I tried to keep some little columns consistent on this site, as it was fine to write to the stipulations each one held. East Meets West is a fun one, as I’ve lived in both sides of the United States for a decent chunk of time now. Here is me revisiting it since the last post on MARCH 3RD, 2020.


Local summer is a phenomenon I really came to appreciate as I grew older and became more washed up. As a grom all throughout highschool and during my early years of college, I longed to be home for the summer. Lavallette (my hometown) is a special place in the summer. A town with the population of 2000 jumps to I don’t even know. I’d like to say it triples, and that might even be an understatement. This mile long town and the bordering small towns jam in as many people they can on the weekends, and even during the week it is still filled to the brim. The amount of traffic my small beach town would gain in the summer was one of the most exciting things to me as a kid. Memorial Day weekend was when the gates would open, the 4th of July marked a somewhat halfway point, and Labor Day weekend was the last hoorah.  Going from a school year with all my same classmates and the routine of school then to 3 months of more friends coming down from out of town, more to do, and more people to see. Working in Ocean Hut during the summer was always a ball. It’s always fun to see the same customers supporting the local business and chopping it up with pops and later me as I grew older right in front of them. I started working there in 8th grade, and stayed all the way until I was going into my senior year of college, so many regular customers saw me change quite a bit. Long story short, Lavallette summers were what I longed for every year.

It felt like my whole life I wanted to be 21 and truly enjoy summertime outside of the normal operations. But funnily enough, by the time I hit this life milestone my allure of summer had started to wear off. Don’t get me wrong, Summer at home is still probably the most fun time for me, as I have a ton of friends who don’t live in Lavallette so in the off season it’s quiet. But simple tasks like getting a coffee or driving to work take twice as long during the summer. Even parking is tough. It’s funny: little did I know it, but the place I now live in faces the same summertime influx. Newport is way more populated in the offseason than Lavallette, but in the summer we face the same overcrowding as home. This is where we make an ode to the local summer. 


Lavallette is a place that truly faces the pure definition of a local summer. When labor day weekend passes by and everyone goes back to schooling/work, the beaches become desolate. Days where there were once hundreds of people sprawled across the sane turn into days where you might see one or two people. Most local businesses are still open, but the lines and crowds are at a minimum. It is almost the best of both worlds, as weekends see the influx of people return, but still not as much as a summer day. The most crowded it gets is when there is surf during the local summer. Lavallette is an untouched beach town in this month or two span for the most part, as I have had so many surfs and beach days with absolutely no one around. The temperatures are still warm both on land and in the water. I haven’t got to experience September in a while back in Lavallette, as I come home roughly twice a year- once during the holidays and then usually once in the summer. But I think that needs to change. Hurricanes swells, warmth, and nonexistent crowds is what we are looking for, and fall typically delivers all the above. As far as really warm temperatures, September is where it is at, and October could be really nice or start to dip down.


California’s local summer is a little different, but not all that different. They typically coin local summer to include September and (potentially) October as the local summer season, and in California these might as well be extended summer months. This year in particular, we experienced extremely warm weather and water temperatures in both September and October, so I think the local summer has a little extension cord on the west coast by a month. Just last Sunday, I spent a day at the beach sunbathing on the first day of November. By that time at home, the temperatures have dipped. As far as crammed crowds and difficulty doing things, Newport gets just as bad as home in the summer months. People driving from inland to escape the heat and hit the beach make it hard to drive anywhere (especially to the beach) and navigate around town. In peak summer months, we typically bike to the beach to avoid the 30 minute extravaganza that is finding a stall. Businesses are booming, the same 3 holidays (MDW, The 4th, and LDW) are jam packed, and it isn’t much different than home. One stark contrast is that in Newport, summer can bring some solid swell and September and October I’ve had some of my favorite surfs (similar to how home is pretty good during (September/October). With the extended local summer, the crowds stick around till mid September, but by October you are in the clear.

East Meets West: Surfing

I grew up surfing on the East Coast. The birth of my surfing existence is on the beach up the street from Ocean Hut Surf Shop, and would be stuck up that beach until I got a drivers license junior year (NOTE: Sandy was this same year so not only would I not be able to get my driver license on my birthday, I also would not be able to access Lavallette beaches for months after). Once a legal NJ driver, I would being adventuring outside the Lavallette bubble to surf waves like Bayhead, Manasquan, and Jenks (the only wave I will admit to missing when in CA). While my surfing journey was heavily rooted in NJ, I was able to experience a handful of California waves in between trips out west throughout high school. Even though I rarely get to surf it now a days, Rincon point is a wave I know light the back (side) of my hand. I would put in hours at the point when out west for a family trip. When I came out to check out colleges out west I was introduced to Lowers. Maybe when the sand is right and the moons align, these waves can be half mimicked back home. But in my experience, I can count on two hands the amount of times this happens. Surfing on the East Coast and West Coast differ very heavily. And I would learn this after spending a mere Semester at school. Both have their positives and negatives. When I was greener to the West Coast, I would find very little to be missed about surfing in NJ. But perspective is everything, and in the ever-growing sport of surfing, things are changing very quickly. Let’s take the deep dive.



Surfing on the East Coast is much more of a waiting game. You simply cannot surf everyday much like other places. Now I know sometimes even the most wave rich coast can look dismal, and a soft top or log might be needed. But there are plenty of days I can remember between every season where there is LITERALLY no surf. “Lake Atlantic” is a term often coined in regards to how dismal the ocean can look. Now to double down on this, even when there are waves, it often can be in unfavorable conditions or less than ideal conditions. Winds are often way more prevalent on the East Coast, so no matter how early you wake up some days, it is still choppy. I can recall waiting for hours on hours just for a single hour window of favorable winds. This again brings it back to the waiting game. There are some spots that handle certain factors better, but wind tides and swell direction all play a major role in how the fickle beach breaks take shape.

After bitching about all that can be wrong about surfing at home, let’s talk about what’s right. For the most part, when it’s on it’s on. Nothing is quite as satisfying as rocking up to the beach to see perfect A-frame waves with not a soul in the water. With surfing’s growing popularity, this is much less common than it used to be. But plenty of days in the Fall and Spring I could see peaky chest to head high wedges with no one out at my local beach break. The crowd was me, my dad, and who ever else I wanted to invite. Plenty of times it was just my dad and I. Plenty of times it was just me. The solitude of a solo session is something very hard to replicate, and I would say a third of my surfs at home would be sans surfers. It could get a little spooky, but getting first pick of any wave puts that in the back of your head. My local beachie is still super reliable for being empty, but when it’s just not doing its thing I can enter the fray by driving 15 minutes north. My junior and senior year of high school was flooded with sessions in Bayhead and at Jenks, where you could find ledgey barrels a plenty. Anytime I’m home, I try to hone in on a session at Jenks.



Surfing on the West Coast is a lot less of a gamble. Wake up around sunrise and check the cams to cherry pick the best sandbar. Plenty of times I have been at the ocean and checking one spot while the cam for another is open on my phone. This is both a blessing and a curse, but for sure more of a curse. There are very few secrets left out here. Also, where I live can take almost any swell angle. Solid south swell? Spot X. Medium sized west swell? Spot Y. Combo swell and offshores? Spot Z. As far as wave quality, what the West Coast has going for it is the amount of different types of waves you can find within an hour driving on the freeway. Whether you are craving beach break barrels, rippable reef A-frames, or lined up points that offer up 20+ second rides, the options are there. You can truly think about the way you want to surf, and take a short drive to find a wave suitable for that. There is a ton of options, and on top of that before you even leave your house you can watch a camera to weigh out whether the drive is worth it.

With all good comes the bad, and this is referring back to the cameras. Where I live, there are actually more than 10 cameras within the handful of miles radius. There is a ridiculous amount of people out at just about every spot too. It is always more crowded when it is a little smaller, which it often is. A solid swell is needed to really trim the fat of novice surfers. The increasing crowds and inviting beaches just keep getting more and more densely populated. Since there are so many waves, you can escape the crowd if you get crafty enough. But plenty of spots that I used to surf with a light to moderate crowd are now ridiculously jam-packed. The crowds start before you even get in the water, too. If it’s on and passed 7AM, it’s too late. Parking spots can be scarce, and if it is street sweeping you might be walking quite a bit before you enter the ocean. When it get’s crowded, it starts bugging everyone. You see a ton more eggy folks when it’s crowded, and that really can drag the environment way down. Especially if the one being chirped is you or your buddy.


Both coasts lay in a special place in my heart. I feel as though if I spend too much time in one, I really start to miss the other. Right about now, I would love some less crowded waves. But I know when I am home, and it is flat, I’d love even just a waist high wave to jib around on. Since I live out in CA, I am thankfully there is always a rideable wave and often can be pretty fun. But scoring a swell back home tastes just as if not more sweet.

6 Must Haves for Summer 2019 at the Beach

I’ve compiled a list of what I deem essential items for the incoming season: Summer. 

A Filled-to-the-Brim Hydroflask

(Yes I know it is missing in the photo.) Hydration is probably one of the most underrated aspects to living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it boils down to getting your daily 100 ounces of water to reduce inflammation and ensure peak physical performance, or just guzzling gallons after a big night out, water can be your best friend. Also, the single use plastic epidemic is getting scarily big. It is guaranteed when walking the beach you will stumble upon thousands of water bottle caps, and even just the full empty water bottle. Do your part and also ensure you can be your best self and invest in a reusable water bottle. Hydroflask makes one that is pleasing to the eye. I suggest getting the 32 oz Wide Mouth, since all you need is ~3 to hit your 100 ounces and get in the “bonus realm” (100+ ounces of water a day).

A (Soft) Surfboard

It is never to late to pick up surfing. All you need to do is try one surf lesson and you will realize how much fun can be had trying to learn something new that revolves around summer. After a couple of goes, you might want to try it by yourself, and if you have the bills purchase your very own surfboard. While there are levels in price to this item, a soft surfboard tends to tick all the boxes. Durable, check. Cheap(er), check. Stylish, check (depending on the brand). A soft surfboard is a board that everyone can learn on, and even the experienced fellow can have a go and grin from ear to ear. My preference might have a slight bias, but Catch Surf makes a damn good soft board, and cater to beginner and expert riders. My quiver consists of two, the 54 Special for fun in a small bundle (you can for sure rip on these) and the stand up boogie AKA the black ball battler (you can for sure rip on these, if your name is Kalani.)

A Good Pair of Sunnies

In a perfect world, the sun is shining all summer long. You need to protect your eyeballs. You need to also be looking A-1 at the beach, driving, or pretty much doing anything outdoors. You could flex these inside, but I wouldn’t recommend it (unless suffering from a >tier 3 hangover, but how about instead you scope this). This is a staple pair of sunnies. Whether it’s one old reliable all summer long, or a couple of styles to switch it up with, it’s hard to leave the house without these on. While I dabble in all brands, I found Otis Eyewear makes a pretty nice pair, both durable (glass lenses make them tough to scratch) and fashionable. The only downside to this item is it might run you a couple blue faces and they can be gone in an instant (deaths including dropping, sitting on, loosing, drowning). My personal favorite is the Winston.

A Stylish Sarong/Towel

Probably one of the most multi-functional items on the list is the sarong/towel. If you have ever frequented Coachella, you might have seen a bunch wrapped around people’s heads or necks, and then doubled in use as a matt to sit and listen to the sounds. These could be used also at the beach, in the same exact way. A very easy to fold and lightweight one works best, ensuring it will fit in your beach bag and be easy to tote around. The cherry on top for this one is you can get some pretty aesthetically pleasing ones, with fun and foreign patterns. I purchased 2 for Coachella and am anxious to get them some use at the beach. You can find them all over the place, mine are from Amazon.

A Gritty Grill

It’s getting to that time of the year where sunsets are as late as it was when you would cuddle up in bed and read a good book in those colder months. Little is more euphoric than grilling with some of ya mates with a blazing sunset in the background. You can potentially get some good Instagram content and are going to end up with a delicious meal. It’s for sure a win win. When it comes down to which grill, I have no idea. Ours is pretty average and in rougher shape, but that just adds character. Maybe a Traeger?

A Classic Beach Cruiser

Living in a beach community that ramps up in traffic over the summer has always been a blessing and a curse. While on one hand there are many new people to meet and it makes the town a little more exciting, the flip side of the coin is overcrowded roads and lines at coffee shops. Getting in the car can be a real drag when it is a beautiful day, and a normal 10 minute commute can turn to a 20 or 30 minute commute. A bike helps solve this problem, making it easy to move around in the crowded streets. Get some fresh air and take in some sunshine while moving from A to B. I always opted for the garage sale bike that needs a little bit of love, just for the culture. A little elbow grease it’ll be looking like new. I also did this since I never locked up my bike, and they tend to get stolen often.

BONUS: Half-Day Fridays

Maybe just a California bias, but these definitely don’t suck. When the sun is shining, nothing feels worse than being inside. Working can make it tough to get out and absorb some vitamin D, but with this awesome holiday(?) it makes sure everyone has an equal opportunity to earn a tan.