Ortley Beach resident and competitive surfer, AJ Crisafulli, has known and loved surfing since the age of 3. Competing by the time he was 13, AJ continues to train hard, eat well while supporting the local businesses and surf community. Surviving Superstorm Sandy, the beautiful shoreline was devastated and the picturesque hometown became his worst nightmare. Losing his home, AJ ended up living with his best friends for about a year while others are still not back in their homes. The rude awakening of the storm was watching those who kept fighting despite their losses and those that disappeared without lifting a hand to help others. Despite all that was going on, he and his friends find ways to surf all year round despite the frozen lips and hurricane wells. This surfer’s love of surfing and his community has further strengthened him; physically and mentally.
Name: AJ Crisafulli
Date of Birth: 04.25.1996.
Height: 5’5″ (1.65 m)
Location: Ortley Beach, New Jersey, USA
Local Break: Ortley Beach
Countries Surfed: USA, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Mexico
Experience (Years): 16
Inspirations: My father, Laird Hamilton, Sean Taylor, Jay Moriarty, Troy Polamalu
How did you get into surfing?
My father introduced me to surfing when I was 3, and he’d push me into little waves until I was able to do it on my own. I can’t remember a time in my life where surfing wasn’t present in my own life. My dad has been an awesome influence as he surfed throughout his childhood and supported me through it as well.
Since then, I’ve been competing, traveling, training for the biggest waves I can find and enjoying the breaks with my best friends. Also, I gotta give credit to my dad for getting me into making custom boards and doing board repairs; reinforcing that surfing is hard work in and out of the ocean.
Can you give us an idea of what your typical meals in a day would be?
A balanced diet is important and eat more protein than anything in all my meals throughout the day. In addition to my meals, I drink at least 2 protein shakes a day but my fave meal, chicken and rice!
Do you do any stretches or exercises pre- or post-surf?
I train every day before or after surfing (depending on conditions), it keeps my body in shape so that it will be able to handle surfing for years to come. I want to surf for the rest of my life given that I am super happy in the line-up.
Being physically able and strong in the water is super important given that you can never be under prepared for what the ocean can bring.
Additionally, I watch files of certain breaks including my own footage and others’ footages to educate myself. Surfing is an education in itself, there’s always something to learn and because of the different variables you will always have something to learn.
What do you grab for a post-surf snack?
I always have a protein shake when I’m done surfing. On occasion, I’ll grab some Wawa or a burrito with my friends.
What’s your favourite gear?
I’m a walking billboard for NJ Surf Show as I’m sporting their gear. I am a big supporter of local businesses and NJ Surf Show provides some awesome locally shaped boards, art and apparel.