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...
Earlier this year I did a feature on Gabriel Medina, Tyler Warren and John John Florence's boards, talking to Jon Pyzel, Johnny Cabana, and Warren about shapes for Surfing Life Japan Pretty interesting stuff, if anyone can read Japanese.
We've been listening to Against Me! since they broke out of the Gainesville scene with Reinventing Axle Rose, 13 years ago. I remember seeing them at the First Unitarian Church in Philly in 2003. Then in 2012, former frontman Tom Gable came out in a Rolling Stone interview that he would be transitioning to a woman. The punk community basically took it in stride. Laura Jane Grace became a voice for transgendered people years before the nation started having the dialogue we are having now - and the band continues to make great music. Additionally, Against Me! is one of Ann's all-time favorite bands and she had the opportunity to shoot them last year in DC.
On Friday of Labor Day weekend, I interviewed Laura Jane and covered Against Me!'s Red Bull Sound Select show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where her story is extremely relevant. It was the same day their new live album 23 Live Sex Acts dropped. The story recently ran on Asbury's music scene site Arcade-Radio.com with photos by Drew Gurian.
We use the word "launched" a lot in marketing. But in this case, it's very literal.
Ann Marie's father, Sam, a woodworking genius just launched the Barnegat Bullet, a custom 18-foot mahogany runabout that he designed and built himself. This is actually his third boat, the first two being a 30-foot runabout with a fuel injected 454 and 43-foot trawler with twin 150 hp Cummins diesels. And while he's keeping the original fleet, the Bullet is for sale.
Unique and proven 4-ply laminated construction with epoxy and varnish finish, the new 4-cylinder 130 hp, freshwater cooled Mercruiser. This thing was all hand built on the Beaver Damn Creek. It's essentially a smaller version of a runabout with a shallow draft, specifically made for whipping around Barnegat Bay. Anyone want a classy ride, we'll put you in touch with him.
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.
It's a tough thing to shoot anything in New Jersey between November and May around LBI. Let's just say we're not at our most photogenic. But there are those special days, those moments when winter at home is as beautiful as anywhere in the world. We took advantage of one of those days last January to shoot the Jetty Fall/Winter 2015 Mens and Jetty Womens line.
The line itself is what you have come to expect from Jetty - awesome flannels, hoodies, sherpas, chino pants, along with staples like super soft t's and hats. It's all about staying warm on those short days, a few winter waves, and steaming New England clam chowder.
We did the entire shoot within blocks of our house. It's amazing how your neighborhood can look if you have the right perspective. It doesn't hurt to have good neighbors either. Our fantastic models, the incredibly easy-going Johnny Skolnik and Melissa Moscato, stuck it out through the wind and snow to get the shots. Keep an eye out for more images from this shoot as Jetty begins to market it's fall line.
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.
When I was a little kid, my father was still lifeguarding, so I was around the beach a lot. I started surfing at about 13 and for the next 20 years, lifeguards were little more than another inconvenience between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But the last few years, some of my friends have become lieutenants and even captains of local beach patrols. Here in Ship Bottom, we have a great relationship with the guards.
This summer, I was hired to co-direct a mini-documentary for Red Bull Surf and Rescue. The program sheds a light on the watermen and women of New Jersey - the history and the passion for lifeguarding. This was my first time being so involved in a film project. I learned a ton and sincerely enjoyed doing this. I did, however, see parts of Randy Townsend's upper legs that I can never unsee.
I have to thank my bud Keith Wescott at Red Bull for putting me on the crew, the Funk family, Jenna Parker, and Randy for being so easy to work with, Robbie Beach for nailing such crucial shots, and Chris Immel for teaching me more in a week than I have learned in a really long time.
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."