This year, we've explored the secrets of the Pine Barrens, chased swell with LBI surfers, got a look at the life of a bartender, got invited into some unique homes, jumped on the striped bass blitz, captured some lifeguard action, paddled the bay, and learned about our shipwreck history.
Of course, the Swells and Shipwreck episode is particularly close to my heart. And we had a lot of support form the surf community on this one, specifically the photogs and videographers.
Episodes One, Two, and Three are all online at JustBeneaththeSurfaceNJ.com We have one more episode that we are premiering at the Ship Bottom Brewery, Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m. Hope you can all make it. Find us on Facebook. Sharing these videos enables us to keep going.
Since I started snowboarding, it was always very deeply tied to surfing and skating. Even though I've always been merely average at all three, I've has this fascination with the crossover - surfing a big north swell at Holyoke in the morning and running up to the Poconos for the twilight session, hiking a hit in Northern California and then checking the jetty at Humboldt before dark, riding at Whistler one day and then making the trek out to Vancouver Island to surf the next. I love it.
So I was fairly excited when Red Bull asked me to work with them on Switchboard, an event that involved surfing in Asbury and riding Mountain Creek... in the same day. And while we're at it, why not skate the bowl at Fourth Union? (Thanks Uncle Derek.) Unlike so many events that are designed to spotlight the elite, this was all about a bucket list experience that anyone could enjoy.
Yep, the surf was ridiculously flat last Saturday when we all met on the beach (23 degrees - nice touch, New Jersey) so we had a few hearty souls jump in the drink for effect. My bud, Dave Werner is a very good sport.
We skated the bowl and then headed up to Mountain Creek, where I learned to ride over two decades ago. I helped direct the content with photographer Kyle Arcomano and Foreword Films.
While this was based at the college demographic in California for a few years, in New Jersey it was everyone from awesome Dads with kids to pro surfers. Every got in some laps, a few surf turns and messed around in the park before all the high fives and hot waffles at the base. Great time, great people.
And they used this old man's blunt stall as the feature image at RedBulll.com with my story, which is hysterical.
Big day. On Tuesday, we launched this teaser for the four new Just Beneath the Surface episodes. In the first 24 hours, it garnered 60,000 views. It's pretty damn exciting. Puts a lot of pressure on us to deliver!
This season we'll take you from the striper blitz offshore to deep in the pines. We're going to tell you the stories from behind the bar to the historic ships that have wrecked upon our shores. We'll explore homes that are built around the Island lifestyle, paddle the bay, score epic swell, and show you what's just beneath the surface that you won't even believe is New Jersey water (or waddr, as we say.) We have four new episodes that start dropping in the spring of 2017. Get ready for am adventure in our own backyard. Support from the Southern Ocean County Chamber, Dave's Electric, Mud City Crab House, Farias Surf and Ship Bottom Brewery.
Harvey Cedars has long held a special place in my heart. As a kid, it represented independence, getting away from the beach my family went to and discovering waves were bigger and broke harder. This is a Harvey Cedars retrospective for The Beachcomber's history issue that came out earlier this summer with some great insight from Kim Leary, Eric Pirie, and Bob Selfridge, who all grew up in HC. Also, this really came together because of fantastic photos by Chris Pfeil.
Last week, I had the opportunity to announce The Cold War surf contest in Asbury Park. It really was the culmination of an amazing NY/NJ surf community, stellar event production, next level surfing, and the rebirth of Asbury Park. Directors Timmy Donnelly and Rob Cloupe did a fantastic job with this one and the coverage has been insane. Calling the event with my good friend Matt Pruett was a damn riot as well.
You can read the full Fight Club rundown I did for ESM with photos from the legendary lensman/Photo Editor Emeritus, Mez, who has been waiting out much of the New Jersey winter waiting for this to go down. And congratulations to Team Gesler.
Admittedly, I am not much of a sports fan. No Sunday football in our house; no fantasy teams. Not even soccer like all my punk friends. And baseball can pretty much suck it.
But if there is one event of the year I watch, it's the Pipe Masters. I covered, and Ann shot the Pipe Masters, for about six straight years. The last few years, I have watched it via webcast from a warm living room while swell has been building for the next day in the cold Atlantic.
This year, I started writing some writing "Break Breakdowns," for the World Surf League, including the Billabong Pipeline Masters. (Full disclosure: the only time I surfed Pipe it was tiny with sand on the reef and they wound up moving the event to Off the Wall that year.)
Surfline is calling for a new west/northwest swell to fill in tonight. If they run tomorrow, the trials and first round action could see sets of 15 to 22-foot, and possibly bigger. The swell holds for Thursday and is supposed to be triple overhead and flawless. The swell, combined with the fact that there are six (holy shit, six?) surfers who could possibly take the 2015 title at Pipe means it could be one of the most dramatic season finales ever. Keep an eye out for my report on the title at GrindTV.com.
So, yeah, I'm kind of excited about a sporting event...
By now, you have likely seen Kelly Slater's bizzaro sorta flyaway air-reverse that he sorta landed at the Hurley Pro Trestles. The event only has one more day to finish up, but they're on a third lay day in a row. In fact, I am in San Clemente now. I surfed Lowers this morning with no crowd, at one point I had it all to myself ....apparently Californians don't like the rain. Got a few fun rights despite the dying swell and south wind, the did the long hike back in a downpour. Pretty surreal for California considering LBI is 77 and sunny today.
Before the event started, I interviewed Van's team rider Curren Caples about Lowers and the contest. Trestles is said to be the ultimate skate park wave, so why not interview the skater who surfs like we all wish we could?
Earlier this year, I started writing for Wavelength, Europe's original surf magazine. While we were away this winter, I penned a piece about the essential feelings of surfing that was recently published at Wavelengthmag.com. They're basic virtues that most modern surfers, anywhere in the world have experienced in some form. I had some help from Nat Young (the tour threat, not the legend) Cy Sutton, Brad Gerlach, and Doc Rosenblatt.
1) When I surfed Tahiti, I thought I was going to drown. Lost my board in big surf, half a mile from shore, all alone. And I never even surfed Teahu'poo...
2) After covering years of WSL contests via webcast (and a few live Pipe Masters) when it was part of my job title, I haven't watched a whole lot of events the past two years.
Had to get that out of the way. The WSL recently contacted me to do some event previews. And hey, it's Teahu'poo. A new media company took over the ASP last year and this year it's called the World Surf League. They've tailored their coverage to a wider sports audience, to which everyone has his or her own opinion. Anyway, I wrote them a preview of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
In early 2014 I was invited by my buds at Jetty to get on a Nicaragua trip to gather marketing content for the coming year. It was non stop laughs the whole time. I also got to spend some real time with team rider, Tim Daley of Brigantine.
Eastern Surf Magazine included Daley in this year's Who Da Guy Issue, #168, August, 2015. I really appreciate surfers like Daley who know a thing or two about hard work in the real world.
"You know that ace on the surf trip? He’s not a pro, but he rips. He’s the good-looking one, but you never catch him in the mirror. He’s got a six-pack and sculpted pecs, but you don’t see him exercising. When the surf is firing, he puts himself into the slot of the day. And when it’s shithouse, he somehow finds the speed in mushy lines to crush crumbly lips. He gets friendly with the boat driver and somehow manages to nab a Spanish mackerel on the way back in. He never gets sunburned or spends a night barfing/shitting out some third world bacteria. Between his grasp of the language and natural disposition, he hits it off with the local ladies or some Euro backpackers. He knows exactly what to order at the bar in any country, but always holds his drink. And by the end of the night, he’s teaching a local Bad Religion chords on guitar, entertaining everyone in the room.
You want to hate him and his mustache, but in this case, you have to love him.
That guy is Brigantine’s Tim Daley."