Monday, March 5, 2007

Surfing, U.S.A.

(I hotlinked that from the cocoa beach club, which is very bad, but I figured that I have low traffic, so it won't use up too much of their bandwidth. I hope. I'm sorry if it does, then take it down.)

Today I went to the original Ron Jon's Surf Shop here on the island. Growing up, whenever I would see the RJ sticker on someone's car, I assumed it was from Florida or California or someplace nice and warm year-round. Not New Jersey! But that goes in line with the fact that I didn't really think of New Jersey as a hot beach spot. I feel that is something that is very prevalent in East Coast/New England thinking, but not anywhere else in the country. You probably don't find too many people from Nebraska (or Minnesota!) on the beaches of NJ. Though, now that I think of it, a guy from my high school used to go to the Jersey Shore...

Anyway, I went and started my research for my new summer hobby: surfing! I surfed for my first time in San Diego summer of 2003 and LOVED it. And, if I may say so, I wasn't too bad at it. I had the distinct honor of being the only person in my class able to consistently get up on the board. On my first time! So, I've decided that, seeing how I seem to have some aptitude for it and I live a few blocks from the beach, I am going to take it up regularly.

It's going to require a bit of investment on my part. A basic foam board is going to cost me around $70-$100 where as a starter fiberglass board will run me around twice that. The fiberglass boards are hard to come by used because people tend to keep them for fun, but they also have higher trade-in value if you buy. If I want to start mid-May and get a jump on the season, I will have to invest in a wetsuit, a 3.5mm one. That will also run me around $70-$100. But it will also extend the season to about 6 months and make sure I stay warm, which is nice. The water in May is around 50-60 degrees, even though the air temp is higher. The ocean really doesn't get warm until August/September and then September and October are the best surfing months because its hurricane season!

It's all a lot to think about, but I am glad I went now so I can start setting aside money for this purchase. Also, I can start looking for deals in the local sandpaper and surf shops now. I have to also set aside money to buy a bike or two: I want a tourist no-gear, wheel-around-town bike, which could cost me around or below $100 and I also want a road bike, which could be double or triple or even quintuple (is that a word?) that. Maybe I'll go with a not so fancy road bike!

Question: Anyone know of a good place to scout out boards? Or, maybe, possibly, even have one to give or sell??


c said...

quintuple - totally a word.

i have a wetsuit, if you want it. :)

go for the coaster-brakes, banana-seat, streamers-on-the-handlebars beach cruiser bike. with a basket. never outta style in a beach town. :)

if i were board-shopping with you, i'd suggest a 7'0 to 7'6 funboard/egg (to describe the shape). they really are the most versatile boards because they're super-easy to learn on, and can handle waves of a bunch of different sizes.

i'm so excited for you!!

Shruti on the Shore said...

Do you think a foam board or a fiberglass board would be better?

c said...

i'd go for a fiberglass board, for the investment. if you spend money, maybe you'll be more likely to use it? but go ahead and rent each type a few times.