Sunday the New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame will induct its fifth class during a ceremony at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City.  The inaugural class was honored in 2015 and the organization adds to its HOF every other year.  The newest group of 12 includes longtime friend Chris Mesanko, who like me grew up in Seaside Heights and attended Central Regional High School.  Chris, whose brother Greg was an inaugural inductee in 2015, owns and operates Thundering Surf Water Park on Long Beach Island.  Others to be saluted include a pair of local guys and surfing legends in Justin Citta and Richard Luthringer.

Chris (second from right) and Greg "Grog" (far left) with Ed O'Kinsky, police chief Tommy Boyd and HOF Kevin Casey
Chris (second from right) and Greg "Grog" (far left) with Ed O'Kinsky, police chief Tommy Boyd and HOF Kevin Casey

You probably did not know that I was a surfer when I was a young kid. As a 12-year old in 1968 I worked for my father on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.  I used to paint targets that were part of a shooting gallery game basically every day and my dad would give me a few bucks each time.  At the end of the summer he took me to Keller’s Surf Shop in Lavallette and surprised me with a brand new Hobie Corky Carroll surfboard.  The next day I went out with a couple of friends with waves about 3 feet high.  I thought they were mountains and after getting crushed a few times decided surfing was not for me.  That surfboard was in my attic for decades until I finally gave it to my nephew I guess about 20 years ago.  Have no idea where it is now but it would probably be a collector’s item.

Of course surfing is a major part of the lifestyle here at the Jersey Shore and I love watching young and old on the waves early in the morning while I’m on the beach.


New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame

Museum Location

120 W Main St, Tuckerton, NJ 08087

(609) 759-0970

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