Surfer of the Month

February 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Surfer of the Month

Surfer of the Month: Jimmy Manning
by Jackie Richardson

Jimmy Manning

Winter is definitely here.  Surfers up and down the east coast are complaining of the lack of waves.  However, everyone is ready to put on their wet suits to catch one of those winter waves.  Sunny Miller, one of our former Tybee surfers, who now lives in Michigan, was heading out this weekend to surf one of the Great Lakes.  Brrrr!  I can’t imagine. Others head to the warm waters of Puerto Rico. Hopefully, after this month there will be waves as our surfing season here in Georgia heats up again.

This month’s surfer of the month, Jimmy Manning, was born in Norfolk, Virginia. Jimmy moved to Savannah when he was 7 years old.  You will catch Jimmy working at night at the Oyster Bar on Wilmington Island.  This evening job gives Jimmy a lot of opportunities to surf during the day. Jimmy started “surfing” Tybee Island on one of those canvas rafts that you rent.  He tried board surfing as a teen but really learned to surf when he was stationed in Hawaii with the Air Force for three years.

Jimmy’s first board was a long board that was cut down to about 6’.  It didn’t look too good.  His next board was one of the first twin fins 5’8”.  Jimmy now has a quiver of 8 boards and his favorite is his 9’0” carbon fiber.  Jimmy has surfed all over Oahu, Maui (he lived there 3 years), Puerto Rico, and the east coast.  His favorite wave is on Maui at Honoloa Bay, a very fast long right.  Jimmy has surfed 20’+ waves.  He added, “I have come to the bottom of the ocean three times.  I must have a mermaid as a guardian angel.” Jimmy admits he likes smaller less threatening waves.  Jimmy’s favorite place to surf is Tybee Island with all his surf ohana (family).

Jimmy competes just for the fun.  Don’t let him fool you, he is a really good surfer.   He loves teaching kids to surf.  He has volunteered for three years for the Tybee Island YMCA Surf Camp.  He will be their lead instructor this year.  The Y program will teach kids from 7-16 in one week camps throughout the summer.  The kids call Jimmy “uncle” which is a term of endearment and respect in Hawaii.  Jimmy says he loves when they ride that first wave and holler, “I did it uncle, I did it.”  He says the looks on their faces is fantastic.

I ask all the surfers I interview what is special about the surf community at Tybee.  Jimmy says, “I love the tight knit surfing community at Tybee where everyone is friendly and respectful and always optimistic about surf.”  As a fellow surfer, Kato, always says, “it has got potential”, even on the smallest day.

Jimmy says he hopes to surf other places.  This summer he would like to get to South America to surf.

Jimmy’s love of children is very evident when he talks about his two granddaughters.  They are two and three right now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the water surfing before too long.  Finally, Jimmy encourages all surfers to participate in the Eastern Surfing Association contest.  Our local ESA is run by Jeff and Tara Mosley, who do an outstanding job.  Jimmy will see you out at the beach at “THE CHURCH OF THE OPEN SKY.”

(All photos are compliments of Joey Wilson photography, copyright 2010)

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