I lived through all the public service announcement style commercials of the eighties.

Sizzling eggs frying in the pan. “This is your brain on drugs.” Then there’s that kid who gets caught smoking a joint and tells his dad, “I learned it from watching you!” And I can’t forget that creepy one, “it’s 10:30, do you know where your children are?” 

But one commercial that has stuck with me to this day is “Patience is a Virtue”. I don’t remember the particulars, except for the trademark phrase. Either way, I think we can all agree, a good amount of patience is necessary in this life.

Zappo-Bottom-Turn-1Shawn Zappo 

You may be wondering by now, what does any of this have to do with surfing? Everything! Let me get there.

We had two large swells to kick off winter. These epic days of waves were followed by a long and painful flat spell. There was a brief break a few weeks ago, in the way of a small and minor background swell. But this small blip on the screen of wave life went unnoticed by most.

Ryan-Dibiagio-BacksideRyan Dibiagio

For people who love to surf, there is a lot of waiting involved. We may be waiting for a wave in a densely populated lineup, or we may be anticipating the next good swell to arrive. The ability to wait has always been part of the process and due to this fact, patience is indeed a virtue.

DaveFunDipMcGillisBacksideTubeDave “Fun Dip” McGillis

The first solid swell of 2013 hit on January 31st. The sun was cloaked behind dark gray clouds, peeking out momentarily from time to time. The winds were wickedly harsh, blowing at about 30 mph out of the west. After almost an entire month of no waves, we were graced with a solid south swell with long overhead lines pitching furiously on the sandbars. Copious amounts of cavernous dark brown tubes filled the ocean.

Anthony-Aufiero-Backside-TubeAnthony Aufiero

I met up with some of the local Belmar boys to surf one of my favorite jetties in town.  The beaches were technically closed, but with all the work going on to reconstruct the boardwalk along the ocean front, no one seemed to notice four surfers paddling out. We had peak after peak all to ourselves for two sessions. Finally a perfect day of waves, after a true test of patience for any surfer.


Photos by Robbie Grieb. Top: Ryan Dibiagio

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.

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