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The surfing lifestyle, for lack of a definitive description is simply the need to surf. I wouldn’t go to weddings because the waves were good. She injured herself a few years back – tore her knee up at the Cove – and every time I saw her I’d ask how her rehab was going.
For others it’s a later-in-life hobby that’s now a passion.
Anyway you look at it, surfing, even in Cape May, is nothing short of a religion for its most ardent followers.
Surfing was probably born in the Polynesian culture of the eastern and south Pacific.
The exact timeline of when men first paddled into the surf on planks of wood is uncertain, but it’s a good guess that the modern version of surfing was perfected in Hawaii.
Everything he does revolves around the ocean; whether it is the ocean’s impact on us, or our impact on the ocean, Stephen seems tuned to an oceanic vibration.
We talked about Cape May’s 50-year beach replenishment program, which pumps untold cubic yards of sand onto Cape May’s beaches to keep them from eroding. Even though he was a business major in college he wrote his research papers on surfing: the economics of surfing, the statistics of surfing, the Oedipus Rex syndrome of surfing (okay – maybe not that one).
What Little League was to other American towns, surfing was to Cape May.
“There used to be a lot more kids in Cape May,” said Steve.
The birth of surfing in Cape May is just as mysterious but perhaps less romantic.
Steve Steger, whom I might be so bold as to describe as a living local legend, claims his father was one of Cape May’s original surfers.