One Kook's Safari with Bill Barlow

One Kook’s Safari: Fun, fun, fun on the autumn waves

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Written by Bill Barlow Saturday, October 04, 2014 07:01 am

Scenes from last year’s Spooks and Kooks event. This year it’s on the 1st Street Beach in Ocean City Saturday, Oct. 11.  It promises to be huge, epic fun. (photos by Joe Almo III) Scenes from last year’s Spooks and Kooks event. This year it’s on the 1st Street Beach in Ocean City Saturday, Oct. 11. It promises to be huge, epic fun. (photos by Joe Almo III) Last week, Rory Parker created a bit of a stir with his “5 unpleasant truths about surfing that everyone needs to hear,” posted on The Inertia. You can read it here

He declares surfers smug and self-satisfied, “always looking for one more reason to delude ourselves into thinking we’re somehow special and unique,” although I think he deserves some props for not excluding himself.  

He goes into a bit of detail on each “unpleasant truth,” but they range from the practical (don’t buy retail) to the esoteric (surfing won’t save your soul). He also disses longboards.

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Filmmakers take on waves, and the scourge of hipster-ism

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Written by Bill Barlow Saturday, September 27, 2014 08:30 am

Andrew Gesler gets airborne. (Image courtesy Dark Fall Productions) Andrew Gesler gets airborne. (Image courtesy Dark Fall Productions) Can a hipster be cured?

Andrew Gesler of Ocean City and Margate’s Alex DePhillipo have weighed in on the question with a new film, which premiered this summer, and the prognosis isn’t good.

It’s called “Death 2 Hipsters,” and it’s a surf movie comedy.

Being cool, and the attended marketing of whatever coolness is, seems to be taking over surfing, said Gesler in a recent interview. Major fashion companies are reaching into surf culture.

The folks who put together the local surf movie “Dark Fall” wanted to try something new, a surf satire.

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Surfers turn out for Edouard

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Written by Bill Barlow Saturday, September 20, 2014 06:37 am

There were a few nice shaped waves this week, like this one on Thursday morning. The ride didn’t last long, though, before the wave closed. There were a few nice shaped waves this week, like this one on Thursday morning. The ride didn’t last long, though, before the wave closed. They came, and kept coming.

They came in minivans, beat up station wagons and sedans. They came with boards stuffed in the back of SUVs from Lexus and Mercedes, in Econolines and in pickups with more rust than paint.

They came in search of waves, lured by the promise of Hurricane Edouard, heading up the coast this week.

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One Kook’s Safari: Another hurricane due to head up the coast, with big waves expected

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Written by Bill Barlow Tuesday, September 16, 2014 10:44 am

We won’t know what Hurricane Edouard will bring, but it’s expected to pass well off the coast this week. Previous storms this year brought some great waves, but this one’s being described as the first major storm of the season. We won’t know what Hurricane Edouard will bring, but it’s expected to pass well off the coast this week. Previous storms this year brought some great waves, but this one’s being described as the first major storm of the season. Summer’s not over, but if it were a tube of toothpaste, we’d be folding it from the bottom by now.

There’s good news, though: the water’s still warm, and the forecast calls for big waves from Hurricane Edouard this week. Expect the swell to build overnight into Wednesday, with head-high waves rolling in Wednesday and Thursday morning.  Expect a strong current and be ready for some heavy surf. The forecast keeps changing, so take a good look before paddling out.  

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Maddie Peterson set to make waves on the world stage

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Written by Bill Barlow Saturday, September 06, 2014 05:25 am

Maddie Peterson of Wildwood Crest hopes to be on surfing’s world tour in a couple of years. She’s gaining a name in surfing competitions, and is in training for an upcoming event in Belmar. (photo submitted) Maddie Peterson of Wildwood Crest hopes to be on surfing’s world tour in a couple of years. She’s gaining a name in surfing competitions, and is in training for an upcoming event in Belmar. (photo submitted) On one of the surf forums, in the lead-up to one of this summer’s hurricane swells, a commenter posted something suggesting surfers shouldn’t worry too much if they miss the big day.

So far, so good. As this summer showed, more waves are always on the way.

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One Kook’s Safari: The ABCs of the summer of ’14

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Written by Bill Barlow Thursday, August 28, 2014 12:53 pm

A surfer takes a turn off the lip on Thursday’s overhead waves. Surfers flocked to the water from throughout the region for the weekday swell.  By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. A surfer takes a turn off the lip on Thursday’s overhead waves. Surfers flocked to the water from throughout the region for the weekday swell. By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning. Well, that went quick.

How did Labor Day weekend get here so fast? Well, I guess you blinked. Either that or they’ve changed the length of July and August somehow. I, for one, blame Obama.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to talk surfing, and how we are three for three so far on the hurricanes of 2014 and it’s not even September yet.

By Thursday morning, Hurricane Cristobal was passing well off the coast, and was expected to pass off Nova Scotia by Thursday night. In the meantime, the storm sent huge waves toward the beach from North Carolina to New England, with heavy waves throughout Cape May County. Some sets were well overhead, and there were steady waves throughout the morning.

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One Kook’s Safari: Looking for a surfer-to-English dictionary?

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Written by Bill Barlow Saturday, August 23, 2014 07:08 am

A goofyfoot longboarder takes a backside ride off a point break. Some surf jargon sounds pretty gnarly, but most of it is just descriptive. A goofyfoot longboarder takes a backside ride off a point break. Some surf jargon sounds pretty gnarly, but most of it is just descriptive. A few days this summer, the waves rolled in too small to push a board. A couple of other days saw essentially no waves at all: a flat, blue expanse to the horizon.

It looked lovely, but there was nothing to ride.

A couple of other days were complete blowouts; there were strong waves, but they were breaking all over the place. Each wave was plenty strong enough for a ride, but it could break almost anywhere, and there was no form to the wave aside from that wash of whitewater.

I came back in after trying my luck on one such morning while the lifeguards were setting up for the day.

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One Kook’s Safari: So far, ’14 has been an excellent summer for waves

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Written by Bill Barlow Saturday, August 16, 2014 07:00 am

Greg Beck said he knew the waves were going to be good on Wednesday.

Everything was in place for a nice session in the early evening, after the Peck’s Beach Surf contest finished up. He expected some nice clean, summer waves.

“We didn’t think it was going to be that good,” he said.

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One Kook’s Safari: All-day play in big Bertha waves

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Written by Bill Barlow Thursday, August 07, 2014 02:54 pm

Well, so far the Jersey Shore is two for two on hurricanes in 2014.

Arthur and Bertha treated us nicely. We have yet to see how Cristobal, Dolly and Edouard and the rest will do, but this week, there are a lot of surfers walking around with noodle arms from paddling.

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One Kook's Safari: Are you ready to fight for a ride? I'm not

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Written by Bill Barlow Sunday, August 03, 2014 09:00 am

The guy in the center won this race and got a nice ride at Waverly Boulevard in Ocean City this week. When the waves are firing, there can be steep competition for rides in the summer. By the way, take a look at the foot of the guy trying to get out of the way of the surfer on the right. The guy in the center won this race and got a nice ride at Waverly Boulevard in Ocean City this week. When the waves are firing, there can be steep competition for rides in the summer. By the way, take a look at the foot of the guy trying to get out of the way of the surfer on the right. I was about ready to drop the “Kook” in the title of this column.

It’s been a couple of years now. I can actually catch waves, even some pretty big waves. OK, relatively big waves for South Jersey, although I gave a pass to those amazing blizzard-powered monsters that rolled in last winter, and waited for the Hurricane Arthur swell to ease up a bit before heading in.

I can’t walk the nose, I find shortboards squirrely and pretty much unridable, but I’m out there paddling for the peak fairly regularly. I was about ready to declare an end to my kookdom.

Then I hit Waverly.

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