There’re a lot of damn-good surfers pouring out of New Jersey these days. Led by Dean Randazzo, guys like Frank Walsh, Ryan Kimmel, Matt Keenan, and Sam Hammer are making their mark on the surf world. The following interview with Hammer is the fourth installment of four interviews done during a tour of Australia with the Reef team. Enjoy.—AC[IMAGE 1]
TransWorld SURF: How old are you?
Sam Hammer: Twenty-three.
Where are you from?
Lavalette, New Jersey.
Has anybody ever called you M.C. Hammer?
Yeah, my parents were in West Virginia for a football game. We ordered room service, and they asked if there was any relation. It was pretty funny. When I was younger I used to hear it a lot, but not anymore.
What’s some Italian New Jersey slang you might get called back home?
Guidos or Goombahs or Joeys …
You travel a lot. You’ve had a cover on TransWorld SURF. What are your aspirations as a New Jersey pro surfer?
My goal is always to be the best surfer to come out of Jersey. That’s a pretty tall task considering the likes of Dean Randazzo, Franky Walsh, Matt Keenan, and Ryan Kimmel. But mainly Dean is the one that you kinda gun for, I guess.
Who gets more chicks, you or Ryan Kimmel?
I don’t know. I heard Ryan’s been in a slump since he’s been out in California. He’s not at home you know. It’s pretty easy (here) in the summer.
If you and Ryan got into a fight, who would win?
When he’s drunk, I’ve seen him pretty gnarly. I’ve seen him take some pain. I’ve seen Mikey (Guarino) beat the crap out of him. I think I could take him.
Guarino beat him up?
Guarino took him and I took Guarino. And Mikey can take a pretty good lashing. But I think I’ll take Ryan and Mikey at the same time—no worries.
Are you a big fan of Bon Jovi?
What about the Bruce (Springsteen)?
The Boss? Of course. You gotta be a Bruce fan.
What’s the best wave in Jersey?
Jenks. It’s in Pleasant Point. Actually I shouldn’t say that. It goes off. It’s real wedgy and bowly, real peaky. Close to the beach, big barrels. But no one sits down far enough. They all sit by the jetty, and it sucks over there.
How many pizza pies do you consume in a week?
When I’m on the road, none, because they suck. But when I’m home, a lot—probably three times a week.
Yeah, it’s a must. You gotta live off pizza.
How many New Jersey girls do you consume a week?
(Laughs) Uh, not many right now. I’ve been hangin’ out with a girl at home for a while right now.
Does she know about your dirty past?
Yes, yes, she does. Unfortunately.
Does she know you have a sailor in every port?
(Laughs) No. I’d like to keep that one out of there.
Right now, it’s March. How many places have you been to since Hawaii?
I was home for a few weeks in January. I went to Florida for the trade show, went to California for a few days, to Hawaii for six weeks. Then back to California for three days and then here.
And then you’re going to West Oz?
I’m going to West Oz and then California. This guy’s doing a Shelter type video on the East Coast … so North Carolina. I’m gonna go down to that. I’m gonna go home for a day and then go to that and then go home for a day and then come back to California and then go to Florida.
You’re a big sports fan, aren’t you?
What’s your favorite football team?
What? You’re not a Jets Fan?
I hate the Jets.
I thought Vinny Testaverdi was your guy?
F—k no. Those guys are lame. They play in New Jersey and they say New York. Anyone that’s in Jersey and roots for them is lame.
Can I quoote you on that?
You can quote me on that.
They’re not lame, they’re uh …
If they said the Jersey Jets, then it’d be real, but I think they’re actually trying to build a stadium in New York. Which would be good—get them out of our state.
But then you won’t have a football team?
Do you consider yourself a jock?
I don’t know. I’m not a super sports buff. But sports are good enough.
Tell me something about you I don’t know yet.What’s the biggest Jersey thing you do?
The biggest Jersey thing I do? When I get drunk, you can hear my accent pretty good. When I go home my true colors show.
Do you have a Camaro?
No, but I have a Thunderbird. (Laughs) I do. It’s actually out in California. It’s baby-blue. I drove it cross-country.
When you’re at home, do you roll your sleeves up on your T-shirts?
Do you pattern yourself after the Fonz?
When you retire from surfing, will you go home and transform back into a Guido?
Yeah. Actually when I go home I put the gold chain on and put on heavy cologne, shave my chest, legs, and arms. I fully gel my hair and spike it up with pomade.
And you’re saying that like it’s uncool?
So uncool. No, it’s the coolest thing if you’re at home.
When you do a big turn, do you say, “Hammer Time?
Oh yeah, you flex like Hulk Hogan with his 22-inch pythons.
When you’re picking up chicks, do you say, “You know what, the Hammer’s about to drop?
No, I just ask them if they no what my last name is and I tell ’em what it’s for.
Okay, last question. What’s your biggest pick up line, when you don’t have a girl?
I’m not a smooth talker.
Do you ever say, “You’re the nail and I’m the Hammer?
No. I say, uh, my name’s Sam and I’m gonna hammer it to you.