Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paddle Out - for Freddie Knapp - This Saturday, April 9th...8am. Harris St. Bay Head

The man & one of his many boards
Tuesday  March 22nd, 2011, we lost a great man, a dedicated member of our surfing tribe...Freddie Knapp.  Anyone that surfed Bay Head and surrounding beaches knew who Freddie was...if not by name, certainly by face.  Fred surfed here year round since 1964, untill a back injury sidelined him a couple years ago...he still checked the surf and dropped by to talk stories on a regular basis.  Big Fred will be missed in our lineups, as he was an original, a true classic.

I think Steve Messenger said it best.  "A Surfer through and through...Freddie started surfing in 1964, the year I was born. To say that he was one of the original surfers in this Northern Ocean County area would be accurate, and has been a part of the surfing culture from Pt. Pleasant to Normandy Beach.  I surfed with Freddy ... he was always with a smile and a good word... even if he wasn't feeling well... you never knew he had a bad day."

Local surfer, Jeff Beverly Sr. had this to say.  "I surfed with Fred for many years in Bay Head. He was a great guy and I will miss seeing him checking the waves. Gone but never forgotten. RIP old friend.<3"

I know we all have our memories of Fred...for me, I'll miss surfing with him and his frequent visits to the shop.  He would stop by, always with a smile on his face and always a good word.  I need to share my favorite story Freddie told me. 

It was a bunch of years back.  I've got an early 60s Greg Noll Surfboard hanging on the wall in the shop.  Fred got talking about Greg and how he looked up to his big wave surfing ability and how he visited Hawaii in the late 1960s.  He said it was 1969 and he was in Makaha...they were getting hit with a huge swell.  Only the best of the best big wave riders were out.  He watched as Greg Noll paddled out and sat in the line up for a long time.  He went on to tell me how he saw Greg catch one of the biggest waves he had ever seen!  Freddie was referring to  the infamous December 4th, 1969, where Greg Noll surfed what is still considered to be one of the biggest waves ever paddled into.  Fred was there!  He ran down the beach and retrieved the famed yellow board that was ridden that day and gave it back to Greg.  He went home and came back to the shop with photos of the day and of the ride.  There they were...I held them in my hands.  You could see the wave and the surfer...he was there all right!  Fred was a local legend and will be greatly missed.

In honor of our fallen brother, there will be a Memorial Paddle out ceremony this Saturday, April 9th, 2011...8am at Harris Street in Bay Head. Rain or Shine.  The water is still 43 degrees, so if you chose to stay on the beach, that's fine...all are welcome and appreciated.  Please pass the word along to any one that knew Fred.

Frederic B. Knapp, 67, of Point Pleasant Beach, passed away suddenly Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at his vacation home in New Foundland, PA. Born on Staten Island, New York, he lived there for 20 years before moving to Point Pleasant Beach in 1964. Mr. Knapp served his country in the U.S. Army. He was a driver for Texaco for 20 years and then a salesman for Surf Chevrolet in Point Pleasant Beach for 20 years before retiring. Freddie was an avid surfer who enjoyed fishing and spending quality time with his family and friends at Normandy Beach.

He was preceded in death by his sister in law, Maureen O'Shaughnessy and brothers in law, Ed and Bill Finnerty. Surviving are the love of his life, his beloved wife of 47 years Patricia Finnerty Knapp, his loving daughter, Colleen Knapp of Toms River, the light of his life, his cherished granddaughter, Carlie, his dear sisters, Elizabeth Knapp of New Foundland, PA and Michele Parzych and husband Will of Moscow, PA, his nieces, Maureen O'Shaughnessy, Allison Glossinger and husband Jason, Barbara Parzych, and nephews Eddie and Jerry O'Shaughness, cousins, Walter, Scott and Allen Ireland.


Charles said...

The Man... Freddie was a great friend and neighbor for over 25 years. For as stoked as he was for family, friends and surfing - it will be an honor to take part. I'll pass the word to his Normandy/Deauville friends..
Chuck Garbe

SinglefinGlide said...

Awesome...see you there.