NJ Summer: A Small Wave Survival Guide

7 07 2010

To most Garden State outdoors enthusiasts, the summer months present many opportunities to get out and enjoy nature. Unfortunately, for New Jersey surfers the feeling is often not mutual.

While surfers are used to having the run of local beaches in the off-season, tourist season brings added regulation, big crowds, parking meters, beach badges, lifeguards, buoys and ropes.

As if that weren’t enough, the dominant high pressure weather systems that create beautiful beach weather are essentially a death sentence for surf. Beginning in June or July and lasting through August, high pressure parks itself above New Jersey and repels most of the low pressure and other storm systems that create real waves. While huge, draining barrels are a frequent occurrence in the winter, we’re lucky to get a chest-high swell in July.

My advice to the Jersey resident who wants to enjoy both the sun and the surf this season is this: get on a longboard and get on it fast.

There are few things you can do in the ocean that are cooler looking and more fun than the proper riding of vintage-inspired longboards. The image of a trimmed-out, gliding surfer with ten toes curled over the nose of his board is pure summer.

Partaking in this particular style of surfer is a way to enjoy the sport closer to its roots, when surfers were regarded less as stoned-out partying types and more as soul-searching watermen.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out RVCA team member Alex Knost making the most of minimal New Jersey summer surf with a classic longboard back in 2008.