Post-Sandy, Casino Pier Can Bet on the Surfers


With the destruction of Casino Pier during Super Storm Sandy, local surfers lost the open faces and carvable waves renowned in the area. What can be done to return surfers — and business — to Casino Pier?

by Jonathan Spielman, Staff Writer

Since the 1960’s, Casino Pier has a been a popular surf spot, but, after Super Storm Sandy, the fear that the surf spot will not be the same is a question asked by many local surfers. Out of a sprawling 126 miles of coast only about 47 towns have beach access for surfers. The surf breaks are, ergo, very important and have been there for the surfers since the early 60’s.

Casino Pier will be rebuilt because the store owners need income for themselves (and for the state via taxes). Yet current proposals do not make this pier surfable — yet putting in the time and effort to build the pier in favor of the surfers would not be out of the way for legislators.

In all fairness, the surfers stay in New Jersey throughout the winter; they work, pay taxes, and they deserve to have a pier that will let them surf. Other Jersey Shore residents go to their million dollar houses (outside of New Jersey) and come back expecting a pier — any pier — to suit their touristic needs.

Casino Pier is such a famous surf spot because it is a point break, so the waves crest further out than other breaks. After the storm, the waves next to the pier have been breaking inconsistently.

The pylons that were under the pier were placed close together to prevent the ebb and flow of sand. This, along with the water current pushing against the tightly-placed pylons, created a natural sand bar with well-shaped and long lasting waves.  Without a pier, none of this happens — and the spot is undesirable for surfers.  As put by one local surfer, “There are bigger waves in your toilet bowl.”

With the inevitable building of a pier, a configuration that would recreate the sand bar building system should be designed into the pier’s construction. While current plans do not include a proviso to harbor better surfing, the surfers deserve a pier worthy of Casino Pier’s legendary status.