Someone hit the Thin Lizzy on the jukebox, because come this Saturday, the boys are back in town.
After a one-year break, the Catch Surf Get Wet Tour will return to the East Coast and bring pros Kalani “The Godfather” Robb and Johnny Redmond back for the ride — the internationally renowned wave-riders set to make a pit stop in Delaware, en route to their tour appearance at K-Coast Surf Shop in Ocean City, Md., on July 15.
Back to captain the tour bus once again will be Sussex County native and Catch Surf East Coast Sales Manager Ryan Savage, ready to lead the way home after stops in Rhode Island and New Jersey to team up with local Catch Surf pros including Bill Baxter and Brian Stoehr.
Whether it’s some good old-fashioned backwoods bass fishing or firing up Baxter’s famous “winch” for a few afternoon airs at the drive-on, as always at the tour’s midway mark, the boys from “Big Sussex” will be ready to show their pals from the West Coast and North Shore another thing or two about the Slower Lower lifestyle.
“Being from here, we always like to show the other guys a little of the local scene,” said Savage. “We usually play it by ear, depending on the waves, but we’ll probably do some fishing, pick some crabs, maybe go down to Assateague or something. If there’s waves, then we’ll definitely be in the water.”
“I’m stoked to be back to visit and to get to surf with the K-Coast crew again,” added Robb.
It was during his last trip to the First State that Robb first tested out his “boogie-skim” skills after taking in the scene at the state-line beach back in July of 2015.
Going on to break out his Beater and line up alongside the locals, it didn’t take long for the longtime World Surf League contender (and notorious scene-stealer throughout his cameo role in the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) to steal the show during the sudden skim jam at state-line that morning.
As for Redmond, the proverbial poster boy for Catch Surf’s Beater board has been boarding the redeye from Cali ever since the East Coast tour’s inception in 2011. But even for one of Get Wet’s longest-tenured vets, there’s still plenty left on his Mason-Dixon bucket list.
“I, personally, couldn’t be more excited,” said Redmond. “K-Coast has been a longtime supporter of the brand, and they always draw a crowd packed with eager, stoked fans looking to Get Wet with the pros. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, getting to surf with the kids… and, hopefully, experiencing Seacrets for the first time ever!”
While Seacrets may be the grail, there’s no secret about where the action gets under way when the tour bus pulls into K-Coast’s 35th Street location at 4 p.m. on Saturday — the whole team ready to sign autographs, stamp boards, give away gear and more before heading across the street to the beach for the annual Expression Session, starting at 6 p.m.
That’s when local groms can tag along with their Beaters, Wompers, Logs, and even the pro models of the same pros they’ll be paddling out with for a contest Catch Surf-style and chances to win even more prizes and Get Wet gear.
“We’re just trying to show some love for the kids who love Catch Surf,” Savage said. “Kalani and Johnny have been working on some new stamp designs. They’re ready to stamp boards, sign posters. There’s going to be some cornhole boards out there — we always have a good time at K-Coast.”
A good time all-around is all but guaranteed when it comes to the Expression Session, where even facing the most flat-line of surf forecasts, things always still end up plenty swell.
“Even if the waves are nowhere to be found, we always still find a way to have fun,” said Savage. “We’re going to have a little skim jam, some sand wrestling, maybe play some flags — we’re going to do whatever it take to make these kiddos happy and get a laugh or two out of them.”
After saying so-long to their pals at K-Coast (at least until next summer, that is), the search will be on for Seacrets, where Savage, Baxter and Stoehr were ready to introduce Redmond and Robb to their first experience at “Jamaica, U.S.A.”
They’ll be ready to hit the road again the next morning, headed for 17th Street Surf Shop in Virginia Beach, Va., on Sunday, July 16, Outer Banks Boarding Company in Nags Head, N.C., on, Monday, July 17, and the final stop of the 2017 East Coast tour, at South End Surf Shop in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., on Tuesday, July 18.
But while this year’s tour certainly promises its fair share of newness along the way, for the industry innovators at Catch Surf, the mission has always remained the same.
“We’re out to set our own path. We just keep having fun and trying to keep surfing what it used to be,” explained Savage, going on to note his excitement for a time when his own son, Hobie, is old enough to drop in on future Get Wet tours.
“Being a father for the first time has kind of opened my eyes for what my son will have one day and what I wish I had growing up — a lot of these groms now are learning on our boards through local surf schools and then continuing with it,” he explained.
“That’s the coolest part about it, is we’re putting a lot of kids on boards that they typically might not have tried it in the past. Whether it’s Hobie just getting introduced to the water on the Womper or someone that’s been surfing their whole life — we’ve got a board to offer anyone who wants to go out there and have fun.”
There’ll be even more options to choose from when the 2018 lineup launches next summer and as Catch Surf continues to catch on internationally through Australia, Europe and even to the “Far East Coast” of Japan.
But as for Savage, no matter what wave he’s riding in the future, so long as there’s a Get Wet Tour, he’ll be ready to stop the bus when the boys are back in the town that taught him how to ride waves in the first place.
“It’s super-important for me to not only to come back to show respect to Maryland and Delaware but to support the local surf shops and the surf community around here,” Savage said of his Delmarva roots and learning the industry at K-Coast and Fenwick Island Surf Shop. “Without them, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing right now.”
The Catch Surf Get Wet Tour will land in Delaware on Saturday, July 15, before heading to K-Coast Surf Shop on 35th Street in Ocean City, Md. at 4 p.m. The Expression Session begins at 6 p.m. on the beach across the street from K-Coast, and both events are free to attend and open to the public.
For more on Catch Surf, check them out at www.catchsurf.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CatchSurf. For more on Get Wet 2017, check out Kalani Robb (@kalanirobb), Johnny Redmond (@johnnyredmond), Ryan Savage (@ryan.m.savage), Bill Baxter (@hrvstskim), Brian Stoehr (@brianstoehr) and Catch Surf (@catchsurf) on Instagram for live updates throughout the tour.