Author Topic: It’s winter in New York City. Time to go surfing (Article from The Guardian)  (Read 1946 times)

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Offline jeffbhall

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http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/03/winter-storm-new-york-city-surfing  (Click through for photos and better formatting)

As one of the largest ever winter storms rolled out of New York City in late January, Albert Weaver’s surf expedition went something like this. Dig car out: one hour. Car battery is dead. Charge it: one hour. Plow truck buries car. Dig it out again: one hour. Drive to Rockaway, New York City’s only surf beach: one hour.
For Weaver, an entire morning doing battle with the city instantly became worth it when he made it to the sand. The storm had given him the gift of near perfect barreling waves. The larger sets coming in were overhead, at about seven feet.
“Anytime there are waves, regardless of how cold it is, you have to go out,” said Weaver, a 47-year-old artist who lives in Bushwick.

New York City’s surfing community is knit together through adversity. The conditions will probably be small and choppy, except after a hurricane or snowstorm. A high-pressure career often gets in the way of the time-intensive journey to the beach. The silver lining is the city has developed a culture distinct from cliche surf hubs. It’s gritty and diverse with an eye for style.
“I would say if you can surf here you can surf anywhere,” said Grace Lee, 32 and a vice-president at a civil engineering firm in downtown Manhattan. “It is like running with weights on.”
Like other transplants, Lee thought moving to New York meant nailing the coffin shut on surfing. That changed when she stumbled across a Meetup group of surfers who lived in the city. She is now in the water two or three times a week, year round.
“You could be in your wetsuit early mornings and then you jump on the train and be in your business suit at work by 9.30,” Lee said.
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The same tools one might use for career climbing in New York are the same for making it out to the water, especially in the winter. There’s detailed tracking of tides, swell height and wind direction. Subway track work needs to be negotiated. If you leave one wetsuit bootie at home, forget going in the water, which can dip to 33 degrees in winter.
“The surfers I’ve met here are focused,” said Nicky Keros, a film student who documents the city’s surfing community. “They have an agenda, they know what they are going to do today, they know how to do it, how to prepare and execute.”
Keros is a surfer from warmer waters. He said he isn’t ready to invest in the equipment and deal with the discomfort of jumping in the surf.
To lessen the burden of city surfing, Sangik Tsedenov rents two houses. One is in Queens, where he lives. The other is in Rockaway, which he shares with five other surfers. That house is for storing boards, hot showers and sleeping over before an early surf session.
“It is a lot of commitment,” said Tsedenov, 30 and an IT guy. He’s also Russian.

That’s one of the things that struck Weaver as unique to surfing in New York City. He was accustomed to the typical blond-haired and blue-eyed surfers in California, his home state. Here in the water there are Japanese, French, Australian, Taiwanese, and the list goes on.
“You have different languages spoken in the water and I think that’s incredible,” said Weaver.
The age of surfers also tends to run older, according to Chris Gentile, from Pilgrim Surf + Supply store in Williamsburg.
“They come to surfing much later in their life in their 30s, 40s, 50s,” he said, adding that surfing’s egalitarian nature is intensified in New York City.
“The social makeup in the lineup [of surfers] at Rockaway can be billionaires, firemen, carpenters, artists,” Gentile said.Recent revival  To be clear, there has always been a surf community in the city, although the strength of its heartbeat fluctuates. While researching for his documentary about New York City firefighter and surfer Don Eichin, film-maker Thomas Brookins found an image from the late 1800s. It showed a man and child at Rockaway Beach standing next to a giant metal surfboard reminiscent of an airplane wing.
“The construction of that board really says something about New York’s surfing culture – it has definitely been there for quite some time,” said Brookins.
That culture is at a time of resurgence. At Rockaway, New York City’s only surf beach (although the winter storm produced a break at Coney Island, a once in a decade phenomenon), crime is down about 70% since 1990. Trendy bars and restaurants are now common rather than unusual.
The exponential improvement in wetsuits – flexible rubber and secure seams – has also made surfing year round somewhat comfortable, according to Mikey DeTemple, New York City’s only professional surfer (yes, it has one).
“You’re equally as warm walking down Broadway in 20 degrees and a 30 mile per hour wind,” he said, “as you are in lineup at some of the raw spots in New York with the same wind and temperature.”
Even though surfing has defined much of DeTemple’s life, basing himself in New York City – he grew up on Long Island – also allows him to do other things. You might have seen him in Jack Spade’s 2014 menswear campaign. DeTemple also directs surf films and advertising campaigns.

It’s this balance in identity, along with New York’s eye for good design and fashion, that has shaped the city’s boutique surf brands. They are thriving at home and overseas.
 AdvertisementGentile from Pilgrim described his brand as surf wear for adults. Instead of neon colors and loud logos, the design is minimalist with a focus on sustainability and quality.
“We were making clothes for people who are surfers, but it doesn’t have to say it on our sleeves,” said Gentile.
Saturdays Surf NYC, another boutique brand, has four locations in Japan. It recently opened an outpost in Australia, the birthplace of big brands like Billabong, Rip Curl and Quiksilver.
“[Saturdays] is our interpretation of surfing and surf culture blending with the influence of New York style and fashion,” said Morgan Collett, a Saturdays co-founder. He missed the swell from the storm only because he was presenting the brand’s next collection in Paris.
“It was probably the best day I’ve seen on the east coast in 10 years,” Collett said.

Offline adamlesper

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wishing Lido would stay out of the news..

Offline 75Jbass

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Billionaires in the lineup!

Offline SeaCliff

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Here's a list of the top 10 Billionaires in New York, according to Forbes.

David Koch, net worth $42.90 billion
Michael Bloomberg, net worth $35.50 billion
George Soros, net worth $24.20 billion
Carl Icahn, net worth $23.50 billion
Ronald Perelman net worth $14.50 billion
James Simons net worth $14 billion
Rupert Murdoch net worth $13.90 billion
Stephen Schwarzman net worth $12.00 billion
John Paulson net worth $11.20 billion
Alan Wertheimer net worth $9.50

I don't recall seeing any of them in the lineup, so I'm just this side of calling BS on Chris's quote in the article. Now it's possible we've been surfing with one of the lesser billionaires, but what's the point - if you're not even in the top 10, does it even count?  ::)
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Offline jonnyslasher

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Apparently Peter Thiel (Paypal) surfs ... might just be a gajillionaire though, not sure.





Offline 75Jbass

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Props to this Grace Lee... If she's working in downtown Manhattan and surfing 3 days a week year round she must be dialed in on some other level.

Nothing wrong with a little exaggeration. Though I guess with access to both NY/NJ this might the possible for certain parts of the year.

Offline adamlesper

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Thats 150+ days in the water without even taking trips..  I call that a good year.

Offline nose_manual

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This article does a slightly better job, but it seems to me that the NYC surf scene is invariably linked in the media to the wealthy, or to business people.  Or to those who can afford two rents.  This is annoying as sh*t but I guess maybe it speaks to classism and to the full steam ahead push to get rid of anyone within city limits who is blue collar or poor.

But then again, I didn't expect much else.

 


Offline HydroGlide

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This article does a slightly better job, but it seems to me that the NYC surf scene is invariably linked in the media to the wealthy, or to business people.  Or to those who can afford two rents.  This is annoying as sh*t but I guess maybe it speaks to classism and to the full steam ahead push to get rid of anyone within city limits who is blue collar or poor.

But then again, I didn't expect much else.

 


that surf gentrification claim may have some stereotypical truth to it but its also a little melodramatic.  The article speaks to those willing to speak to a newspaper about their surf habits - which used to be rare - but for more than a decade, speakers have been usually represented by some myopic, self obsessed, media whore (as you reference)  - or local yokel grabbing a chance to show mom their NYT article as proof they are not a waste of life (as they build their surf related business in her basement).  There used to be some wealthy and/or business people who knew the benefits of SingTFU about their surf habits - but then again they are probably all aging fast- its hard to find anyone under 30 that isn't publicly working on their brand or who understands the original meaning of the term "selling out". Try as you will but the Ramones are dead and there's no going back to the Lindsey days
Who's walking down the streets of the city smiling at ...............................................................
   ..................................................................................
Everyone knows its Lindsey




chips on the ball

Offline adamlesper

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The only wealthy businessmen who surf are Jon Woodman and Kelly Slater, they def dont wear 5mm suits and surf in the snow.

Offline nose_manual

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This article does a slightly better job, but it seems to me that the NYC surf scene is invariably linked in the media to the wealthy, or to business people.  Or to those who can afford two rents.  This is annoying as sh*t but I guess maybe it speaks to classism and to the full steam ahead push to get rid of anyone within city limits who is blue collar or poor.

But then again, I didn't expect much else.

 


that surf gentrification claim may have some stereotypical truth to it but its also a little melodramatic.  The article speaks to those willing to speak to a newspaper about their surf habits - which used to be rare - but for more than a decade, speakers have been usually represented by some myopic, self obsessed, media whore (as you reference)  - or local yokel grabbing a chance to show mom their NYT article as proof they are not a waste of life (as they build their surf related business in her basement).  There used to be some wealthy and/or business people who knew the benefits of SingTFU about their surf habits - but then again they are probably all aging fast- its hard to find anyone under 30 that isn't publicly working on their brand or who understands the original meaning of the term "selling out". Try as you will but the Ramones are dead and there's no going back to the Lindsey days
Who's walking down the streets of the city smiling at ...............................................................
   ..................................................................................
Everyone knows its Lindsey




chips on the ball


Agreed. I guess I wasn't trying to gripe about surfing being gentrified or co-opted in some way (especially as it compares to those things happening in much more important places, like neighborhoods), but about how the NY Times et al seem hell-bent on validating it as some weird career move. Trade your wetsuit for a business suit, that kind of thing.


SingTFU is smart, and I think you hit the nail on the head about who's less likely to do so.

Offline Jaxson_Dobbs

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This article appeared in the NY Times? It reads like an 6th Grader wrote it...

Offline SeaCliff

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Props to this Grace Lee... If she's working in downtown Manhattan and surfing 3 days a week year round she must be dialed in on some other level.

Nothing wrong with a little exaggeration. Though I guess with access to both NY/NJ this might the possible for certain parts of the year.


Plenty of weeks out there without 3 surfable days.  :-\

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