August 21, 2009

N.J. surfers prepare for Bill’s waves

Authorities and surfing aficionados in New Jersey say tall waves stirred by Hurricane Bill are expected to bring out the state's surfers.

Al Aires, captain of the Seaside Heights beach patrol, said authorities are preparing for surfers to hit the beaches as the storm, which was downgraded Thursday to a Category 3 hurricane when its winds slowed from 135 to 120 mph, passes New Jersey about 350 miles offshore, The (New Jersey) Star-Ledger reported Friday.

When the surf's up, yeah they come out, Aires said. Our concern is not with the experienced surfers who know what they're doing. It's the young, inexperienced surfer who thinks he or she can handle these kinds of waves.

Surf shops in the state said excited local surfers have been getting ready for the big waves.

Everybody's been going crazy, checking their boards and making sure their equipment is in good shape, said Dan Tarrant, owner of the Eastern Lines surf shop in Belmar.

We don't get this too often, so it creates quite a buzz.