Picture this: the hustle and bustle of a New York City subway car. NYers heading to their coveted weekend brunch and tourists checking their maps to make sure they will not miss their stop. Oh, and then there happens to be a 9 foot 2 inch surfboard sitting in the middle of the subway car. Nothing in NYC really surprises me anymore. Yes, I will take a second glance, but from my three years living here in NYC, I have learned that anything goes in this city. And to be honest, I am not surprised because that longboard traveling on the subway car is mine.
First, if you happen to be a passenger on that subway car, your initial reaction is, “Is that really a surfboard?” Fair question, my longboard is protected in a black and silver carrying travel bag (see picture above). After that question is answered, the next dubious question comes, “Where are you going with it? There are no waves in NYC.” Well, since the secret is already getting out, I might as well share. But this is only between you and me, OK???
Last year, after years of secretly wanting to learn how to surf, I finally followed my aspiration. Why did it take years? First, I like to say that no one ever asked me if I wanted to learn how to surf and second, I never really was in a place where I was exposed to surfing. Well, all the planets and stars certainly aligned almost two years ago on a weekend trip to Montauk, NY. In front of my ogling eyes there were surfers enjoying beautiful waves. At that very moment I decided to make my desire a reality.
Well, not at the very second, but I started planning on how and when I was going to learn how to surf. I decided if I really wanted to “stick” with it, I should make surfing my New Year’s resolution. A couple months into the New Year, an email appeared in my inbox from Jauntsetter, a blog on “Escape Plans for New Yorkers” that I follow. In front of my eyes lay the golden ticket. You could learn to surf in NYC! Ok, not in NY Harbor, but in Queens. All I had to do was hop on the “A” train headed to Far Rockaway and show up at the beach. Done and done.
So I recruited one of my friends and off we headed to the beach one Saturday AM in early June. It was a rainy, grey day and certainly not a beach day. But hey, I was gonna get wet anyway, right? Also, the rain kept the crowds away and safe from Kristen on a surfboard!
I honestly can say it was love at first nose dive. The rush you feel as the surge of energy of the wave takes you on a ride: pure STOKE.
Fast forward to today, and I would like to recognize my one year anniversary to me and my new love, surfing. As a new surfing buddy put it so eloquently today, there is “BS” and “AS”: life before surfing and life after surfing. So here is to many more beautiful years to come, and always feeling that same Kook stoke from my first ride.
And I guess a moral of this story is that I should make more New Year’s resolutions if I really want to follow through with something (although I did not step foot in the water for my first surf lesson until June!).
If you want to “escape” NYC and learn how to surf, I highly recommend Frank and his crew at New York Surf School. You can follow their schedule on Facebook as well. Hit ’em up and tell them Kristen sent you!