Friday, January 25, 2008

Easton Beach...First Beach

Easton Beach, better known as First Beach, is one of the better know beach breaks in Rhode Island

If you are looking for a web cam for the Newport area, Northeast has two set up at Easton Beach. Cam 1 faces west overlooking the ocean, cam 2 faces east overlooking the ocean. These cams are live and streaming. By becoming a member of you can help to maintain these cams.

Photo Courtesy of Capt'n Vics... YourTravel Guide to Newport

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Women and Surfing

Did you know that for the first time in history the number of woman entering the sport of surfing has surpassed men. Traditionally, surfing has been dominated by men, but not anymore. Some statistics indicate that there are twice as many women entering the sport as men.
"There are an estimated 260,000 women surfing in America, and female participation is growing twice as fast as that of men, according to the Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association. The number of female surfers jumped 15 percent last year alone."
Read More
And those are statistics from as far back as 1998. In the last three years, I have seen an explosion of young and not so young female surfers at our local beach break in Narragansett, Rhode Island. On any given day, I witness just as many women in the water as men...sometimes more.

About five years ago, My daughter was interested in a surf camp here in Rhode Island. Having tried surfing 12 years earlier but never really getting the knack for it, I thought it would be fun to enroll myself. I have been surfing ever since. At forty five I may not be the youngest female in the water but I am certainly not the oldest one either. In the early 1980's, "Gidget" Lee Ferrera, began surfing at the age of 21. She was recently featured in an article in the Rhode Island monthly on the diehard pioneers of surfing here in the Ocean State.

Photograph by Dana Smith
Rhode Island Monthly November 2007

She surfed for love before she loved to surf. “I had a boyfriend who surfed, and if I ever wanted to see him I had to go in the water,” says the Peace Dale resident. “That first time felt like dancing on water. I still get that feeling, that ‘Yeeaaahhhhh!’ What a rush!” A year and a half later, she was surfing competitively. Ferrera was a Northeast division champion in the Eastern Surfing Association and still competes, recently scooping first place in its thirty-five-and-up women’s division. Her first board—a 9'6" 1967 David Nuuhiwa longboard—still “rides like a gem.”
This article appears in the November 2007 issue of Rhode Island Monthly.

I love this paragraph run in a SurfPulse publication back in 2002 titled Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,
"Today, however, a whole new culture is emerging within women's surfing: surfing for fun. While previous rises in popularity revolved primarily around professional surfing, today's surfer-girl to be isn't necessarily aspiring to be a traveling pro. Rather, she may just want to go down to the local beach to ride a longboard, hang out with her friends, and enjoy the ocean. This represents a 180 degree shift in both mentality and image for women's surfing. Instead of the previously serious, often very aggressive representation of women in
the surf, today's portrayals are centered simply on women having fun."
Written by Dane Larson

So this is for all you women out there!!! You are never too old or too young to start surfing. It may just turn out to be the most exciting thing you have ever done. If you need a little inspiration, check out this link to my a favorite video clip of an amazing longboarder by the name of Summer Romero that can be found on the online surf magazine Jetty Girl.

If you are ready to take the next step there are numerous camps, clinics and resorts that cater to the female surfer. Here are a handful to get you started.
Surf Diva
Las Olas...Surf Safaris for Women
Pura Vida Adventure directory

Yours Truly...Costa Rica 2007

Monday, January 21, 2008

Surfer's Ear - Exostosis

Wow, this is information that you need to read if you surf in the winter or in cold water. It was brought to my attention by Gidget(Lee) Ferraro, long time surfer and surf pioneer(See Article Perfect Wave). The medical term is actually Exostosis, which really means abnormal bone growth.
The condition is found primarily in cold water surfer's, hence the name, but can afflict anyone who participates in cold water sports such as kayaking and diving. Basically when your ear canal is exposed to cold air and water it causes the bone around the canal to produce new bony growth. With time, this bony growth causes a narrowing of the canal which ultimately causes painful ear infections due to inadequate drainage, and more importantly hearing loss. The treatment is not pretty and requires surgery that is very painful and has a two month recovery time, that means no surfing! And often those that have surgery will have even faster bone growth in the future requiring a second or third surgical procedure.

So what's a surfer to do? It is widely agreed that the best solution is prevention. That means keeping your ears protected! So if you are prone to being Macho out there in the water by not wearing a hood, save it for another time. As Gidget so aptly stated in her e-mail to me, "keep the lid on!!!" If you hate the thought of a hood there is a product you can buy called a Surfmuff that might be a good alternative.

Thanks Gidget for bringing this to my attention.

For additional information about surfer's ear see links below:
The Health Center

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Surfline New England

Always a good source of information, here is what Surfline has to say about surfing Rhode Island

"With its hidden coves and rocky outcrops, Rhode Island receives the lion's share of Southern New England surf. It's divided into two, roughly equal-size surf zones, Newport and Narragansett. They are separated by Narragansett Bay, one of the sailing centers of the world, and connected by a toll bridge. With all the hurricane season hoopla, Newport has become the most famous surf area north of Cape Hatteras, but the photo coverage of epic days is misleading. Newport is not the Hawaii or Santa Cruz of the East Coast because the Atlantic Ocean just does not generate swell with the consistency needed to justify such claims. On rare occasions, large, perfect surf can happen during the 10-week window when water temperatures are comfortable. Because of the endurance and dedication required to cope with the flatness and frigidity of the rest of the year, locals are protective of their short time in the sun. After staring at the Tropical Update throughout the long, hot summer, willing tropical waves to circulate and grow, the last thing they want to see is their favorite peak overrun by hoards of strangers. Being the smallest state in the Union, there isn't much room for interlopers."

Read More

Although Surfline does not cover the details of any of the breaks besides Second Beach, Newport, you can be sure to get a regular surf report for the general area and a pretty cool satellite feature for several surf breaks.

Surf Rhode Island

Photograph by Dana Smith
Rhode Island Monthly November 2007

It still amazes me! Most people I have met in my travels find it surprising that I surf in Rhode Island and that surfing is popular here. I am not sure if it is because they think the east coast just doesn't have waves or if they have this idea that it is cold here most of the time and that the water must be way to cold to surf in.

Well listen up, Rhode Island is a great place to surf!!! But you have to be willing to pull on a wet suit in the fall and winter to appreciate the best the state has to offer it's surfers.

The Rhode Island Monthly recently ran an article (November 2007) The Perfect Wave, about the diehard pioneer surfers of Rhode Island and their role in establishing the sport of surfing in this small state. All you folks from Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut will need to grin and bear it as you read on, but it provides an interesting perspective on the history of surfing in Rhode Island and is worth a once over.

Now, much to the chagrin of Peter Pan, I would like to dedicate a section of this Blog to providing information to those that want to surf in Rhode Island. Personally, I have only surfed at about four different breaks here, primarily in South County. I would like to encourage other surfers and readers to send information and pictures, via e-mail, of their favorite surf breaks in the state and maybe we can put together a resource worth looking at.

For information on surfing in Costa Rica go to.......Yearn To Travel

For starters, here is a list of Websites that I like to check out regularly and a list of surf shops in the Ocean State.

Surf Reports:
Magic Seaweed(New England)

Web Cam:
Warm Winds...Narragansett

Surf Shops:

86 Aquidneck Ave, Middletown, RI - (401) 846-4421
Website - Directions

26 Kingstown Rd, Narragansett, RI - (401) 789-9040
Website - Directions

76 Narragansett Ave, Narragansett, RI - (401) 789-7890
Website - Directions

74 Narragansett Ave W, Wakefield, RI - (401) 789-7890
Website - Directions

89 Aquidneck Ave, Middletown, RI - (401) 846-2280
Website - Directions

706 Matunuck Beach Rd, Wakefield, RI - (401) 783-2566

89 Aquidneck Ave, Middletown, RI - (401) 849-9283

Newport, RI - (401) 841-5160
Website - Directions

461 Chapel St, Block Island, RI - (401) 466-9876
Website - Directions