by Jackie Richardson
Last month, we celebrated Mothers so this month it is only fitting that we celebrate the boys of summer, Fathers. In the surfing community here on Tybee Island, fathers give the rides to the beach, they coach their children, they pay for contests, food, etc.
However some men, before they become fathers, totally dedicate their lives to the surfing community. At Tybee Island, that person is our surfer of the month, Jeff Mosley. In the past eight years that our family has been involved in the GA Eastern Surfing Association, I have seen Jeff mentor young surfers. If there is a need with one of these kids, Jeff makes sure it is taken care of. I have been up and down the east coast at surfing events and when people find out we are from Georgia, they always say to tell Jeff and Tara hello.
For the most part, I write these articles but I think Jeff’s answers to my questions are more fitting in his own words, so here are my questions and Jeff’s answers:
Where were you born? El Paso, Texas
When and where was the first time you surfed? Hurricane David swell. I guess that was 1980 or 1981. Robbie Evans gave me an old single fin Atlantis. A couple of days later I rode one over the falls in front of Robbie and my fin poked a hole in his arm. I bet you he was rethinking that whole free board riding again. No surfing mentors. As a kid I always looked up to my two uncles, Woody Waldhour and Bennie Ward.
Where is your favorite place to surf? I know a lot of you will think I’m crazy for this next answer, but its right here at home. It’s where I feel most comfortable. About every four years, it gets good here and when it does there is nothing better. It’s not all out of control, short paddle out, and you know most everyone in the lineup. Oh and my favorite thing is, you can’t see the sharks swimming under your feet here.
Where have you surfed? Everywhere on the east coast from Delaware to Jupiter Inlet, Hawaii, and Panama City in the Gulf. How long have you and Tara been directors of the GA Eastern Surfing Association and how did you get involved? We have been the directors for fourteen years. Jim Reynolds was the director at that time. He was (and still is) in the Coast Guard and was about to be transferred. He asked me to take over the GA district. I was 30 at the time, and Travis Williams, Montee Coursey, Tara, and I were right in the middle of having “The times of our life.” So I don’t know why Jim was asking us to take on such a serious position as District Director. I mean, I could barely “direct” my check to the bank on Fridays much less be responsible for all of the surfing in Georgia. I told Jim I would think about it. During that six months, (because that is how long it takes me to do anything unfortunately), no one stepped up to become the new District director and Tara kept telling me, “I should do it, that it sounded like it would be fun”, and I was like “Shut up woman and fix me something to eat” (just kidding). I didn’t want to see the contests come to an end because everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun doing them. So I told Jim yes and here we are. The best decision Tara ever made for me up until my little girl was born.
What is special about Tybee Island? The fact it is a small community. Everybody knows everybody. You can rarely ride down the road without waving or honking your horn to a friend or acquaintance.
Who are your favorite surfing buddies? You know, I like surfing with everybody that stays out of my way.
What are the best surfing awards you have received? Tara and I were awarded “The Colin J. Couture” award in 2008. It is the highest award given by the ESA (the largest amateur surfing association in the world) for outstanding volunteerism. It is named after “Doc” Couture the founder of the ESA. You are voted in only by previous “Doc Rock” recipients. We received a nice plaque and our names will forever be on the “Doc Rock” which is located in Buxton, NC at the Natural Art Surf Shop.
What is special about being a father?
To see something that is a part of you start to grow and communicate and have her own personality. It’s truly amazing. In closing, I would like to thank the Mayor of Tybee Island, Jason Buelterman, and The City of Tybee Island for all the support they have shown the ESA over the years, but most of all I would like thank my wife, Tara, for giving me a beautiful little girl and putting up with me for the last fifteen years because without her the Jeff and Tara era of the GA ESA District may not have ever existed. I would also like to thank my boss, Steve Brannen of Brannen Construction for allowing me to take the time off work all these years to go and do the things a district director does. Because without him being supportive of the things I like to do, we would have never made it this far. Last, but not least, I would like to thank my district for having fun and embodying the spirit of competitive surfing the way “Doc” envisioned it forty something years ago.