Thursday, July 26, 2012

GEOGRAPHY: Jenks (New Jersey, USA)

GEOGRAPHY: Jenks (New Jersey, USA)

With the United States Bodyboarding Association (USBA) season finale, The 2012 Scion Jenks Pro, rapidly approaching I thought this would be a good opportunity to take a closer look at Jenks on the US east coast...

Located in New Jersey, in the northeastern United States, Jenks is considered one of the more powerful high-performance oriented waves on the US east coast. It is known for its ledgy peaks, hollow barrels, bowly wedges, and ramp sections. The break is primarily a left peak, breaking just off of a jetty, with a secondary right-hand peak just to the south known as "The Boneyard." Swell comes in out of a deep water trench causing the waves here to pack a bit more punch than your average east coast beachbreak. Jenks breaks best at low tide with west (offshore) winds and picks up northeast and south/southeast swells best. This spot goes off during winter Nor'easters (large, powerful low pressure systems pushing off the east coast...almost like a winter hurricane), and during the Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1st-November 30th). If there's a storm in the water off the coast this place can seriously light up and provide some magical sessions! To get an idea of what I'm talking about, check out this video clip from the 2006 Jenks Pro with swell from Tropical Storm Ernesto:

Jenks, which gets it's name from Jenkinson's boardwalk and amusements on the beachfront, has played host to the Jenks Pro since 2005. It has not only seen the best bodyboarders from the United States mainland and Hawaii head here every September, but has been graced with the presence of many top level international riders like 2x World Champion Damian King from Australia and 6x World Champion Guilherme Tamega from Brazil as well.

Jenks is home to a very protective local surfing community. The line-up is generally pretty crowded, on anything from a small summer swell to a solid nor'easter, providing for a heavy vibe at times as well as some aggressive paddling. Jeff Beverly Sr. has been surfing Jenks for 30+ years and is considered, by many (myself included), to be the patriarch of the surfing community at Jenks. Some of the most recognizeable bodyboarding talent to come from Jenks are Larry McGinn (one of the first NJ bodyboarders to go pro), Mike Murphy, Chris Schlegel, Chris Constantino, and Jason Bitzer.  Over the past decade, Jenks has become somewhat of a proving ground for the New Jersey surfing and bodyboarding communities. This has served to increase the already crowded line-up, so don't expect to just paddle out and make yourself at home. You're going to need to pay your dues, so to speak, and work your way into the line-up here.

(Photo: Chris Zeh...Steve Jackson in the Boneyard.)
So, there you have it...a quick look at Jenks and, hopefully, a taste of what we can expect during the 2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro (Sept. 1st-10th). Be sure to visit for all of the latest news, updates, highlights, photo gallery, and more for the Jenks Pro. Until the next time, pray for surf...YEEEWWW!!!

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