By Mike Vuocolo / @mikesshoreshots
“Surfing The Jersey Shore” opened at the Bayhead Historical Society ( BHHS ) on Sunday, June 10th with more than 75 guests checking out vintage photos, t-shirts, surfboards and memorabilia from the area covering from Seaside Heights infamous Casino Pier to Manasquan’s equally notorious Peak next to the inlets north river jetty.
The display was co-curated by Eric Beyer of Bayhead Classic Board Shop and Cathie Coleman of the Bayhead Historical Society. Albeit modest, the display makes it clear just how large a role Bay Head played in the development and longevity of surfing in the ocean and Momouth County areas in particular.
According to Beyer, “There are eleven boards included, each either manufactured nearby or sold in a local shop.” Locally crafted boards “seem to be the big draw” said Beyer. Classic shapes by Challenger Eastern, De Groot and Mason, COS, Home by Dennis Doyle, Rich Luthringer, Surfboards East stood tall and proud and even included a shape built start-to-finish by New Jersey Surfing Hall Of Famer and Bayhead surfing pioneer / local, Bob Simon. They were joined by a Hansen which were the staple at the Islanders Surf Shop that was located on Bridge Avenue in the heart of the Bay Head shopping district during the 60’s, just two blocks down the street from the towns surfing epicenter and main surf check, the Bridge Avenue groin.
Beyer estimated that attendance was nearly double what the Society normally attracts for an opening and noted that many not likely surf types were present to tune into the history. Others in attendance had a lineage to Bayhead surfing and included the Lintons, Wagners, Hostes, Repshers and Beverlys /Simons.
Long time Bay Head surfer and journalist Paul Mulshine provided a detailed history of Surfing in the town, complete with some vintage movie footage he shot. Bayhead Mayor William W Curtis and several members of the governing body were on hand as well. The Society provided eats and refreshments that included free ice cold Land Sharks which no doubt helped fuel the room with reminisces and story talk like all great surfer get togethers do.
The display will be open through Labor Day so if you grew up and surfed the area in that era and all succeeding years, come by and have a good reminisce yourself with family and friends at the “Surfing The Jersey Shore” display at the Bayhead Historical Society located at 1634 Bay Avenue, Point Pleasant, New Jersey or go to www.bayheadhistoricalsociety.com for info, hours and directions. – Mike Vuocolo –