Many locals have built their lives around surfing, embracing careers that allow them the luxury of ditching work whenever the surf is pumping.
For some, surfing defines their lives, chooses their friends for them and shapes the way they see the world.
Not anymore.” Stephen and I talked one night for almost an hour about surfing.
We talked about the basics like history, changes, good beaches, and surf culture, but what I began to realize was that Stephen’s life is all about surfing.
For others it’s a later-in-life hobby that’s now a passion.
Anyway you look at it, surfing, even in Cape May, is nothing short of a religion for its most ardent followers.What Little League was to other American towns, surfing was to Cape May.“There used to be a lot more kids in Cape May,” said Steve.When Jack London wrote in 1907, surfing’s reputation as “the sport of kings” was cemented.Even today Hawaii remains the spiritual center of the surfing universe.In the days of the ancient kings, when King Kamehameha lorded over Cape Island, the brave men of the Hui Nalu rode hardwood surfboards – alaia – through the breaking swell off Broadway Beach wearing little more than loincloths.Surfboard riding was an ingrained part of Cape Island culture for centuries and when Captain Cornelius Mey first sailed past the tip of the cape, he was fascinated by the slim and muscular Cape Mayans riding the waves, as noted in his logbook…Surfing was probably born in the Polynesian culture of the eastern and south Pacific.The exact timeline of when men first paddled into the surf on planks of wood is uncertain, but it’s a good guess that the modern version of surfing was perfected in Hawaii.They wait until the time of the greatest Swell and then push forward with their Arms to keep on its top.It sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity – the great Art is to guide the Plank so as always to keep it in a proper Direction on the top of the Swell and direct it to avoid any Obstacles.