Not everyone understands exactly what Gil does all the time, but they do know that he is a huge part of what makes the ship sail.
Gil expanded the Summertime mission to include a character-development focus that can be seen in the kid’s surf camps operation. His background in aquatic safety and management experience enabled expansion to new towns. His experience in education been a major factor in the development of The Summertime System, and he has created stable administrative and technical systems that enable Summertime Surf to operate smoothly at scale.
Where did you go to high school? Point Boro. I learned the most from Ms. Maas.
Where did you go to college and what did you major in? Rutgers. I majored in getting the most out of the experience as possible. My degree says Geography and Communication, but I lived with and remain best friends with a bunch of engineers. I learned the most from Dr. Dave Robinson (physical geogrpahy) and Ji Baek (humanities), and my diverse group of friends and classmates.
Did you study abroad/where did you go? Yes-Greenmount. I mean…Bond University. (I learned the most from The Super Bank.
Why did you chose Australia/Bond? During Freshman year I realized I had an opportunity within college to live somewhere besides New Jersey. I considered transferring to UCSB, but realized it would limit my options to take on excessive debt, so I found the best warm water right hand points in the world, found the college closest to them, and made it happen. It wasn’t easy because Rutgers did not have an affiliation with Bond, but anything is possible if you learn The System.
What certifications do you have? SSI Open Water diver, NJ Teacher of Earth Science, former ARC Emergency Response, ARC Lifeguard Instructor, Praesidium Youth Protection, BSA Freediving Instructor.
How long have you been involved with Summertime Surf? Officially since 2009, in spirit since “the worst North Shore winter in 30 years” in 2006.
Why do you work with STS? It aligns with my values, pushes me to become a better person, and in doing so helps me do the same for other people. I believe in the mission of the school and that in trying to fulfill it, STS will have a positive impact on the future of surfing in NJ and beyond.
At what age did you start surfing? How many years ago was that? I was born in 1983 and started at age 14. “How many years ago was that” will change each year, so I leave the present math to the reader.
Where have you traveled to surf? Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Southern Baja, California, Florida, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Barbados, OBX, Bali/Lombok, Hawaii, Spain/France, Puerto Escondido, South Africa … Sometimes I even go all the way to Belmar.
Do you surf in contests? What are some notable results? I retired after I got a 10 from The Groms for packing a shoulder high close out at the original First Fest. In some things, I find the best way to lose is to try to “win”.
Other than surfing, do you have any talents? Yes.
Are you an Artist or Musician? I consider myself an artist, primarily simple watercolors of mostly point-of-view barrels. I am a music lover that dabbles in guitar and ukulele. I took some piano lessons at Lake House to improve my rhythm and understanding of music theory, I highly recommend it. I should practice more.
What kind of music or art inspires you? I try to learn and be inspired by pretty much anything on the spectrum from 311 to Van Gogh. Currently, I’m pretty inspired by Elon Musk’s musings.
Do you play or coach any other sports/activities? I’ve gotten really into apnea and free-diving, which is really just yoga/meditation in the water. I don’t get to dive all that much, so I try to practice the apnea/meditation part on land. I think it’s helped my surfing, health and life in general. I love to share that experience/understanding with other people that are keen to learn it.