Bethany Skim Jam getting summer started on Monday night


Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Brendan Wick looks to maneuver through Luke Hahn going for a wave and Saige Mastrota skimming in during a Skim Jam last summer.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Brendan Wick looks to maneuver through Luke Hahn going for a wave and Saige Mastrota skimming in during a Skim Jam last summer.The official start of the summer of 2016 is slated for Monday, June 20, at exactly 6:34 p.m., when the sun reaches the northernmost point of the equator. Not so coincidentally, Bethany Skim Jam is slated for the same night, at 6 p.m., serving as an official unofficial start to summer now going on 15 years.

“Skim Jams in Bethany are synonymous with summertime. It means summer is finally in full effect,” said Catch Surf pro Bill Baxter, who helped start the event with Bethany Surf Shop owners Jim and Sheila McGrath. “It’s cool to see the local kids and the kids that come from all over meeting back up, getting their summer skim crews back together.”

As always, the Bethany Surf Shop event will feature both Baxter and pro-surfer/board creator Colin Herlihy.

“I always look forward to seeing all the kids and the parents that come every summer to support what we do and watch their kids enjoy the ocean,” said Herlihy. “We have people that travel all the way from California, and people that I grew up with now have kids old enough to enjoy the ocean, so it’s a special place for families and friends.”

Not only will the local legends make themselves available to help kids new to the sport literally get their feet wet — offering advice and showing them the ropes — in addition to signing boards, T-shirts and even smiling for selfies, they’re also there kick off the summer themselves, joining in on the skimming action for the first of many Monday-night skim sessions this summer.

“The smiles, taking photos with the kids and signing boards, shirts and hats — Monday nights are my favorite part of summer,” said Herlihy.

Along with Bethany Surf Shop, they’ll also be offering up a variety of boards for kids to test out, whether it’s a seasoned skimmer looking for a fresh stick or a newcomer just testing the waters.

Herlihy boards from Toobs, Catch Surf beaters and Slotstik skimboards from Zap will all be made available to take for a spin.

“Skim Jam is about showing all ages what’s possible on a skimboard or bodyboard, giving them some pointers and letting them try some different boards, take them on a test drive. Then, if they’d like, we schedule a private lesson. It’s fun for all ages and the whole family,” said Baxter.

Bethany Skim Jam is free and open to the public. Starting this Monday, June 20, it will run every Monday night from 6 to 7 p.m., through the rest of the summer. The event takes place on the beach at Garfield Parkway.

For more on Bethany Skim Jam check out www.bethanysurfshop.net. For more on Baxter, visit www.catchsurf.com or his Instagram account: @hrvstskim. For more on Herlihy, check out www.thebackwoodscrew.com or @thebackwoodscrew on Instagram.