10-year-old N.J. surfer celebrates 365 consecutive days of catching waves

A year ago, 10-year-old Carter Doorley made a bet that he could surf 100 days in a row. On Monday, he celebrated 365 consecutive days of surfing with a tour of the Jersey Shore.

Carter, of Brigantine, was a bit bored when the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to go remote and he wasn’t able to see his friends. So his mom, Dawn Doorley, agreed to give the idea a go, not thinking he’d stick with it for very long. Carter has been diagnosed with ADHD and she said it’s been hard to find any activity to keep him interested in for any length of time.

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“Before we knew it, it was like day 50 and I’m like ‘he may actually do this’ and then he just hasn’t given up,” Dawn said in an interview last October, on Carter’s 150th consecutive day of surfing. Some days he only surfed a few waves, other days he spent a considerable amount of time in the water.
10-year-old N.J. boy surfs 365 days in a row, May 24, 2021

Ten-year-old Carter Doorley, of Brigantine, left, and friends wade out into the ocean at the Essex Avenue beach in Margate, Monday, May 24, 2021. Carter surfed 14 different spots along the Jersey Shore Monday in celebration of his 365th consecutive day of surfing. Margate was his sixth stop of the day, around noon.Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Monday’s surfing tour could be considered a bit of both. With an impressive 14 stops scheduled, he didn’t have all day to spend waiting for that perfect wave at each location.

He started the day at the Cape May Avenue beach in Harvey Cedars, running into the ocean at 6:30 a.m. After catching three good waves in about 15 minutes, he was out of the water and ready to hit Surf City, then on to Beach Haven and Holgate, his last stop in Ocean County.
10-year-old N.J. boy surfs 365 days in a row, May 24, 2021

Ten-year-old Carter Doorley, of Brigantine, surfs at the Holyoke Avenue beach in Beach Haven, early Monday morning, May 24, 2021. Carter surfed 14 different spots along the Jersey Shore Monday in celebration of his 365th consecutive day of surfing. Beach Haven was his third stop of the day, a little after 8 a.m.Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Waiting for him in Atlantic City were a few members of the Atlantic City Fire Department, greeting him as he and a few of his friends walked along the Boardwalk at South Carolina Avenue onto the beach to surf just south of the iconic Steel Pier.

Before heading into the water, he spotted a balloon laying on the beach and ran to collect it, his surfboard still under his arm. Carter and his family made it a mission of sorts to also pick up any trash they’ve seen on the beach every time he went out to surf, and Monday was no different, finding at least four balloons which were collected and discarded properly.
10-year-old N.J. boy surfs 365 days in a row, May 24, 2021

Ten-year-old Carter Doorley, of Brigantine, collects a balloon along the shoreline before surfing in Atlantic City, Monday morning, May 24, 2021. Carter surfed 14 different spots along the Jersey Shore Monday in celebration of his 365th consecutive day of surfing. Atlantic City was his fifth stop of the day, around 10:30 a.m. Carter and his family often pick up trash left on the beach and discard it properly.Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

After approximately 30 minutes of surfing in Atlantic City, it was off to Margate and Longport. By 1:30 p.m., they arrived in Ocean City, the first of six stops in Cape May County, which included Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Wildwood, and Cape May.

All day long, Dawn documented his surfing adventures and posted on his Instagram account — @cartercatcheswaves — so his friends, family and supporters could encourage him throughout the journey, just as they had been doing all year long. Dawn runs the account, monitoring comments, but she lets him comment under her supervision.
10-year-old N.J. boy surfs 365 days in a row, May 24, 2021

Ten-year-old Carter Doorley, of Brigantine, smiles after catching three waves in Harvey Cedars, early Monday morning, May 24, 2021. Carter surfed 14 different spots along the Jersey Shore Monday in celebration of his 365th consecutive day of surfing. Harvey Cedars was his first stop of the day, a little after 6 a.m.Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Carter mostly surfed on a board he helped design and shape with Paul Feriozzi, of Oz Boards. “I designed it to be a short board and custom painted it to look like an old wood design which I thought would be pretty cool, and we both did it together,” said Carter. Feriozzi not only gave Carter the opportunity to create his own board, but also accompanied Carter in the water for the first half of the day, from Harvey Cedars through Ocean City.

As the day was coming to a close, Carter had one more spot to surf — his hometown. He was understandably exhausted — as were his parents — but they couldn’t leave Brigantine out of this epic day, so Carter said he’d surf one wave and be done. Arriving at Pepper Cove a little after 7:30 p.m., he held up small balloons in the shapes of numbers 3, 6, and 5 for a photo before he ran out to catch one more wave. The balloons were promptly popped and tucked into her sweatshirt so she could throw them away at home.
10-year-old N.J. boy surfs 365 days in a row, May 24, 2021

Ten-year-old Carter Doorley, of Brigantine, holds up balloons for a photo before surfing at Pepper Cove in Brigantine, Monday afternoon, May 24, 2021. Carter surfed 14 different spots along the Jersey Shore Monday in celebration of his 365th consecutive day of surfing. Brigantine was his 14th and final stop of the day, around 7:45 p.m. Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

And just like many kids his age not wanting a great day to come to an end, despite being tired that one last wave turned into a few. Carter has no plans to stop at 365 days — he was back out in the water on Tuesday.

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