The lone rider

Senior student Jon Spielman takes to the waves to find his zen.

by Beth Keefe, Staff Writer

“The first time I stood up, it felt like something special was happening.”

Glen Rock High School Senior Jon Spielman has been surfing for four years now. With a background in snowboarding and skateboarding, surfing came quite easily for him.

“I was pretty excited, the waves weren’t really big, and they were like little knee high waves. It was a totally new experience for me and it was awesome,” said Spielman.

Spielman started surfing in Maine, but he currently surfs in Manasquan, Jenkinson, and Seaside, NJ.

“When I’m riding into a wave, I feel like I reflect on it more afterwards. I do whatever the wave allows me to,” said Spielman. “The way the waves are breaking, that dictates what I’ll do. Whenever I’m surfing, I’m in the zone. I’m just thinking about doing a turn or something,”

However, with all these moves come a few wipe outs, too.

“When it comes to wipe outs… now, for me, it’s kind of scary. I have to push myself into bigger waves, and with bigger waves come bigger wipe outs. Especially in the winter, that’s when the bigger waves are,” said Spielman. “It’s cold, water rushes into your suit, you get cramps. The winter is a serious time to surf.  But in the summer it’s pretty fun, the water’s warm and the waves aren’t that big.”

Spielman rides just about any time there are waves. “In the winter I’ll go on average every other weekend. In the summer, less often because there are not a lot of waves, unless there is a hurricane,” he said.

Jon usually enjoys riding the waves by himself. Even though he sometimes he will call up some friends or family to join him, he enjoys the peace and serenity he feels out on the water.

This lone rider is also interested in overall fitness and spends much of his time participating on the high school track team. As a surfer, however, he hopes to  “just progress, keep getting better and learn new moves. I want to compete maybe, if I get good enough.”

“I definitely want to surf until I die,” he said. “I want to die surfing.”

Jon is going to Monmouth University for business and marketing at the end of the 2014 school year.

“The school is also a block from the beach, which is pretty cool,” Spielman said with a smile.