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Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

KookyKyleCow

Its been quite sometime since we have heard from our corespondent from the outer reaches of Lisanti Land, Kooky Kyle.  Those of you who have been long term readers might remember some of his earlier blogs in his segment Kooky’s Korner know this man needs no introduction.  I asked him to give us all an update on whats been going on in his life as he is about to embark on an unparalleled adventure with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Enough of my words and onto his:

So you may be wondering,“What the hell happened to Kooky? It has been a long time since we heard from him” Rest assured I didn’t kill myself and am doing fine. Right after you last heard from me, I ran relief supplies from NC up to NJ post Sandy. Following that I quit my restaurant job and went to set up shop for my boss in NJ. They saw how many people I knew and the income level of the area and thought it would be a great place to sell solar generators. Long story short, I surfed a shit ton while my boss and his business partner dragged their feet on getting me what I needed to launch the branch in NJ. By the time I was set up to get the company running their window of opportunity passed and it was not a success as they had hoped.

This left me in a predicament before summer started. With nearly no cash and no work up in NJ, the solar guys had me move back to NC to work for them. Since they couldn’t give me full time work they also set me up with a gig driving for a friend of theirs’ limo company. Unfortunately for me the solar company had a bunch of legal and logistical issues and basically shut down for a month. The limo company didn’t tell me that I would have to get an NC license and then wait another 8+ weeks for my limo license to clear. Throw in two months rent and a speeding ticket, what money I did earn down there disappeared completely.

I can’t complain I had some fun in Wilmington and NJ was flat as a pancake so I only missed one swell. Before I left I connected the solar company with West (If you don’t remember him then you must read “The Christmas Dread” Saga” Parts I,  Part II and Part III). The company had a solar top that fits on golf carts. West loves golf, and the company was looking to get a west coast sales presence so I figured it would be a good fit. Last I heard West was doing pretty well with getting the word out and interest generated. I really believe of anyone I know he can make those sales and be a success.

With my bank account empty my friend Dave called me up and said if I wanted he could get me a job doing construction with him. Business was booming in NJ and he could pay $150 a day.  How could I go wrong? With in a day had I packed up all my shit in North Carolina and drove back to NJ.  Ah, it was great to finally be making money again. If you have never been essentially unemployed for a long period of time you don’t realize what a relief it finally is to be putting money IN the bank rather than taking it OUT!

Honestly my boss, Bob, was easy enough to work for and the pay was kick ass. The only thing that sucked is that the work dried up.  After having talked to other people who have been working construction, everyone is in the same limbo in the area. Those who had money to repair from Sandy have done so and are waiting to get reimbursed by insurance. Those who didn’t are all fighting with the insurance companies to get the money to get their homes repaired. Insurance companies take your money in case something happens and then you have to fight them to get the money back when you need it.
KookySurf

To keep us busy Bob had us help him move out of his house in Vermont and down to his house in Charleston. After that he found work redoing a basement down in Charleston so I spent about a month down there over the course of the Fall. Right now, I shall codify Kooks first law of surf: If you absolutely will not be able to surf, there will be swell. Every time we went down south, there would be the only swell for weeks in NJ; whenever we got back it would be flat.

Tanzania

Back in October, after the Federal shut down ended, I got a long awaited email. It was from the Peace Corps. I was accepted and offered a position in Tanzania as an environmental/agricultural volunteer. For those of you who don’t know what the Peace Corps is, it is a program of the Federal government whose goal is to alleviate the sources of poverty around the world and promote a cultural exchange that encourages peace and understanding between the host country and the U.S. As an environmental/agricultural volunteer, I will likely be living without running water or power, which will be an interesting experience. Usually a volunteer gets a minimum of four months notice but thanks to those assholes on Capital Hill who would rather play games than create laws that help American people, I got bit less notification and had to rush to get all my stuff done before the deadlines.

I am very excited about this trip. I don’t have the funds I wanted before leaving due to work slowing down, and I didn’t get to visit my friends in California before I left, but that is okay. This winter has been excellent in New Jersey wave wise. There have not been many really big heavy days but there has consistently been hollow head-high days. I am doing my best surfing I have ever done which is reassuring considering I had about a 6 month spell of almost never surfing. The first few sessions were rough but I am back to progressing. Tanzania has a coast, though it is heavily swell shadowed from the predominant swell generator for the Indian Ocean by northern Mozambique and Madagascar. If there are surf spots there I will find them. Fingers crossed I can swing a trip over to Madagascar and explore some of the amazing set ups they have over there.

Thanks for reading. I would also like the give a special thanks to Chris again for helping me in my year long surf adventure that helped me get my Peace Corps position and all that he taught me. I am sure I will have plenty of tales from my African Adventure and I will hopefully check in every once in a while with the Surfing Ruined My Life readers.

So there you have it.  If Kooky doesn’t die of the plague, get kidnapped and sold into slavery, Kidnapped and killed, killed in some type of mass genocide or find death in one of the many other gnarly ways for one’s life to end in a country as remote and uncivilized as Tanzania you can be sure I will publish any writings of his adventures he wishes to send me to share with you all.  Stay tuned and wish Kooky luck!!!

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Avon Pier looking wedgy

A few weeks back Kooky Kyle made a UCB request to write on what I missed most about the east coast.  To be honest at the time of his posting nothing major had really come to mind.  Of course the obvious friends and family came to mind, but that is a given.  Recently I have been reminded in a few select surf session of the East.

What do I miss the most?  Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is what I miss most about leaving the east coast.  I miss having it only a 12-hour drive away.  For me Hatteras was a quick and easy escape from reality.  All I would have to do is jump in the car and cruise down there and be able to surf a variety of beach break practically to myself some days.  One can always surf alone there.  The place has miles and miles of empty coastline some only accessible by four-wheel drive and others only by foot.

Sure the main spots draw a crowd but when its good it does not really matter cause the surf is so consistent.  Speaking on consistency there is pretty much a ride able wave at the lighthouse 365 days a year.  It may be small but there will be something to grovel.  If there is any kind of swell in the Atlantic Hatteras is sure to pick it up someplace and amplify it.  The barrier islands form a big semi circle allowing NE, E and SE exposures to be had, thus accommodating every swell and wind direction.

If you are keen offshore wind can almost always be found.  There is a legitimate left point break on the island.  It is one of the few places on the east coast you can easily get triple over head surf.  The surf can go from waist high in the morning to nearly triple overhead by the evening.  The place is nuts.

Man does it barrel.  I have scored some of the best surf sessions of my life down there just getting pitted off my ass.  Im talking so hallow you cant even do a turn.  Its no coincidence that OBX Local Brett Barely showed up at the pipe masters last year and was a serious contender.  There can be some serious tubes out there and I remember watching him and a couple of the boys at the lighthouse a few years back charging serious ten to twelve foot surf that was heavy as hell, super drifty and very few make able rides.  Those guys were just out there getting their asses handed to them and loving every minute of it.  Me I went to the point and had a fun session.

There are mysto sand bars that just happen over night and can be gone just as fast.  The first thing I do when I get into town is go hang around the Food Lion (only grocery store for 45 minutes) in Avon and just ease drop on any surfer looking type person and even fishermen.  Fishermen can tell you a lot about potential set ups cause most of these bars have deep water on either side of them or in front that fishermen froth for.  Usually in an hour or two I can find out where one of these are if such a miraculous thing exists.

I remember one year there was one all the way at the very end of Frisco just about at the end of the island.  It was an easy five mile hike to the place or accessible by 4×4.  I did not have one but luckily was picked up by a friend.  That sand bar literally was like lower trestles but a left.  It was easily peeling for 100 yards and as killable as a wave can be.  Another year I remember this bar set up for the last two days of my trip over in Avon at ramp 39 and it was like a mini pipeline.  Im talking spitting left and right tubes with solid hurricane swell feeding it.

Then there is “S-Turns”, maybe one of my favorite surf spots in the world.  I think it is in my top ten for sure.  I guess at one time or another when the island was wider right at the beginning of Rodanthe there was a forest that got washed away considering the island is barely thirty feet wide there now and floods all the time.  The stumps were all left behind and it created perfect sand banks thanks to all the roots and stumps holding in the sand.  Basically the place is eight or ten peaks of perfect a-frames that can either be a skate park or a barrel fest depending on the day.

Finally OBX is scattered with dilapidated fishing piers that all have their own distinguishing characteristics. Frisco pier is in my opinion the best, but I have scored Kitty Hawk pier, Rodanthe Pier, Duck Pier, Avon Pier and Nags Head Pier pretty damn epic as well.  Shit I got hooked six times by some red neck at Avon Pier and would have drowned if not for some fellow south Jersey guys and the help of the Geilselman family.

Bottom line the place is a surfers dream.  If it were not for the inclement winters I would have moved there instead of Santa Barbara.  Unfortunately even though it is the south the water still dips into the low forties and the air goes way worse then that.  The place is pretty pristine and will always stay that way thanks to being a National seashore.  All the towns are super small and have miles of undeveloped coastline between them of just huge rolling dunes, marshlands and open beach. Its beautiful out there and I recommend it a visit for everyone.  Although if you want the best surf/weather go between August thru November.

For me Cape Hatteras will always be a very special place.  I have had some great contest results, surfed excellent waves, met many of good friends, spent real quality time with old friends, partied like a rock star, lived in a tent, nearly blew myself up with fire works and always felt refreshed after a tenure there.  I hope to go back someday for a week or two one fall, but until then she will always be in my heart.  To my east coast friends and especially my Hatteras friends get a tube for me.

Here is a slide show of my favorite pictures from Hatteras from years past.

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Kooky Kyle takes this week’s UCB in what I have to say was a hard fought battle.  There were so many good suggestions this week it took me nearly a half hour to go through and select one.  Ok that’s a bit of a lie I was also chatting with like three people on Facebook as well.  Thank you everyone for taking it up a notch from the poor showing of the previous week.

Apparently the ASP World Tour is planning on doing one of the “World Tour” events on the East Coast US to go along with world class venues such as Pipe, J-Bay, G-Land and Trestles.  Kooky asked my opinion on the situation.  Being a former professional surfer and resident of the east coast I find myself more then qualified to give thoughts on the subject.  For more information about this event or the WT and ASP click the following links: http://blogs.surfermag.com/office-blog/the-world-tour’s-next-stop-east-coast-usa-2/ and http://www.aspworldtour.com/ .

I guess the first major issue would be is the east coast a viable contest destination for that caliber of surfing.  It certainly can be. There are some serious beach breaks very comparable to France or Brazil two places that both host a World Tour contest.  There are reefs and point breaks up in the New England area that are more then able to produce world class waves on the right day.  The key word is “right day”.

The East Coast is fickle with a swell window that travels the wrong way making it very short.  Weather is tricky considering that your heaviest surf usually comes in the frigid late fall early winter time period and I don’t think the top 32 surfers in the world are about to don a 5/4/3 when they could be at a handful of other destinations with as good if not better quality.  That is a guarantee.

Why is the ASP entertaining such an idea then?  Let me be the first to say its not for the quality of waves, but the quality of the market.  Over the last four years the tour is constantly getting more commercial oriented moving away from the “Dream Tour” surfers once fought hard to achieve.  Face the facts the ASP is a business and so is professional surfing.  The more fans, the more t-shirts that get sold and the more money that is produced.

This is how the world works.  The east coast of the US is a huge market, a rich market and a stoked one.  Overall surfers on the east coast care way more about surfing and having the latest gadgets/paraphernalia then out here on the west coast and with all the down time between swells have more time to think about it.  Shit I know when I lived out there I bought all tons of useless crap and over priced clothing because I thought that was what a surfer was suppose to wear and do.

It was not till I moved out west where surfing became an everyday occurrence that I realized what a crock it all was and began wearing $3 dollar Kmart t-shirts if it meant more time surfing and less time working.  Take the Brazil event as a perfect example the last six years they have held it at Santa Catarina, Brazil, one of the most consistent waves in the country, yet this year they are moving it to Rio, a way worse wave location.  Rio is a way bigger venue, which will bring out more crowds and sell more advertising space.  Remember there was a time back in the 80’s when the ASP held a contest in a wave pool in the middle of Pennsylvania.

Where and when should this event take place?   To me the answer is obvious and should be held either the end of September or any time in October.  The water is still warm and at this point there are both Nor’easter swells and hurricane swells on offer.  As far as a location goes I think a mobile Hatteras or Outer Banks, North Carolina event would work the best.  Cape Hatteras Light House is arguably the most consistent spot on the East Coast and then there are also plenty of other options depending on swell and wind.

Certainly the beach breaks there as good as France.  During the time period I have mentioned it is very rare to go a week with out a decent wave.  I remember years where I would get ten to twelve days out there of straight surf at least chest high or better.  Out of all my travels it is still one of my favorites to visit and one of the entities I miss the most about leaving the east.

People would be stoked too.  No body loves surf stars like east coasters do.  I know I still get star struck when I see Dane Reynolds paddle out and blow up Emma Wood, an everyday thing around here.  I nearly fall over every time Slater or Tom Curren make everyone else look like kooks at Rincon.  It would definitely be a moneymaker and you know what that is why there are commercial sporting events in the first place; to make money.

I am all for a WT East Coast event.  I watched my favorite pros surf shitty waves at nearly every other venue on tour even some of the ones that were suppose to be all time.  Why not see them grovel in my old stomping grounds.

Hatteras. Good enough for the pros??????

You be the Judge.

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