January Issue 2013 SURFING Magazine

posted by / Magazine / November 17, 2012


Expecting slaps and getting kisses

Blake Jones, Sebastian Inlet. January Issue 2013Last year, in SURFING’s America Issue [June 2011], I wrote the following about the East Coast:

“My whole life I’ve pretty much pretended it wasn’t there, at least in surfing terms. When I was a kid and I’d come to an East Coast section in a mag or whatever, I’d skip over it immediately. Couldn’t be bothered…Nobody cares about the East Coast except East Coasters. But lemme tell ya, they care a lot…The waves probably get better than Southern California, just not as often. But they [East Coasters] swear it’s true. They have so much pride!

But the similar type of pride that, like, Brazil has. They’re the scrappy underdog.”

A year and a half later I found myself at Penn Station in New York with Chas Smith and our assistant editor, Brendan Buckley. Somehow, someway, we planned on going surfing. While we waited for our train we ate falafel on the steps outside Madison Square Garden, our faces raised toward the Fall sun. Between us we had three tickets for the Long Island Railroad, two hangovers, a single pair of trunks and zero expectations. Just get us to the ocean, waves or not, to wash away the city. So we trained it to Long Beach and cabbed it to Balaram Stack’s house and, with his reluctant permission, borrowed three boards, a wetsuit, a pair of boardies and his mother’s car to drive us to the beach. We didn’t even check it. Just ran up onto the boardwalk, with Balaram boards and low hopes, and were startled with the sight. It looked like the 2011 NY Quiky Pro was running on loop — perfect, offshore peaks broke up and down the beach with just a handful of guys in the water. “Oh my Gods” and “Are you kidding mes?” flowed uncontrollably from our mouths as we skipped across the sand and jumped in the water. The cool, cleansing water. Forty-five minutes was all it took. Forty-five minutes of splitting A-frames with friends in the groomed, head-high waves and I was a believer. My preconceptions of surfing on the East Coast washed away with the hangover.

When you expect a slap and get a kiss, that kiss is 10 times sweeter for the simple fact that it wasn’t a slap. While I look back at my comments about the East Coast and cringe at how close-minded I was, I also have to smile. Had I gone to New York expecting to score and surfed the same waves I did, my expectations would have simply been matched. But use the contrast between my expectations and what I found was so great, it turned a day of good surf into one of the funnest sessions I’ve ever had. And so I know that this issue is a win-win. If you love the East Coast your beliefs will be reinforced by the pages that follow. And if you don’t you’ll ignore it, as I used to, until you one day find yourself on that lousy Right Coast with low expectations and a fortuitous cold front will pass and make you wonder why you’d ever hated. —Taylor Paul


Inside this Issue



The American Orient can seem like a foreign land sometimes. Different weather systems. No mountains. Brown seas. But we mustn’t fear what we do not understand. Learn the language and seemingly weird ways and maybe, just maybe, you could one day find yourself in a slime-colored shack from a strong nor’easter.




Is Florida just a flat swamp full of rednecks and old folks? Crummy waves and Bible-thumping radicals? SURFING’s editor at living large, Chas Smith, road-trips the place of his own prejudice and returns with a fair and balanced new view. Photography by DJ Struntz




Dane Reynolds and Craig Anderson wait in a haunted house in Nova Scotia for a flaky girl named Leslie and a flakier man named Kelly. Canadian ghosts watch them punt and carve from shoreline mansions. Did Kelly show? Did Leslie? Did anyone get bludgeoned? The answer to at least one of those questions is yes.
Photography by DJ Struntz. Tale by Taylor Paul.




Florida-native turned Cali transplant Evan Geiselman’s two homes couldn’t be more different. But he seems to be dealing just fine.
Words by Beau Flemister




Could you have guessed that Balaram Stack had a spiritual guide? That Vegas had a beachbreak and it was called A.C.? And that some West Coasters pledge allegiance to the East? Get your dose of truth serum here.


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  • Robert Smilevski

    As a New England surfer I was excited to see an East Coast issue. Taylor Pauls forward was great. Then I read Chas Smiths piece and was irritated beyond belief. Surf culture needs to help New York w/proper form, slang and look?? Lineups should be crowded by angry locals??Proper bro’s behind the counters and lineups w/ the right sort of folks?? Wow. Mr. Smith didn”t like the one shop he went to but had a fun session with no bad vibes from locals, and then bitches that they weren’t Jeff Spicolis on steriods all brahhhed out. I hope surf culture never conforms to any image and anyone who travels and scores is grateful. By the way, I enjoyed the rest of the issue.

  • Scumbag steve

    I on the other hand laughed my ass off at Mr.Smith’s article and thought it, and the whole rest of the issue was great.

    Robert must work at Saturdays or something. That shop and those kooks are so whack.

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  • Robert Smilevski

    Never been to any surf shop in NY, never surfed NY, it’s not part of New England. Just don’t like the vibe of the article. I don’t complain when I score somewhere else (I also lived and loved Cali for a long time, my pops is still there).

  • Poops McFart Shake

    Chas Smith is a douche. It would have been funny as hell if one of those gun toting rednecks would have shot or beaten the living crap out of him or even the right wing Cubans would have fucked him up.

  • alincolnlocal

    Hey Chas . So you’re a surf “journalist” ? You drive 2500 miles around Florida to figure it out . Yet you come to Long Beach with a hangover , surf for 45 minutes – and you’re a BFE ? ( That’s Big F…ing Expert ? ). We’ve been surfing here – as in riding waves – not hanging around a pretend surf boutique for way longer than you’ve been alive . We have REAL surf shops here – complete with actual surfboards . And surfers ! I’ve only been surfing since 1966 . I have plenty of friends who have been surfing way longer ! We have had east coast champs from Long Beach going back to the early 60s . You remind me of the guys I met in North County in the early 70s who were AMAZED that a guy from New York could surf ! Because there’s no surf in New York . Where can you surf – by the Statue of Liberty ? I’d tell them -look at a map of the East Coast – that’s coast . Right next to it is a big blue area called the Atlantic Ocean . So Chas , why don’t you do some actual research before you shoot your mouth off next time ? You might learn some interesting stuff if you talk to the right people .

  • Danker

    Lincolnlocal – classic

  • alincolnlocal

    So , what happened to my post Chas ? Your response is to delete it ? That’s all you got ? Really ? I was looking forward to a little repartee . Maybe you ought to send someone else to New York next time since it was obviously too much for you .