Kiernan Surfing Association Gains Historic Recognition From Park System

08/09/2016 20:58

By Ted Geiser

August 9, 2016

Holmdel, NJ – Last night the Monmouth County Park System granted permission to The Kiernan Surfing Association to place an historic memorial plaque at Seven Presidents’ Oceanfront Park in the area formerly known as Kiernan Beach.   This marks the culmination of almost one year of negotiations with the park by members of the association to reach this agreement which recognizes a part of the Oceanfront Park that was the birthplace of organized surfing in New Jersey.   Support for the project came from current and former Friends of the Park Presidents Elwood Baxter and Tom Sannelli as well as from Congressman Frank Pallone, Mayor Emeritus of the Borough of Long Branch Howard Woolley, Monmouth County Freeholder John P. Curley, Mayor Dina Long of the Borough of Sea Bright and Mayor John Ekdahl of the Borough of Rumson.


In 1965, what was then a privately owned unused beach at the end of Kiernan Boulevard in Long Branch became the first location where early adopters of the sport of surfing could practice their sport exclusively.  At that time surfing was not permitted on almost all the private beach clubs that occupied the New Jersey oceanfront.  The sport was considered too dangerous to be allowed at these clubs.  When a group of surfers joined hands with a surfing friendly beach owner who agreed to lease the unoccupied beach to them for the purpose of riding waves, the Kiernan Surfing Association was born.  In 1973, the Monmouth County Park System purchased the land along with other connected beachfront properties to create Seven Presidents’ Oceanfront Park.  Last year members of the Kiernan Surfing Association gathered for a reunion on the location where Kiernan Beach once existed.


On September 24th, the association will be celebrating its 50th year reunion back at Kiernan, where they will be unveiling a replica of the memorial plaque that will be placed on the path leading to the beach where organized surfing in New Jersey began.


To learn more about this award or the upcoming reunion, please contact

Ted Geiser, Media Relations

Cell:  802.224.6724

Fax:  802.329.2181