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Thursday, December 19, 2013


In order to grow surfing as a sport it is important to expose the youth to surfing. Aside from free surfing there are now competitive circuits for the youth to compete in such as the NSSA.  The National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage and assist its members in their interest to learn and develop the fundamentals and skills of surfing competition while competing in structured and quality events. In the NSSA kids aging from middle school to the college level can compete from around the country in events. A unique thing about the NSSA is that it requires it's athletes to maintain good grades in order to be eligible to participate in events. I believe that this is a great event for kids of all ages to partake in. The NSSA has also found a great balance between athletics and school with their grade requirements to participate. Locally the NSSA has contests throughout the season in Ocean City, Belmar, and other beaches. One of the most notable NSSA contestants in the area is Mike Ciaramella. Mike is from Avalon New Jersey and currently attends University of California at San Diego. He is an amazing surfer who has numerous sponsors including Rusty Surfboards. Mike's story is an example of the NSSA balance between student and athlete.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Average Joe

Although Kelly Slater is arguably the most influential person in the sport of surfing there is a person that can be very influential at everyone's local break. This person is Joe. Joe is a surfer much like you and me. Joe isn't bad at surfing, but Joe will never see the professional level of surfing, he's an average Joe. Joe likes the same things that all surfers do; new boards, nice clothes, and the warm the sun out. Joe has a decent job and a decent car that always seems to have a surfboard and wetsuit in the back. He watches the forecast often, he surfs when there is waves, and he is sad when there is not. . Joe has ultimately made his life revolve around what he loves, surfing.

Who is Joe? Joe is just that, an average Joe. He is me, he is you, and he is every surfer that you see at your break. We are all Joe whether we realize it or not. Everything that we do, both in the water and out influences the sport and culture surrounding it. If someone buys a new board and you see it in the water chances are you'll either want it or think about buying one similar. If you see that one person that stands out at your break surfing their best on a great day it will push you to surf better yourself. Part of why surfing is such a great sport is because of the progression that comes from its athletes. Besides watching professionals like Kelly Slater surf their best at Pipeline, we watch locals that most likely will never be globally known like Kelly but still surf great. By watching people like Joe and learning from them we can truly progress in the sport that we all love, surfing.

Monday, December 16, 2013


In surfing there are many influential people who help make the sport as progressive as it is. Arguably the most influential person is Kelly Slater. Slater grew up in Cocoa Beach Florida and is currently on the ASP world tour. Slater has won 11 World titles and 53 events including the Billabong Pipe Masters yesterday, (for the 7 time). This makes Slater the all-time most winningest surfer on tour. Aside from winning so many events Slater has shown how to surf a WCT event. Slater has also been in numerous surf films, done voice cameo for the movie Surf's Up, and was even in the TV show Baywatch showing a general audience what surfing is all about. No example is greater to show why Slater is so good than his showing at Pipeline yesterday. Although he did not clinch the world title, he had an amazing showing and won the event.  This kind of athleticism shows just why he is not only a world class surfer but a influential ambassador to the sport.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Are GoPro's All Hype

Since coming out GoPro cameras have been highly acclimated for their amazing picture quality and ability to be used almost anywhere from the barrel at Pipeline to a remote walking path in Bali. With this versatility comes a demand for the product and the hype that follows. But is GoPro overrated? The costs for a GoPro can be immense. The camera itself cost $200 for the base model, with models  in the $400 range, then the mounts and accessories can range from $20- $50. However, with that price comes the ability to capture stunning HD videos of you, or your friends doing whatever activity it is you want to film. These cameras are so popular that companies like Surfline are offering prizes for the best GoPro clips submitted, along with tips and techniques to take better video. But is the price tag worth it? Are you willing to shell out potentially hundreds of dollars to video tape yourself? Personally I am not a fan of all the hype surrounding them, but I do think they are a nice product. After all, the company has made millions selling these cameras to athletes and adventure seekers alike. But there is something to be said for a company that has found a niche market and has profited well off of it, but for me I think they are overrated with all the hype they get like from the slogan "Be a Hero". But I am sure that much like any subject everyone has their own opinion so let me know what you think. Are GoPro's overrated, or are they a great new way to capture your sport through the athlete’s eyes?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Are wavepools considered surfing?

There has recently been a movement to develop man made waves like Wadi in Al Ain Dubai that was the location of Dion Agius's new short Electric Blue Heaven, and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon which has surf scenes in Kai Neville's Lost Atlas. These wave pools are capable of producing a ride able waves that can be set to different heights and can come as quickly as every 30 seconds. But along with this new found technology is everyone's 2 cents. Some people are now claiming that these wave pools are not actually surfing. I mean sure it's no Pipeline where you can be seriously injured, but you are still surfing a wall of water that can be bigger than your home break if you live in the Northeast. Although surfing in a swimming pool may not be as rugged as paddling out in an ocean it still requires skill to surf a wave. Also, with a new way to surf whenever you want provided that you have this pool, which can cost millions, you can practice your technique and prefect your surfing. This opens up new doors for people on both the professional level and recreational to practice the sport they love when they want. But is surfing in a wave pool actually surfing? If your landing airs in a pool like Dion I would say that it is. But what's your opinion, Is it surfing? Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Does the media cover surfing?

After my recent post about the ASP and how they are developing a new way to showcase their surf competitions, I wanted to write about how much surfing is covered by the media. I believe surfing is covered in depth if you know where to look. Outside of places like Australia and California surfing is rarely mentioned on mainstream news networks unless it's about Nazare, a shark attack, or John John Florence dating Taylor Swift. Compared with something like Football, surfing hardly makes a dent. For someone in a place like New Jersey where surfing isn't as mainstream, it is hard to expose yourself to surfing. However, for people that know where to look, surfing can be accessed online and watched via computer or smart phone, although that has its own set of problems as I previously mentioned. I believe that if the media were to cover surfing more in depth in various parts of the country, be it northeast or the middle U.S. like Oklahoma, people would enjoy it and a larger fan base would develop. Although it may not be as popular as sports like Football it could be popular enough to turn a profit and most importantly expose a larger group of people to the sport. 

So does the media cover surfing enough? I believe not, unless you’re John John....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is Surfing a Art or a Sport?

A common question by some people both in the surf community and outside of it is whether surfing is a sport or an art. A sport is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” According to the dictionary, and a art is "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”. So according to the literal definitions surfing is a sport, but I believe that the meaning is deeper than that. In surfing there are many contests ranging from youth ages to the ASP World Tour events with countless variations in between, so it is a competition. I believe that the reason why people express that surfing is not a sport is because of its individual competition. Surfing is predominately an individual sport with heats of people competing, much like track, however track athletes represent an overall school or team. The Individual competition aspires athletes to be creative and independent in the way that they preform which I believe has contributed to the amazing creativity seen today in new maneuvers, the most recent one being the back-flip. It is this amazing individualism that I believe has also made surfing an art form.
            The way a painter may start with a blank canvas, a surfer starts with a clean wave that is his blank canvas, in which he can perform whatever comes to his imagination. Some of these artistic qualities can be contributed to the nature of the sport, literally. Unlike most other sports, surfing is in nature, no wave is the same. Another reason for the artistic qualities of surfing are the athletes themselves. Surfing has people of all different ages, different backgrounds, and from different parts of the world. When combining these different people you get a result much like the Renaissance Art Movement in the 14th to 17th Century, a collaboration of different thoughts and art, of in this case, surfing.

            So is surfing a sport or an art? To me it is both. Art and Sport goes hand and hand in surfing, without one we would not have the other. But one thing to me is sure, the combination of art and culture has made surfing what it is today, and I am thankful for it.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The New ASP

Although surfing may not be as popular as Football is, it has an enormous fan base that is rapidly growing. An example of this is on October 15, 2013 when the ASP announced a media and distribution agreement with various companies including ESPN, YouTube, and Facebook. The ASP hosts the most prestigious and anticipated surfing events each year, and each December, at Pipeline, a champion is crowned. This new deal with the ASP events enhanced by the media deals include the 26 elite tour events across men’s, women’s and big wave arenas in Australia, Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, Tahiti, USA, France, Portugal, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Spain and Mexico. This will allow the newly redesigned ASP will be televised with ESPN and promoted socially via Facebook.

I am personally very happy that this is happening. Watching the ASP events now are great, but it is hard to stream a 9 hour long webcast on your laptop. Hopefully along with these changes will come more efficient ways to view them. The only thing I hope is that the WCT events don’t lose any of the activity or the great commentary from announcers like Joe Trupel and the occasional Rob Machado.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Surfboard Shred Show

In this post I wanted to write about a YouTube channel that I watch called Surfboard Shred Show.Shred Show is a YouTube channel where creator Chris Grow reviews various types of surfboards and provides helpful insight on the surfboards design and capabilities. One of my favorite parts about Shred Show is Grow's personality during the show. As Grow puts it, "it is a web series about surfboards, half educational, half diary of a madman".  Grow was recently featured in Surfer magazine's "week in review" section for his  reviews. You can watch all of the episodes of Surfboard Shred Show here , or on his website here, and check in every Saturday for a new episode in surfboard review. Chris is an example of the many interesting personalities in surfing and the reason why surfing is such a great sport.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A New Direction

Now that we are done talking about concussions and other related topics we are going to move towards talking about the sport that interests us most and how our blog topics impact it. My sport is surfing. Surfing is an interesting sport to cover in that although it is well known to people, most people have either never tried it or don't know what surfing is all about. In the surfing world there are things that people don't realize that reach far beyond the water. This includes the industry powerhouses surrounding surfing, the surfing cultures of different geographical areas, and the always changing controversies surrounding current competitors on different professional levels. Locally, in New Jersey many people grab a sponge board in July while visiting the Shore and say that they "surf", but most never don't know about the surfing that takes place in the winter. Most of these people have never surfed on a day in January when it is snowing with 30 mile an hour wind and ice cold water. But for those who endure the elements find great waves on select days that make the challenge worth it.

    Financially the surf world is changing, apparel companies like Billabong are loosing money. Beaverton based mega brand Nike dropped its sponsored athletes while other companies like Hurley are trying to build dominate teams. While many people enjoy surfing it is still relatively close knit when compared with sports like football. While surf competitions, most importantly the ASP World Tour can be watched online live, In the Continental U.S., minus California,it is hard to watch a competition, with limit coverage of events on television. However, the ASP has recently announced major changes in 2014 for the viewing of contests. Continuously athletes do new tricks, pushing physical possibilities and showing just how progressive surfing is. While the future for Surfing is unknown, me and other surfers alike hope it is in a positive direction. Below is a picture of professional surfer Jordy Smith, Jordy being one of the most progressive surfers around, landed this maneuver called a rodeo flip, landing him a spot on the cover of Yahoo. The second picture is from Bay Head, New Jersey last December showing the winter surfing in New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Final Concussion Post

For my final blog post about concussions i wanted to write about Terry Bradshaw and Tony Dorsett. Starting with Bradshaw, he is a former quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and led his team to win four super bowls in the 1970's. Bradshaw recently publicly admitted to having memory loss and other mental problems due to years of playing football. Now, almost 40 years since he last stepped on a football field, Bradshaw struggles with sports related injuries. It is amazing to hear that someone who we see on TV commentating football games has such a serious problem. It shows how serious these underlying effects can be and that only the player knows about it.
My second article, about Tony Dorsett, is also about the struggles that former players face with memory loss and other mental related illnesses. Dorsett was also a player in the NFL who after a career of big hits has suffered from long term effects of memory loss. Dorsett is a strong man and says that he will beat and overcome the illness, however the all to real fact is that these mental illnesses are something that people rarely come back from.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coach Labrum

After reading the article about Coach Labrum and his suspension of his entire football team I am surprised. Coach Labrum suspended his entire team as a result of their poor academic records and irresponsible actions both in school and in the community. This modern day Coach Carter has come under some criticism for his actions however I believe that all student athletes should be responsible and represent the fundamentals that student athletes should. So I say good for you Coach Labrum/Carter for teaching your students the right way to act.

Will my child play football

If I had a child, I would not let him play football until he is age 14. The reason why I would do this is because at age 14 the body is maturing and has a better chance of sustaining a hit. Although I wouldn't personally play football I would allow my child to play if he wanted to dedicate himself to the sport.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hugo Lloris

Yesterday Hugo Lloris, goalie for the Spurs, collided with another soccer(or futbol/football if your not an american ) player. Our buddy Hugo was knocked unconscious cold as ice as a result. Unlike the usual soccer injuries, a concussion is very serious causing brain swelling and can lead to long term brain damage. After being rendered unconscious the logical thing to do would be to pull him from the game, however, the coaching staff allowed him to return to play shortly after sleeping beauty awoke. This has put the Spurs coaching staff in hot water for their carelessness and irresponsibility for the safety of players. Below is a depiction of what the coaching staff said to Hugo.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Reaction to Skype Chat

Last Wednesday we Skyped with Dustin Fink, author of the Concussion Blog, and discussed concussions and the USFL. This was a great opportunity to get first hand knowledge on concussions and the topics surrounding them. It was very informative to hear first hand how concussions have impacted so many athletes in all levels of sports and the biggest impact of all in the NFL. I will continue to read Dustin's blog and use his wealth of information to help with future concussion related topics.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Andre Waters

One NFL player that was connected to the concussion topic covered in class was former Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Back Andre Waters. Waters was born on March 10, 1962 and began playing for the Eagles in 1984. Waters played for until 1995 and also played for the Arizona Cardinals in that time period. About 10 years later in 2006 Waters was found dead at his home in Florida from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. After Waters death Christopher Nowinski approached Waters family and asked to examine Waters brain tissue. Upon examining Waters brain tissue it was found that he had CTE. It was said that had Waters not passed, he would be completely incapacitated within 10 years.

5 Questions

In preperation for our conversation with Dustin Fink, author of The Concussion Blog, we were asked to list questions we have about the blog and the documentary League of Denial. 1.What are long term effects of minor concussions? 2.What made you want to become an athletic trainer? 3.How has the outcome of league of denial affected your life? 4.What made you interested in the NFL and CTE? 5. What do you think the NFL can do to help current and retired players with CTE?


Last winter Nike, a major sports brand, decided to drop its surfing athletes and transfer them to Hurley. This comes as a shock after Nike has spent countless time and money to promote surfing, including their role in two major surf contests (the Nike Lowers Pro and the US Open of Surfing) in recent years. Hurley, which has been owned by Nike since 2002, has been a prominent name in the surfing community hosting competitions and bettering the sport. As of January 1, 2013 all of Nike's athletes were transferred to Hurley, this included 8 men currently on the ASP World Tour. Although Nike will no longer sponsor surfing Hurley will honor all of the contracts in place with Nike's athletes and will continue to support surfing. In the future Nike has decided to continue making contributions to action sports of skating and snowboarding, but will hold back on surfing.

Friday, October 11, 2013

timeline of baseball's beloved A-roid

My timeline is about baseball's beloved A-roid. A-roid has had a interesting career which everyone had high expectations until he was caught in the Biogenesis scandal.

Monday, October 7, 2013


My next article is about A-rod, or A-roid as i like to call him for his past steroid usage. Recently our beloved A-roid has had some issues including a law suit he is filing against the Yankee's team doctor over an alleged "mishandling of hip injury” and a dwindling fan base because people are getting tired of him. As Gregg Doyel, a columnist for puts it "This guy is dislikably tiresome, and I'm done with him. Tired of reading about him. Tired of hearing about him." A-roid’s injury, which was an injury to his left hip joint in the 2012 AL playoffs, was found with an MRI scan; however the team doctor cleared him to return to play. It was said that this caused A-roid "Great Pain". A-roid's future doesn't look to hot for baseball, considering his next position should be the coach from The Benchwarmers, but as we all know the legal battle will last much longer than any baseball game.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Josh Freeman

The article I am writing about is covering the recent events of "kinda still a quarterback" Josh Freeman. Freeman has recently been demoted from quarterback, to one step above Adam Sandler in The Water Boy, due to his lack of skill. As if that wasn't bad enough he has now been outted as a Stage 1 participant in the NFL's drug program. Upon recent events Freeman has asked to either be traded or released from the team; however I believe that the only team that would pick him up is in the Pop Warner League. I believe that what is most interesting about this article is that this clown is still in the NFL. Aside from his evident lack of talent, if he actually tested positive for any type of illegal substance he should not be allowed to play. The use of any illegal substance should be grounds for dismissal from the team since it is a illegal act. Freeman has now been replaced by Mike Glennon, Napoleon Dynamites younger brother. Below is a picture of the new quarterback...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Who Killed the USFL

1. Who do you blame? I blame Donald Trump for the ultimate demise of the USFL. I believe that Trump is to blame because of his ego, one that is too big for society. His decisions and actions like taking on the NFL, an established football program, and his idea that he is superior to the other people involved with the USFL and NFL ultimately proved to be what killed the league. His arrogance, which is almost as funny to see as his hair style, and his need to rush the USFL in its infancy, was his mistake. Although Trump acts like the Grinch, his hairstyle reflects more that of Cindy Lou.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Genius Hour

My sports and Society class will be doing a genius hour every friday. For my genius hour project i chose to research surfing in New Jersey and its impact on the people and the culture of New Jersey. I chose to research this because although surfing is popular in the summer months when the coastal towns are packed with people, many people do not know about winter surfing in New Jersey. In the cold winter months surfers paddle out into the cold water in snow and freezing temperatures, all to surf some of the best waves around.

Friday, September 20, 2013

30 for 30

In class we were presented with two 30 for 30 videos. After seeing both of them i believe we should watch ESPN's 30 for 30 video about Eddie Aikau. This is a good video because it profiles Eddie Aikau, a legendary Hawaiian surfer whose legend has inspired many people around the world.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Winter Surfing

The reason why Sam Hammer is the man.

Hurley Pro

this is the Hurley Pro in California. This is a stop on the ASP World Tour and is one of the most popular events of the year due to its close proximaty to the surfing community in Southern California.

Surfing and Sports in Society

This blog is aimed to show the impact surfing has on society through topics such as economics and media issues. I like surfing because of the thrill you get from surfing a wave, and the culture that surrounds this unique sport. Surfing has a huge economic impact in every area where there is a beach, however it is mainly focused on areas such as the west coast of the United states, Hawaii, and Australia. Media also plays a role in surfing. The ASP world tour, surfings professional competitive circuit, is comprised of 34 men on tour copmpeting in various parts of the world, all wanting to win the title of world champion. Despite attempts from the surfing community surfing is not widely televised however you can watch world tour events and other surfing competitions on the internet.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Article 1

This article is about the unusually calm hurricane season on the east coast. This has impacted the surfing community by limiting the number of days in which there are quality waves, causing economic impacts on the surfing community.