Lots and lots of surf culture happening this weekend in Belmar and Asbury.

First, Belmar hosts the Belmar Pro from September 11 through the 14. The Annual event will spread itself out over the beach between 16th and 18th avenue, drawing international crowds who’ve heard tell of Belmar’s fine hospitality and even finer waves.

And this year the main Mens event has been upgraded to Mens 1-Star ASP rating. That’s from the Association of Surfing Professionals, who oversees most of the professional surfers and events worldwide. So competitors can use this to get ASP qualifying points, which can lead to their participation in next year’s World Championship Tour. Without getting into the mind-boggling complications of the pro surfing world, just know that it means the world’s best and most ambitious will be trying their damnedest out there on the water.

belmarpro1-Danny-StockdalePhoto by Danny Stockdale from last year’s Belmar Pro. 

In addition to the Cerveza Pacifico 1-Star Belmar ASP Pro, events also include the FINS ASP Junior Pro, FSOS Womens Pro, Longboard Pro, Masters Pro and Legends Pro.

Hawaiian surf legends Reno Abellira, Mark Liddell, and Larry Bertlemann will be making appearances at the competition too. What? That is major name dropping when it comes to the surfing world. Liddell and Abellira were huge in the Hawaiian scene in the 70s, and both became accomplished board shapers later on in their careers.

Bert_alamoana_merkelLarry Bertlemann

Bertlemann was the winner of the 1973 United States Surfing Championships, and is generally seen as the founder of today’s high-performance shortboard surfing. He was also one of the biggest faces in surfing through his sponsorships (which he refused to apologize for) and his sense of style (which he likewise refused to apologize for, though it’s a shame that bell-bottom wetsuits never really took off). He’s appeared in over 25 surf movies, and has been featured eight times on the cover of Surfer and Surfing magazine throughout the 70’s. His style also heavily influenced the Zephyr surf and skate teams of Venice Beach, CA back in the 70s who went on to pioneer modern skateboarding. In other words, this dude is HUGE in the world of surf and skate.

And while all that great stuff is going on in the water, there’ll be a bunch of autograph signings, contests, demos, bands, vendors, and giveaways on the sands. And that’s not even mentioning the after parties.

Okay, we have to mention at least one after party though. On September 12 at the Columns in Avon (601 Ocean Ave), Sun Dreams Productions and Jay Alders presents the End of Summer Luau. It’s an official Belmar Pro after party, but a general all-around good time for music and art fans, regardless of surfing interest or ability.

It kicks off at 5 p.m. with a Yoga Flow led by Yulady and Gerald Saluti. At 6 p.m. indulge in a free buffet (provided by the Columns and Stay Gold Café), and turn your attention to the stage. Locally-based and internationally-know artist Jay Alders will be painting live, and the music will be brought to you by Gabe Gomez, Hawaii-based reggae star Mishka, and Hawaiian ukele artist Paula Fuga, whose biggest fans and collaborators include Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley

Tickets are $15 for just the concert, $15 for just the yoga, and $25 for both. Get yours at the door or via jayalders.com/luau. A portion of the proceeds will go to Surfers’ Healing, a foundation which provides surfing lessons to kids with autism.

Check out the full lineup of events and after-parties at belmarpro.com/events.

death2hipsters2Death 2 Hipsters

If all the sun and sand is getting to be a bit much for you, you don’t have to miss out on the surfing festivities. SEA FILMS hits the Paramount Theatre (1300 Ocean Ave) from September 12 to 13.

As excellent as surf videos are, this festival seeks to provide a little more. The films screened have social and cultural impact, and transform the spiritual connection with the water into a variety of stories, both fictionalized and documentary-style.

SEA FILMS starts with Lightly Salted’ Surf Mercado’s Free Surf Films on the Beach at 2nd Ave on September 12. It starts with “Beyond the Surface” at 7 p.m., a film following Ishita Malaviya — India’s first female surfer — and a group of talented women as they travel through Southern India documenting the ways in which surfing, yoga, and ecological creativity are bringing hope and fueling change for local people and the planet.

At 8 p.m. the story of Aussie surfing legend Wayne Lynch is told in “Uncharted Waters, ” celebration the 1960’s icon, revolutionary, and pioneer of a new vertical style.


The film series continues on September 13 with a pre-party and concert starting at 3 p.m. in Convention Hall’s the Anchor’s Bend, before moving back to the Paramount at 5 p.m. for “A Life Outside, ” a more local tale about six surfers who pioneered the scene in Seaside Heights in the 1960’s (surfing in freezing water before wetsuits existed, it bears pointing out).

The must-see film of the night is the 9 p.m. screening of “Death 2 Hipsters, ”. Directed by Alex DelPhillipo, the outrageous surf comedy was named Viewers’ Choice at Surf and Skate Cologne. It features appearances by New Jersey pros like

Check out a full schedule (with included after-parties, of course) at apboardwalk.com. For more Belmar Pro indo visit www.belmarpro.com.

Photo at top: A scene from Beyond the Surface. 

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