A life surfing is a life worth living

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Brendan Tighe catches a wave on Marylan Avenue beach in Point Pleasant Beach. Tighe teaches surfing and travels the world in search of new waves. RYAN WELSH

POINT PLEASANT BEACH – It all started with a game of hide and seek.

“I was playing hide and seek under my grandmother’s deck,” recalled Brendan Tighe while sitting under a tent on the Maryland Avenue beach in Point Pleasant Beach. “I found her son’s board and pulled it out and claimed it when I was 10.”

Mr. Tighe, a long-time Point Beach resident, explained at age 11 was when he taught himself to surf — right on Maryland Avenue where he is now a surf instructor.

At the ripe age of 26-and-a-half, he has been incorporating surfing into his life on a daily basis — even back when he was still in high school at Point Beach.

“I played football for one year but I swam for three years. Swimming was my main gig. I did it because I could surf after school,” admitted Mr. Tighe with a smile. “The meets were at night time and practice was before school. It allowed me to surf after school and still be in a team sport and it kind of kept me in shape for surfing.”

Upon graduating he went to Ocean County College [OCC] with the intent of pursuing student teaching. But as money dwindled, priorities changed a bit.

“I was going to be a teacher but then my grants wore off and it started coming out of my pocket,” explained the surfer. “I wasn’t fully invested in school so I decided to take a trip to Mexico to go surfing and I just never really looked back.”

Recently married, Mr. Tighe and his wife Kerry are fueled by surfing wanderlust and make an effort to travel to new surf destinations. So far, his favorite surfing destination has been Bali, an Indonesian island known for its volcanic mountains, rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs.

“We were in Hawaii this year for three months, which was pretty cool but I’ve been there before,” said Mr. Tighe. “Bali, we lived there for four-and-a-half months two years ago. If we go to Indonesia, we go for at least a month. We like to explore and find new waves and keep the surf search going.”

On top of surfing new waves, Mr. Tighe and Mrs. Tighe enjoy meeting new friends and meeting different surfers from around the globe.

It is that unique relationship with the ocean that separates Mr. Tighe from a run-of-the-mill surfer. He is constantly humbled by the ocean and its power and knows to respect it each time he goes out on the water.

“I tell people when you’re learning to surf it’s like learning a new language. Even though you can look at a language in a book, you’re not going to be able to understand it,” he explained. “You can read the words but you’re not going to be able to understand it. You have to put in so much time doing it to where you can fully understand the power and what the ocean is capable of.”

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.