rb paddle day 091414 2Navesink River Rowing and the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association will be among the organizations speaking about recreational activities on our local waters, during a “Sun, Sea and Surf Expo” at the Eastern Branch Library on July 21.

Press release from Monmouth County Library

Surf’s up at the library this month, as the Monmouth County Library‘s Eastern Branch features a Sun, Sea and Surf Expo on Thursday, July 21. Beginning at 4 p.m., the library on Broad Street/ Route 35 will offer film screenings, guest speakers, informational displays and other programs on the many recreational options available on our local shores and waters — from surfing to rowing, canoeing and more.

The  July 21 event will be preceded by two free screenings of “Chasing Mavericks,” a 2012 feature film (starring Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler and Elizabeth Shue) about the surfers who seek out and conquer the biggest waves on the planet. The movie shows in the library’s Meeting Room at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, with an encore 2 p.m. showing on Monday, July 18.

According to Renee Swartz, chairperson of the Monmouth County Library Commission. “Living at the shore makes it easier for teens to pursue surfing as well as boating as hobbies;sports they can pursue on or near any number of beaches throughout Monmouth County.”

Surfing is particularly interesting, Swartz said, since stories about it date back to the late 18th century when a seaman traveling with Capt. James Cook first wrote about it. It’s a part of ancient Polynesian culture — and even in New Jersey, it’s got a history. Thomas Edison made a film on surfing in the early part of the 20th century, and was apparently intrigued by the sport when he first saw it in Hawaii. A New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame was created last year, and already has a number of both male and female athletes on its roster.

These and other topics will be highlighted and discussed by Jack Ryan of the NJ Surfing Hall of Fame during a 7 p.m. presentation on July 21 in the meeting room at the Library. Ryan will also speak on the impact female athletes have had on the sport, as well as the art of surfing. The presentation is part of the Expo which will feature several tables set up throughout the library featuring books, information, cds, and information on both rowing and surfing as skills that teach teamwork and discipline, in addition to providing health benefits and recreation.

The award-winning film “A Life Outside” will be shown on July 21 at 2 p.m. The documentary by Catherine Brabec examines the lives of six New Jersey surfers who pioneered the sport at the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights — and how the destruction of the Pier in Hurricane Sandy changed their lives forever.

With members ranging from 14 to over 80 years of age, Navesink River Rowing has introduced hundreds of men and women to the benefits of rowing; the organization will hold a Meet and Greet at the library from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and explain and demonstrate the many benefits of rowing for persons of all ages.

At 5 p.m., the nonprofit Navesink Maritime Heritage Association will present a program  highlighting paddling on the Navesink River, an activity employing canoes constructed under the organization’s community boat building program. Visitors can learn about our local rivers, tides and marine life, and discuss the benefits of the Association with certified instructors.

At 6 p.m., reporter and historian Dan Radel will give lessons on how to stand up on that first wave and be safe in the ocean. Radel, who writes the “Hook, Line and Sinker” column for the Asbury Park Press, is a Jersey Shore native and avid surfer and paddle boarder.

On display throughout the month will be art and photography displays on surfing, including many images by noted photographer/surfer Chris Spiegel, and a second free screening of “A Life Outside” will take place in the Meeting Room at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28.