Rider Profile: Joey Vavala
We recently had a chance to chat with Joe Vavala to see how he was doing. Joe is holding it down as a teacher in his home town in Delaware. Here are a few Q and A’s with Joey about his new lifestyle after being a professional skimboarder.
• Name: Joseph T. Vavala
• Age? 28
• Where did you grow up? Dewey Beach, Delaware
• What was your first skimboard?
A black and red striped SandBlaster I got for Christmas when I was 3 or 4. Harry Wilson owned the company and they made the boards in Delaware. Mine was made by Amber Cottle, an 80s shredder chick from Cali who would enter and place against men in the East Coast Championships.
• Where do you skim the most in Delaware?
I skim a 20 mile stretch of beach from the Naval Jetty to South Bethany. It all depends on variables such as sand, wind, tides, and swell. My favorite place to skim is probably Gordon’s Pond/North Shores in Rehoboth because it consistently offers classic Delaware liners and there is rarely an issue with crowds or tourists. Great place to catch an ego session with some good buds and suds. I find myself at Naval Jetty a bunch too because the place oozes potential. The problem is it’s generally a zoo as a result of skimmers, surfers, spongers, and unattended children playing on the same peak. I usually leave the place angry and frustrated but the days it’s on you leave swearing you caught the longest wave of your life. As a Delaware local I have to shout out South Side and if you listen to local legend Bill “BZA” Baxter it is always bigger and better in South Bethany. There’s also nothing like skimming out front on New Orleans Street.
• Favorite current board?
The One Man Wolfpack without question. I call it that because of the sweet wolf graphic on the bottom (thanks Zap Skimboards). Two years ago I decided to order a 56 inch board that was ¾ inch thick. It was 2 inches longer and thicker from head to toe than what I was riding. The idea was to get a board that would float me through the slow sections at Naval Jetty so I could connect on liners without pumping like a fool. I found out the extra float and speed far outweighed any loss in turning ability. It’s pretty much the only board I ride and I will probably only go bigger in the future.
Allison. I met her when I was playing lacrosse at Binghamton University. She was on the girls lacrosse team and although it may sound like sunshine and rainbows, I decided to transfer and finish college in California. Somehow we survived a 4 year long distance relationship and a few years after moving back home I became a happily married man.
• When did you get married?
October 30, 2010. Easy to remember since it’s the day before Halloween and convenient for calculating how many years I’ve been married.
• What is your typical Sunday?
Depends on the time of year and weather. If it’s warm, I’m waking up to check the waves and making a decision about whether I want to skim, surf, or play golf. When it’s cold I like to sleep in, eat a big breakfast, and watch football all day. Nine months of the year it usually involves grading papers at some point too.
•What are your favorite sports teams that you and the guys watch in the dude den?
Dewey is close to 3 NFL cities (Baltimore, Philly, DC) so there’s some difference s of opinion when it comes to favorite teams. I’m a Philly Fan though, so the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers are always the home teams.
• Favorite sport to watch in man cave?
NFL Sundays with the Redzone channel on one TV and an Eagles game on the other are about as good as it gets. The dual TV setup is perfect for times when there is more than one good game on.
• Other sports you to do besides skimming?
I surf whenever it’s big enough. I also coach basketball and lacrosse at the school where I work. I played both sports growing up and have had a lot of fun coaching. Golf is a new passion of mine as well.
• What do u like to grill?
The usual. Burgers, dogs, chicken, and maybe some kabobs and vegetables when I want to get fancy. I’m not the best chef though. Definitely an area I need to work on.
• Lowe’s or Home Depot?
Sounds like a question I ask my math students. It depends on who has the better deal.
• What is next?
Hopefully I will just keep living the good life. Probably have a baby in the next few years. Maybe get a puppy this summer. Who knows?
Here are a few photos of Joey of an average summer day at Southside Inlet, Delaware.
Photo Credit: Dave Scott