When we released the news of the REAL Camp Reunion Tour, we knew people would be stoked to come back to Cape Hatteras, do some riding and share in some good times. Little did we know that REAL Reunion Tour 2008 would include the likes of none other than Jimmy Buffett!
There’s not too many days that you get to take a session with someone as cool, laid back and talented as Jimmy Buffett. Two years ago we were lucky enough to bump into Jimmy in the British Virgin Islands and spent a day surfing head high point break waves with light offshore winds. Tons of long waves, big smiles and lifelong memories were had that day.
On Tuesday, November 11th, Jimmy Buffett caught up with us again at the new REAL Flagship Store in Cape Hatteras, NC. Jimmy was on a road trip from New York to Charleston, SC in his vegetable oil powered diesel 4×4 van nicknamed “The Green Tomato”. This rig is completely tricked out including a bed, cooking appliances, refrigerator, air compressor, shower, HD batteries, 360 degree outside lights, racks for all of his boards, paddles, boats, etc and all of his fishing gear. Jimmy’s three key weapons included his Surftech Takayama 11’ Standup Paddleboard, his Stewart 9’ longboard and his new prototype Native Fishing Standup Paddleboard. When we bumped into Jimmy 2 years ago, it was the first time he had ever seen standup paddleboarding, as this was when we were shooting the REAL Standup Instructional DVD. Now he is fully bitten by the bug and paddles every day!
When you are Jimmy Buffett, you travel in style. Whether it be his 4×4 van or his sea plane that he buzzed by REAL with early in the morning, Jimmy is equipped with every conceivable mode of transportation (including his mountain bike that Dave Betz tuned the rear wheel on) and every way of enjoying his time off the stage and in the water. Jimmy’s trusty Stewart surfboard had seen a lot of time in the water and in the sun, so it was time for Buffett to tighten up with a new stick from the board loft at REAL. Jimmy chose a Surftech Robert August “What I Ride” wood veneer 9’0, a timeless classic that we hope lasts as long and gets him into as many waves as the Stewart did.
After Jimmy got geared up, we were on the hunt for some waves. With a stiff NE wind, we opted for the Frisco Pier, hoping the SE groundswell was still running down there. When we arrived we were greeted with total flatness and a fleet of fishing boats off on the horizon. We made a quick decision to then head down to Slash Creek in Hatteras Village and try out the new Native Fishing SUPS during a sunset/full moon paddle. We were lucky enough to time the paddle perfectly, getting in 45 minutes paddling into the sunset and then 45 minutes paddling back into the full moon ! Everyone took turns riding each other’s boards, as well as coaxing Jason Slezak out of his sit down pedal kayak ! (We vowed to Slezy to include this footage in his next video part…)
During the paddle, we found out why Jimmy had not landed his Sea Plane at REAL earlier that morning. It wasn’t because the water was too shallow or because the wind was too strong, it was because Slezy’s friend Lindsay was inside the plane filling up a Food Lion shopping back with last night’s dinner ! That wasn’t the only story told, but was definitely among the funnier ones. We met back up at the bridge at the end of the paddle and headed over to Dinky’s Restaurant on the docks for dinner and a few cold ones.
If you’ve never been to Dinky’s it’s a cool place, with great food, a small dining area that’s well laid out with a nice atmosphere and service. Jimmy was pumped for some “boat drinks” as he’s a rum fan and always looks forward to a rum and tonic after each session. When he found out it was beer and wine only, he was still stoked but we could tell he was missing the rum. He then remembered he had a bottle of Barbencort Rum from Haiti and a nice bottle of red wine in his van and asked if he could bring them inside. This is allowed in Dare County because of the “brown bag” law. That was when Jimmy “uncorked” the line of the night, “It’s time for some proper boat drinks. Get me some tonic and lime… I’ve got the rum!” We mixed up a killer batch of rum and tonics and continued the party over dinner with grouper, tuna and NZ rack of lamb. Jimmy still had videos from the day we surfed with him two years ago stored on his iPhone. We laughed at the waves we shared together and talked about the upcoming REAL BVI trip this winter, hoping we could catch another session together at that point break.
Nuzzi and Trip were laughing at the end of the night because this was the first time we had ever entered a restaurant in Cape Hatteras four hours before they closed! It’s always 4 minutes before they closed! Even so, we walked in at 5pm and left at 9pm, right at the closing bell, full with good food, drinks and more good sessions with Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy headed down the road, keeping an air of mystery about where his next stop was. He was “on vacation” he said and when you have time off, it’s best to just cruise and take the sessions when they come.
“Two years ago we got to share some waves with Jimmy in the BVI’s. After growing up with his music on the boat, it was pretty cool to be sharing party waves with Jimmy on such a good day and then getting to show him some of our home turf as well. I never knew he surfed until then, but his stoke for the sport and his commitment to scoring good waves is impressive. When it’s on, and he has the time, he’s on it!” – Trip Forman
“We had an amazing paddle down Slash Creek in Hatteras Village, which I have never done before. Jimmy and Andy let me use one of their SUF boards( Stand up Fishing boards) Which was a blast.. no fish but plenty of good times. The boat drinks at the end of the night capped off a great day. Thanks Jimmy!!” – Sam Bell
“Hanging out with an icon like Jimmy Buffett was amazing. He has inspired millions of people to kick up their feet and enjoy life. To see that is truly how he lives his life was inspiring. – Matt Nuzzo
Thanks for stopping by Jimmy!