Salty Air

Edward Gurnett – Surfing Pundit

Written by Brian Tarcy

WELLFLEET – Edward Gurnett’s running commentary through a megaphone as the surfing pundit at the Cape Cod Oldtimers Longboard Classic is better than most stand-up comedy routines.

Edward Gurnett, Surfing Pundit

Edward Gurnett, Surfing Pundit

“He’s brash. There’s no holds-barred. He has no filter,” said Steve Griffin. “That is no act. He was born like that. He was born obnoxious. The guy just doesn’t care, and everybody just laughs along. He’s so quick, he’s like Robin Williams.”

Gurnett of Eastham, is 60, or 57 as he was last year, or 64 as he was in a conversation with a different surfer on Sunday,. His flexible age seems to epitomize his ability to pivot in conversation. His quick-witted announcing of the surfing contest proves it.

Gurnett, who now works in construction, is trained as a sculptor. He also worked as a bartender for Rick’s Outer Bar, owned by Rick Weeks, for more than two decades. He’s a character,” said Weeks. “He can carry on a conversation about anything.”

Weeks, a surfer who was at the Longboard Classic, said, “None of us here have normal lives.”

Gurnett was born in in South Boston and grew up in Weymouth, and “surfed a lot of Nantasket Beach.” He also summered in Eastham.

Tom “Flats” Flaherty, remembered, “He was a summer kid on the Cape and he ended up hanging out at the surf shop, like the rest of us.”

The surf contest has been going on for decades, said Flaherty, and Gurnett became the announcer when the original announcer, Kevin “Foggy” Foley left. “Eddie picked it up after Kevin started sailing around the world,” said Flaherty.

And then he said this...

And then he said this…

“He’s got a great sense of humor,” said Weeks of Gurnett. And then noting that a favorite drink of Cape Cod surfers is a homemade concoction of many things, known as “Wipeout,” Weeks laughed and said, “If you’ve had enough Wipeout, anyone can do it.”

Yet somehow through all of Gurnett’s politically incorrect commentary, a saltwater-tinged sweetness seeped into almost everything he said.

Surfboards lined up, and Edward Gurnett is ready to announce.

Surfboards lined up, and Edward Gurnett is ready to announce.

“I have a blast when I’m up there,” said Gurnett. “The real story is that I don’t know what I am going to say.”

That’s pretty obvious.

“He’s a little twisted and a really great guy,” said Karen Baker.

And he loves the ocean. As Gurnett said, “Everything in my life is saturated with salt water.” He pointed to the dunes and the ocean. “I’m looking out at that,” he said, “Life is wonderful. Life is beautiful. It doesn’t get any better than this.”  (See Whitecrest Beach Summer Haze)

While he doesn’t surf in this contest, he still surfs and loves everything about surfing. “Once you surf, you’ll be in heaven,” he said. “From the first day I surfed, I said I’m going to do this forever.”


See also Stoked At The Cape Cod Oldtimers Longboard Surfing Classic

From 2014 – A-Mung The Happy Surfers

From 2013 – Poetic Beach Boys Go Surfing

All Cape Cod Wave Surfing Stories


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— Brian Tarcy



About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
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Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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