Beginnings….A Surfer’s Biography
Charlie Kunes (CBK): Riding a wave of passion he brought California’s soulful surfing era of the ‘60s to New Jersey. With a stylish flow and powerful carving maneuvers his rides were a ballet on a board, just beautiful.
A special breed of individualistic surfer he co-founded, organized and was president of Kiernan Surfing Association a group dedicated to all Surfers and the surfing community. To date KSA has placed, eleven members in the New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame. KSA also hosted guest surfers Dewey Weber, Nat Young, Mike Tabeling and Denny “River Rat” Waller.
Focusing on the Seaside, Lavallette and Belmar areas with a strong and ever gaining surf presence he was invited to join Les Reitman’s Manatee Surf Shop’s Hobie Competition Team.
With interests now moving up the coast, surfing the various breaks of Sandy Hook, Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach and Long Branch, dominating the break wherever and whenever he was in the water. He dominated at “Kiernan”, "Sandy Hook", “Ferndocks” as well as “Logs” to name a few of the right hand jetty point breaks. A leader and Captain on the “Dewey Weber Team” at “Monmouth Beach Surf Shop”, Charlie managed the shop for Bill Minder. The consummate competitive surfer he competed in both individual as well as Tandem events. His contest record was solid and extensive locally, regionally and nationally, including a two time New Jersey State Champion.
Together with Tandem partner Nancy Meltzhoff, they won the East Coast Championships in the summer of August 1967 at Virginia Beach, VA. From that victory they earned a “Bit-O-honey” Candy TV commercial that ran nationally for two years
He was featured in numerous media articles and print ads. In contest he competed for prizes ranged from surfboards, watches, wet suits, surf trips, cash, to a Dodge Van. “Our first pro! Do that dance again Charlie!” Derf McTighe
A craftsman as well Charlie also enjoyed surfboard design; repairing and then moving on to shape surfboards in the Weber shop and eventually under his own “Kunes Surfboards” label. While still working with Bill and for Dewey, Charlie was able to visit California with fellow teammate Hank Gilbertson, invited to visit the Weber factory to review considerations with Dewey and leading shapers Harold Iggy and Reno Abellira. In this transition era the team was experimenting with several different design principles including one that eventually would become the S.K.I. Dewey, Nat and Reno were at the time the greatest of the short board Revolutionaries. Collectively their influence was felt around the surfing world with board designs quickly changing and Charlie was there.
The CK label was successful, though only for a short period of time in the early 1970’s. His factory designed and produced a very contemporary surfboard with quality shaping by Charlie and stellar glassing and finishes by Scott Busbey, a member of the 2018 Class, East Coast Surfing Hall Of Fame and owner of "In The Eye/Natural Art Surf Shop." The boards were chosen by many surfers from the Monmouth County area and beyond. He provided a few up and coming young surfers, including CK team members Gary Germain and Steve Adeskavitz the kind of professional equipment needed to excel. “Proud to call him a friend and inspiration" Joseph Schluter
Local legend tells of a story that one huge day, 25ft plus, of surf in the 1960’s, a jet ski would have been nice, he and fellow Weber Team mates Joe Pignataro and “JJ” Jim Jeffrey paddled out from the beach a mile to surf Shrewsbury Rocks, an underwater reef just east of Monmouth Beach.
Charlie’s influence over the surf community during the 60’s and 70’s was unweaving and those who knew him can attest to both his surfing skill and strength in and out of the water. In 75 he moved to Hawaii where he surfed all the major breaks on the North Shore, and his favorites on Kauai included Hanalei Bay, Centers, Acid Drops and Major’s. He currently resides in Florida enjoys art work and keeping in touch with fellow surfers and friends through social media and travel.
Charlie Kunes is a Northern Monmouth County Surf Legend.
“You are the waves” Pamela Lillie
“You are our Legend!”
Some Surfing Accomplishments
2017 Inductee into the New Jersey Surfing Hall Of Fame.
A Recipient of ESA “Certificate of Excellence”
Teams: Hobie Surfboards, Manatee Surf Shop Team, Dewey Weber Surfboards, Monmouth Beach Surf Shop Team and Captain, Dewey Weber Team.
1966-&-1967 1st Jersey State Open Surfers Championships, Men’s
1967 3rd First Annual NH Open, Men’s
1968 1st First Atlantic City Invitational, Men’s
Grand Prix of Surfing
1967 1st Atlantic States Contest, Tandem
1967 1st Virginia Beach East Coast Surfing Championships, Tandem
1968 3rd Gilgo Beach NY. East Coast Surfing Championships, Men’s, East Coast Ranking #5
1967 “Red Jacket” team member for Dewey Weber.
1967 Selected to ride for Dewey Weber Team. Traveled to Puerto Rico to compete on East Coast Team for World Trials.
1965 Co-founded, organized and president (1965 - 1970) of
Kiernan Surfing Assoc. www.surfksausa.org/
2016 Honorary Lifetime Member of the Dewey Weber Surf Team.
2017 Inductee into the New Jersey Surfing Hall Of Fame.
ORDER A TEE, Help STOP the 'Sea of Plastic'
On September 24th, 2016 Shea Weber, Dewey's son awarded............ Charlie Kunes a commendation for his fifty years’ contribution to the surfing community and as a former Dewey Weber Surf Team member, honored him as a........... Life Time Team Member.
Photo Gallery: Bio Pics
The following pictorial represents places surfed, California- Puerto Rico- Mexico, in visits though out the time while living and surfing in New Jersey and the East Coast, 1965 – 1974, Hawaii after leaving New Jersey 1975
Bio Pics: Surfed CA, Hawaii +
Charlie (CBK) Holding a CK Surfboard – Vintage “72”
The CBK is a performance shortboard. It works well in all conditions. With a single to double concave, medium rocker and a low rail set, this board is fast and super responsive. The CBK will take you anywhere you want to go on a wave. Great board for high performance surfing suiting waves 2 - 8 ft
Visitors you may enjoy Hawaiian Music while on this page.
“Some Ware Over the Rainbow"
SurfersVillageTV - Channel Trailer youtu.be/lC4xTNb1FB8
A SSOCIATION www.surfksausa.com/
This is a good place to view some great vintage photos. www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206633824866959&set=a.10200522726333315.2205477.1312719506&type=3
Hang Ten ad — with DEWEY WEBER SURFBOARDS
"Stay Close to the Soul"