I wrote this story that originally ran in July, Huck Magazine #39, the Sofia Coppola issue, but it just made its online debut.
I wrote this piece just before summer, hoping to remind the world of all the issues we still face from Sandy. Over a year since the storm and with a full summer under out belts, many of these problems are still relevant. It includes perspectives from the guys at Unsound Surf in New York, Pete Steinkopf the Bouncing Souls, our mayor in Ship Bottom Bill Huelsenbeck, President Obama, LBI locals, and Jon Rose of Waves for Water.
Read Sincerely Sandy at Huckmagazine.com.
Photos by Brian Derballa and Ann Marie Coen.
I’ve had the opportunity to cover every Smith Optics Garden State Grudge Match since 2002. Rob Cloupe, who I have known since I was a kid, came up with this progression-oriented, man-on-man, winner-take-all event and saw it through during a very important time in New Jersey surfing. It was an awesome event that really highlighted New Jersey’s best surfers and gave me fantastic story lines for the last ten years. I covered it for Surfing, Surfline, ESM, the Press of AC, and N’East mag over the years and established great relationships with these surfer. This is truly the end of an era. My final Grudge Match story is live at EasternSurf.com There’s another story in today’s Press of Atlantic City.
It feels good to cover someone right in our own town for an international magazine. It was also a bit like the old times with Ann Marie and I working on a feature together. The November issue of Inked Magazine has my feature with Ann’s photos on Dan Binai and Right Coast Tattoo Bianai put up his own money and did most of the work to get reopen three months after the storm. They saved the story to mark one year since Superstorm Sandy.
Read “Sandy Hits the Right Coast,” in Inked Mag.
I’ve had work done at Right Coast and will certainly be getting more.
Been working with The Gaslight Anthem and Brian Fallon on a few projects with Red Bull Sound Select. Part of that was covering the Gaslight Anthem as they hand picked their opening bands at Irving Plaza on July 27: Frances & The Foundation, the Scandals and Dave Hause Growing up, the Aquarian was the mag you picked up to see what bands were coming around. This is the first I have written for them since a review of The Pogues in AC a while back and I got to work with my good friend, Brian Nevins. Read the full review in the Aquarian.
Last week I had the opportunity to talk to Jim Verhagen of North Beach who documents the weather, elements and wildlife of his neighborhood. He is an amateur photographer, but I think he’s better than a lot of the “pros” I see walking around with all that new digi gear. I’m really impressed with his patience and knowledge to capture osprey, dolphins, piping plovers, whales, gulls and seals in their environment. His latest project is flying a GoPro cam on a remote control quad copter to shoot animals and a few solid surf sessions. This has so much potential.
Verhagen posts it all on his Word Press site, Readings from the Northside ith some fantastic commentary. You can read the whole feature at TheSandPaper.net He’s so passionate about it – bordering obsessed (like most of us.) And I love doing work like this.
Dustin Barca is my new favorite surfer.
“Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are so big. But instead of putting pictures of myself up all day, why don’t I educate 5,000 people here or 5,000 people there on some serious issues instead of just posting about myself getting barreled and blowing my own smoke?”
Barca may be remembered as a Hawaiian legend, but it may not be for either surfing or MMA. Barca has become the face of the fight against agribusiness on the Hawaiian Islands. He is taking a stand against multinational corporations that modify the genetics of their crops in order to grow them more efficiently. Barca believes they are using Hawaii as a contained test tube experiment and the Hawaiian people as lab rats. I got the full scoop from Barca for XGames.com. This was a lot like my interview with John Joseph of the Cro-Mags. Two environmentalists – one a crazy frontman, the other a Pipe charger. They both could kick my ass.
It was very sad to hear that news that Transworld Surf is publishing its last issue this month. I would occasionally write for them and always enjoyed working with Managing Editor, Casey Koteen. Bummer about the state of print media and titles being bought in bulk to be eliminated but everyone has to adapt. I never knew this story about getting around board bag fees ran online. It was in the print mag in early 2012, but it is still relevant to surf travel today.
Indie rock and even punk has skewed a bit in the Americana direction lately — or at least towards some approximation of it circa the “Stand By Me” era. And while some musicians just dig posting photos of their old-school haircuts on Instagram, some are actually living that ideal. Twins Nat and Rob Rufus, who play guitar and drums, respectively, grew up in West Virginia. But unable to find the proper channels for their music, they moved to Nashville, where they formed Blacklist Royals with second guitarist Jamie Sky and bassist Dirk Matthews. Check out my full interview with the Blacklist Royals at Easternsurf.com.
Really enjoyed meeting these guys and looking forward to their new record “Die Young with Me.”
My recent piece “Surf Break Cancer” is on page 42 of the August, 2013 issue of Transworld Surf Magazine. You can also read it at Transworldsurf.com Government sponsored beach fill projects have been killing sandbars for decades. I don’t hide my feelings that most surfers take zero action when it comes to better beachfill projects. Straight up apathetic. There have been projects in Monmouth County where the US Army Corps of Engineers worked with Surfers Environmental Alliance and got a better project. Derf McTighe, Donald Cresitello, and Richie Lee are all quoted. We understand the need for protecting our shore, but we have to find a better way. Harvey Cedars and Brant Beach are getting repair fill projects right now. Surf City is later this summer. Our greatest resource is being buried. Hope this sparks some NY and NJ surfers to talk to their elected officials to show them the importance of the sandbar. Heads have been in the sand for too long. Might want to consider getting involved.
Photo is by my friend, Trevor Moran.
“Shored Up,” the documentary on coastal engineering by Ben Kalina will open the Lighthouse International Film Festival on Thursday, June 6 at the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven.
Over the course of three years, I got to know Ben pretty well. They guy was almost done with his film when Sandy hit and gave it a whole new life. He interviewed me at least six times for his film, beginning in 2009, when the first Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishments were coming to LBI. I maintain my position that while protecting our coast is necessary and Harvey Cedars was spared through Superstorm Sandy because of it, they can be done much better. After each project, we are left with a steep-sloping beach and no sandbar. This ruins the surf, the swimming and everything we love about our beaches on LBI. It has nothing to do with property values or dunes. In the wake of Sandy, there are billions of federal dollars coming to pump more and more sand. I have fought for the powers that be to provide us with better profiles and smarter engineering for ten years now. We are finally seeing our elected officials see the flaws of the current designs. Hopefully, Ben’s film further opens peoples’ eyes to improve these projects in the future.
As with any film, my six interviews came down to a few soundbites and some footage of my wounded gorilla surf style. That’s to be expected when there are so many moving parts of this subject. He got some great insight and a lot of different perspectives. See “Shored Up” if you can.