Surfing is Not Just a Hobby; It’s a Lifestyle

We left off last time hoping for waves during the upcoming week, as usual. This week, Mother Ocean delivered. On Sunday the swell was building, from early morning to the sun’s last rays, surfers found some clean three to four footers.  Although, no one was satisfied, the prediction for the next day was even better. When Monday rolled around there was excitement in the air. I woke and went to my first class hoping that it would go fast.

As I sat in class, I felt a buzz in my pocket; I swiped right to a text from my friend Andrew that read and I quote, “It’s sick, I just got best barrel of life.” A small, solitary tear ran down my face as I sat in my 8:30 am class, knowing that I had another class waiting for me afterwards. When I finally went out, I got the notorious, “Shoulda been here earlier dude!”

Personally, I had a great time, but I could not help but think about Andrew’s text and what the waves were like while I was in class. Either way, we all scored early in the week.

On paper, surfing seems like a hobby, maybe a sport, yet there is a certain culture that surrounds it. Surfing and being a surfer are two very different things. One is an action and one is an encompassing idea. What does it really mean to be a surfer in NJ?  From the clothes you wear and the music you enjoy, to your personal characteristics and interests, being a surfer defines a person.

Surfers are all similar in some ways, yet in other ways, they are rather different. There is a real fine line in surfing where you want do what the other guys are doing and be like them but you also want to strive to have your own style. Your head is constantly filled with thoughts about, your next wave.

How am I going to surf it? What if I do this, how can I branch off from it and do something new or something I saw in that last video I watched?

There is a constant intra-self-battle between being someone totally different and being like that guy you just surfed with who killed the session.

A big part of this battle has to do with the reason you surf. In other destination surf areas, the surfers are looking for instant satisfaction from the multitude of cameras that are always rolling. In NJ, no one cares. There is a tight-knit surfing community who are interested, but other than that, NJ is filled with fake New Yorkers and people who aren’t even associated with the beach. Because of this, NJ surfers don’t surf for fame, but for the love of surfing. For this reason, NJ is totally different from anywhere else in the world.

“People ask me all the time ‘There are waves in Jersey?’ but what they don’t know is it actually gets really good here,” sophomore Tyler Sankey said. “It is really underestimated, but as surfers, we compete in contests, travel, and go out in dangerous conditions because we love what we do.”

Freshman Andrew Moon said, “People in New Jersey surf because they love the sport, it’s not about the publicity or money.”

In the end, it should not matter what you like to do or where you like to do it, if you do something because you love it then you are winning. In this day in age too many people are obsessed with idea of instant satisfaction. People would rather do something fun or funny for a snapchat that will last for a maximum of ten seconds, then disappear rather than doing something that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

If you remember nothing, remember this: Do what you want. And if what you do is surf, then you are in luck. We live in a place that is a stones-throw away from a beach with fairly consistent waves. Watch out for waves starting this Thursday and continuing all weekend.

Don’t sit inside and watch Snapchats of your friends having a great time, leave your phone behind and make your own fun for yourself.