Surfers Hit Ocean City Beaches

first_imgMatt and Sheena Heberlig of Marlton with son Cody and daughters Alana and Kirra enjoy the Ocean City surf. By TIM KELLYThe waves weren’t huge Saturday afternoon in Ocean City, but they were there, after days and days of bad weather and/or a flat ocean.That seemed to be enough for the people we talked to, anxious to get out of the house and into the sun, sand and surf.Even if the waves weren’t world class, the saying, “when in doubt, paddle out,” seemed to be in full effect.A nearly cloudless day coincided with the first day of spring and the result was surfing heaven on Ocean City beaches.Pete Downham saw a good surf report and decided to catch some waves on Saturday.Downham, an environmental consultant from Upper Township, fit the profile of someone relishing a good surf day.“I wanted to get out there,” he said.  “I saw there were waves, so here I am.”A pair of surfers head for the water.It was suggested that today’s economic consulting tip could be on the physical and emotional value of surfing.“I guess you could say that,” Downham laughed. “I caught a few. It was cold, but fun.”At times, the 42 degree air temperature matched the reading in the water.Coupled with wind gusts, it felt colder, and most of the surf dogs had short, but happy sessions.Surfing pals Lee, of Ventnor, and Celia, of South Philadelphia, high-fived after testing the waters near Park Place.Lee, of Ventnor, (right), and Celia, of South Philadelphia, celebrate after their rides.But was it late winter surfing or early spring?“Early spring,” Lee said. “That’s more optimistic. The conditions are more late winter, but it just feels more like early spring. The sun this time of year makes it warmer.”Celia concurred.“It’s nice,” she said. “The waves were good. I saw what it looked like out here and I said summer is going to be here soon. That’s pretty much all. It’s going to be great out here soon.”Near the famous 7th Street surfing beach, the 7th Street Surf Shop was still closed for the offseason, but more than a dozen riders were out on their boards.Among them was Matt Heberlig, of Marlton, who was trying out a handmade board he recently built and finished shaping.He pronounced it fit for the beach, the waves and Saturday’s weather.“It did what it was supposed to do,” Heberlig said of the board. “It brought me from there (the water) to here.”7th Street Surfing Beach is a street location and a brand name.In addition to enjoying the fruits of his surfboard handiwork, he was having fun being on the beach with his son, Cody, wife Sheena and daughters Alana and Kirra.“We wanted to get out of the house and into the fresh air, and of course get into the water,” Heberlig noted.He said that Cody is also taking up the sport.“It’s something we can do together,” he added. “In fact, my dad is here, too.”As if on cue, Matt Heberlig Sr. showed up.“See, now you have all three generations,” the younger Heberlig said.It took the youngest of the surfing brood to sum up the day.“We love surfing because it’s fun,” Cody said with a laugh.A lot of other surfers jogged by, either anxious to get in the water, or to get out of their wetsuits and into a warm vehicle or home.“It’s just different now,” the junior Herberlig said. “It’s brighter. I was here in February when it was 20 degrees out and the sky was gray. Today the sky is blue and clear. I can definitely handle that.”Surfers take advantage of waves on the first day of spring.last_img

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