A Life Outside (USA, 01:23:00)
Directed by: Catherine Brabec
Written by: Catherine Brabec
As the surf boom took hold in the 60's, Casino Pier was not only one of the best surf spots on the east coast, it was one of the most competitive and closely guarded by the locals. The Pier has been an icon for decades and is now all but destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. This is the story of these surfers and the Pier- then and now. Featuring the surf legends who inspired and surfed with them: Gerry Lopez, Shaun Tomson, Corky Carroll, Mike Doyle, Mickey Munoz and David Nuuhiwa.
A Life Outside is a story of passion and obsession. It’s the story of the relationships of six New Jersey surfers: Greg Mesanko, Chris Mesanko, Kevin Casey, Jim Purpuri, Richard Luthringer, and Bucky Walters. Each one of them got on a surfboard for the first time about 50 years ago and haven’t stopped their pursuit of surf to this day. Pioneering surf at the famed Casino Pier in Seaside Heights NJ, in the 60’s, surfing freezing waters before wetsuits existed, when boards were long and heavy, skipping school when the swell was up, enduring criticism and low opinions by those who did not surf-these guys found themselves inside the grip of a passion, an obsession so deep, that only those who ride waves would understand. But surfing the Pier was a privilege earned, a territory fiercely protected. You didn’t just own a board and paddle out, you had to be invited and then prove quickly that you were good enough to be allowed in. So while surfing was a connection, friendships were complicated by the fierce competition in the water.
Out of the water, surf shops were the gathering spot, the clubhouse, and Greg Mesanko's shop, Grog’s Surf Palace in Seaside Park, was the mecca of the east coast. His shop created an intersection of surfers from around the world as surf culture and industry began to build. Legendary surfers Mike Doyle, Gerry Lopez, Corky Carroll, Shaun Tomson, Mickey Munoz, David Nuuhiwa- all came and surfed in NJ because of Greg’s unique vision that put Casino Pier on the map. A Life Outside weaves their stories along side the lives of the NJ men, exposing that regardless of fame or monetary rewards - at the core is the same unrestrained passion and single focus to surf.
Surfers live simply and close to nature, they monitor weather and storm patterns hoping for swell. Changing global conditions have affected the cycles of waves and storms and with over 50 years of surfing, they know it first hand. October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit. Towns, homes, and the Casino Pier were destroyed. The lives of the NJ crew forever changed.
A Life Outside is about more than surfing. Its a story about not giving up or giving in, and having the courage- in and out of the water- to live life deeply, simply and close to nature