunate soul did (no it was not me)

(There was a beautiful photo here but in respect of the break you will have to imagine it) 

4)      She was a great test of all things surf reporting.  Did anyone not know a week ahead of time?

5)      Surfing with groms who were yelling OUTSIDE! at the sight of an approaching set.

6)      Seeing said groms stoked on grabbing their first hurricane swell

7)      Knowing that Earl is coming, and did someone say Fiona ( and I don’t mean apple)

8)      Seeing a few college guys who got some waves before a landlocked semester

9)      Realizing that Labor Day is a few days away and the crowds well, will not be as crowded

10)   Paddle shape, paddle shape, paddle shape.

When I arrived to meet Mike Stadler, owner of New Life Surfboards, I did not know what to expect.  A mutual friend suggested that I talk to him for Sea Sand Surf and I took the lead.  Mike and I exchanged several emails, set a date for an interview, and I drove over to his place in Manasquan assuming nothing.  I figured “how bad could it be to talk shop with another local surfer?”  Worst case scenario, I may know another face in the lineup when all is said and done.

What I found upon meeting Mike was a surfer with a wealth of knowledge and a shaper with ties to the deep history of the sport.  He was kind and generous and extremely stoked to show me around the intimate workings of New Life Surfboards.  We got together early, after a wave check revealed a mess, and he and his wife Trish gave me a great cup of coffee upon my arrival. As often happens with surfers, it felt more like I was seeing old friends rather than becoming acquainted with strangers.

Sea Sand Surf:  So when did you first start surfing?

Mike Stadler: It was either 1964 or 65.  My father used to pack the family up and take us to Sandy Hook.  My earliest memories center around surfing and everything associated with it.

The Stadler's and Their Summer Quiver

SSS: Did you stick with it this whole time?

Stadler: Pretty much.  It was one of those things. It got in my blood and I could not imagine it any other way.  My father passed the love of the sport onto me, and when I had my son I tried to do the same.  My son is 28 now and has been surfing his whole life.  Surfing is part of the Stadler family.

SSS: How about shaping surfboards?  Is this something that you have always done?

Stadler: Not really.  I have only been shaping for a couple of years.

Stadler Knows that Fine Edges Make for Fine Surfing

SSS: What made you want to get into it?  Why not just surf a few boards you love and be done with it?

Stadler: The design of boards has always been an interest to me.  I have always been very aware of my equipment and the way that it was built and how it functioned in the water.

SSS: I think most surfers share that desire to understand their boards, but to start a surf company like New Life Surfboards is a whole other thing right?  How did that transition happen for you?

Stadler: Well, I was sitting around one day in an apartment in Jersey City, totally frustrated by the rat race.  I was caught up in it.  I was a successful graphic designer, but the landscape of the profession was changing rapidly.  I was fed up with the hyper-competitive nature of things.  I was laying this all out on the table to my wife Trish, and she said, “well, what do you want to do?”  I told her I wanted to shape surfboards and she just asked me what I was waiting for.

SSS: I am sure that support is a big help right?

Stadler: (laughs) I tell everyone that she is the C.I.O of New Life Surfboards… the Chief Inspiration Officer.

Cool People Doing Cool Things

SSS: So you basically dove right in from there?   That must have been daunting.

Stadler:  I was already accustomed to working in design so the transition felt natural in many ways.

SSS: Did the 40 plus years of surfing experience help?

Stadler:  Absolutely.  I had a pretty clear idea about what works in the water and what doesn’t- so that eliminated a good deal of the trial and error phase for me.

SSS: What types of shapes have you been designing?

Stadler: I love making classic East Coast Long Boards.  Boards that let the rider get in the wave early enough to get down the line, but still offer some precision turning in the tail.  I try to get the right foil on the rocker with a perfect blend of concave.  That, combined with the rounded pin, and you have a board that flies but still turns on a dime.

A Classic East Coast Board from a Classic Guy

SSS:  Have you branched out from there?

Stadler: I have.  I have made some fish that work really well, and I am currently working on a shape for a classic California Long board- a board that will let the rider get ten over the nose.

The Cup Loves to Hang Ten- Forever...

SSS: Outside of your C.I.O, who are your other influences?

Stadler: I was fortunate to fall under the tutelage of Donald Takayama for a spell.  In the short time that I had the chance to see him at work I was amazed.  I went to California to meet with him.  I left so inspired, and I have applied that inspiration to my work.  I mean, here is a guy that has been shaping for over 55 years, and I am standing there learning from him thinking, “this can’t be for real.”

SSS: How does it feel to be a small leaf off of that great branch of surfing?

Stadler:  You know; it is my goal to help other people get stoked on surfing.  When I shape a board for someone I try to get to know them as a person first.  I may go out for a session with them, or do a quiver inventory.  In the end, I want their New Life Surfboard to be something they will have in their quiver for a long time to come.  So when a shaper like Donald Takayama opens his bay to me and spends some time I am ultimately very grateful.  He has a knowledge base that is so unique, and the fact that he was willing to share it with me just solidified my love of shaping.

SSS: What direction do you see New Life Surfboards taking?

Stadler: As of now, I am really focused on making custom boards for people who love to surf.   A number of people have approached me about making “go to” long boards for their quivers, and that has really driven me.  In the end New Life Surfboards has a core mission of passing along the love of surfing on to people in any way possible.

SSS: What is on the radar in the near future?

Stadler: We will have a stand at the Belmar Pro in September and we welcome everyone to stop by and say hello.

 SSS: Best of luck along the way.

Stadler: Thanks.  We will get there one great board at a time.

The wind has been blowing onshore for the past three or four days.  Frustratingly, it has not produced much in the way of quality surf.  There has been the distinct smell of autumn in the air however.  This is not to suggest that summer is over, but the fall is waiting in the wings.  Although early predictions had suggested that we would have an active tropical season that has not been the case yet.  We all know that can change on the dime so keep monitoring the reports.

My previous few surfs have taken place on the 5’8” Quasar shaped by Gene Wahl from Essence surf.  The board performed very well.  I was skeptical, as it was a step down for me from my traditional 6’ board, but it is sweet.  I rode it as a tri-fin set up, although the board is constructed with 5 fin boxes offering all kinds of options.

There is very little rocker and it paddles like a champion.  The thicker rails allow for easy wave entry and they offer a feeling of stability as well.  If I were to summarize the board in one word it would be “fast.”  The board seems to naturally generate speed and any prodding on my part only made the Quasar run faster.  The board also turns on a dime and stays underfoot very well.  If you are considering a step down or a pod in general, it is a solid way to go.  

In other news, I recently met with Mike Stadler, owner and shaper of New Life Surfboards.  Mike is a true surfer and he has a very interesting story which I look forward to sharing.  It is always great to meet other people who share the same level of passion for surfing, and he and his wife Trish were super hospitable.

For all the Tri-State readers, if you have not already done so, get your tickets to the Surf Bash at the Algonquin Theater in Manasquan.  The date is Saturday, September 18th.  There is a free outdoor Surf Festival that begins at 4:00 and Matt Costa is performing at 7:30.  Jay Alders and the guys from Original Skateboards will be there, and I am sure it will be a cool evening of surf art, music and community.

Thanks for checking in.  If you have not contributed your thoughts to the Six-Word Ocean Project please do.  Look forward to hearing from you.

Pot of Gold

There are plenty of happenings in the Surf Community as the summer chugs along full speed ahead.  With so many things to choose from the only question is how to get it all in?

For those looking to help raise money and awareness for the fight against Autism there is the SEA PaddleNYC.  Stand-Up Paddlers will join friends and family to trek the waters around Manhattan.  With a distance of 28 miles each participant is taking up an awesome challenge for a great cause.  The Paddle will be taking place on August 13th.

On that same evening in Atlantic City the premier of The Dark Fall will be taking place at the House of Blues.  Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.  This is an awesome film about New Jersey Surfing and is a must see.

The iMatter Surf Camp for Children with Autism is taking place on August 14th in Westhampton NY.  This is such an awesome way to get people in touch with the ocean.

For folks in Central Jersey, or anyone willing to travel to compete, the Big Sea Day Surf Contest is taking place in Manasquan.  Entry forms can be found here.  There is a division for everyone, so if you want to get out and test your skills against your fellow surfer, do not delay.

Early reports indicate that we may have some swell on tap for all of these events too, so that will be a good thing.

In related competition news, The Garden State Grom Grudge Match waiting period opens on August 15th.  The event will take place in Seaside Park.  If you feel like you are an up-n-comer get your entry forms in, and get in the mix for the $1,500.00 in prize money that Smith Optics and others will be handing out to the big winner.

This is also a great time of year to look for some new gear.  Many of the local shops are running their sidewalk sales, so if you are in the market for a new pair of trunks or shades, this may be your time to pounce.

Thanks to everyone for checking in.  If you are like me we will try to get every last drop of fun out of this summer.  Make the most of it.

August 1st clearly indicates that we are entering the home stretch of summer and it is time to plan accordingly.  It is time to ask ourselves, “if I am not doing this now, when am I doing it?”  Summer does not wait for us and it is fleeting by its very nature.

So here are some things to consider.  The Big Sea Day Surfing Contest is taking place at Manasquan Inlet on August 14th and 15th.  There are a wide variety of divisions scheduled, so if you have an inkling to compete get the entry form here.  If you are more inclined to get down there and take it all in, hop on your bike and make your way to the shoreline. 

This is assuming that we have waves.  The CI Board Demo took place (or should I say did not take place) on Saturday in Manasquan in an ocean that looked like a lake.  I suppose the old axiom holds true that “you can plan the picnic, but you can’t plan the weather.”

The Gaslight Anthem plays in Asbury Park on Thursday.  It promises to be a great show for those who are holding tickets.  I think they have sold the venue out though.

Traditionally, August has the ability to make or break a summer of surfing in the Mid-Atlantic Corridor.  So as we enter the final phase of summer 2010 we need to collectively hold our breath, cross our fingers and rub our lucky rabbit’s feet that the waves start to fill in, as the basin looks empty right now

Also, there is a premiere of the movie Dark Fall taking place in Atlantic City, at the House of Blues on August 13th.  The film trailer looks amazing.

I for one am particularly antsy as I just picked up my 5’8” Quasar from Essence Surf.  It does not look like it will we need much to get it moving, but flat conditions are flat conditions.  Of course if you have a SUP you are still in business. The Surfer Environmental Alliance is sponsoring the Sea Paddle NYC on August 13th.  Participants are raising money to fight Autism.  It is just another example of surfers making a difference.  Thanks for checking in.  Stay Stoked!