I rolled up to the beach in Bradley this morning hoping there may be a left over logging wave. I wanted to sneak in a few before work. Some small lines were coming through but it was just too shallow. The waves appeared to line up, cresting nicely only to hit the sandbar and dump quickly. Nothing worth paddling out for after yesterday’s swell. 

This past Tuesday was an unusually warm December day with the sun beaming on my face one moment, and tucked behind a passing mountain range of clouds the next. Blessed we were with chest to overhead peeling waves throughout most of the day. At 7am west winds were still preening the lumpy peaks that were popping up all over the place. Clean perfect surf was rolling in by mid morning as the steady westerly winds persisted. There were nice bowling sections to nail some solid vertical turns, as well as wide throwing lips to log some legit tube time.

As I paddled out I hit my leg on some sort of debris that was on the inside sandbar. I jumped on my board with no damage done, swiftly getting situated in the line up.

There were only about 5 guys out and everyone was spread out nicely as there were 3 different peaks to choose from. I positioned myself a little closer to the jetty then everyone else. With the incoming tide the faces of the waves were fattening quicker then someone on a steady diet of McDonalds. But there was a nice wedging peak coming in a little right of the deep spot off the jetty. I surfed that for a while, getting in early, squaring up with a nice bottom turn and getting some fun frontside hacks.

After about 45 minutes I realized the guys in the middle were getting some nice barrels, so after my next wave I paddled straight back out to that peak. The wave was pitching much faster, great for setting up right from the take off for the hollow section.

A few barrels later and my time was up. I quickly ran up the beach, changed and got my ass to work. As the day went on I heard with the dropping tide the surf was just getting better and better. Although I wished I was still surfing with my friends, I was glad for the waves I had in the morning. The mental vision of a memorable turn or two got me through the day.

Yet another swell came and went as they do. Bringing us moments of joy that pass all too quickly, washed away like our footprints on the shoreline. But don’t fret. Looks like we have more waves on the horizon for Friday. See you in the water.

Photos by MA Spagnuolo. Barrel Shot (Color): Shawn Zappo riding a 5’10” Chaize Quad Pickle. Frontside off the lip (Color): Shawn Zappo. Frontside air (B&W): John Oppito, shaper for Rozberg Surfboards in Deal, NJ.

Shawn Zappo is a local surfer and skater who rules the stoves at Kaya’s Kitchen in Belmar. He’s also a musician and will be writing about his surf and skate related experiences as well as reviews on bands and whatever the hell else he feels like writing about. 


  1. Peter says:

    frontside air John Oppito Shaper of Rozbern Surfboards

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