Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Long Beach Pro Surfing

CJ Hobgood (2001 ASP World Champion) at the professional surfing event on Long Beach, NY

Kelly Slater - Long Beach, NY 2011

I went to the ASP professional surfing event at Long Beach, NY.  I suppose in all sporting events you (meaning the crowd) are part of the event - but in this case it's something a little extra as the athletes walk right through the crowd to compete as the bottom photo shows.  That's Kelly Slater - he's the 10x world champion - I've never been to a professional golfing event - maybe it's the same - but I don't think any other sport let's fans come within 50 feet of an athlete when they aren't on the field/rink/whatever.  I really like the top photo as I was using my camera phone which has about a 1 sec delay from the time I hit the button and the photo gets taken - so I was ready to get a shot, hit the button, and then the commentators announce that he (CJ Hobgood) had just won the heat, then the camera clicked.

It was a great feeling to watch this event and be right there.  I never really followed professional surfing to any great extent when I was younger - but I knew who the top guys were (Tom Curren, Cheyne Horan, et al). The surfing industry likes to create myth and legend out of the surfers and as kids we all fell under it.  Going out and watching the top surfer of today I have a little more perspective - pretty much that these are just people - but it was nice to be swept up a bit in nostalgia for my own youth and the impressionable state you are in when younger.  But I was left with more than just fond memories of youth - I was inspired by what I saw today - canceling out all the publicity myth building BS - these people have worked extremely hard to get to where they are today.  Anyone has to appreciate that. Plus I got to see some great surfing.

See a few more shots here - I don't have any photos of the waves as the phone camera really doesn't shot at a distance.