Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Surfing Has Officially Begun

Surfers of all sorts, summer has a arrived on the East Coast and it's a bag of mixed treats.

First let's start off with personal news: I have my phone back, so calling and texting are firmly planted back into daily affairs. I am still writing papers from this past semester: one on the style of William James, another on Heidegger's Being and Time, and the third on narcissism in the early psycho-analytic works of Sandor Ferenczi and Karl Abraham. I hope to be finished before mid-June. One never quite knows, but yes, I'd like to get them out of the way. Any who have taken a surf lesson from me know that it is not without a few philosophical musings. I consider this a major upshot.

I have taught a nice handful of lessons in the last few weeks of May. All quite successful. All wonderful people per usual. Many return clients from last summer looking to get back into the swing. Lots of people still paddling with their legs apart. Minds in stomachs people and pull those legs together! The body should form a straight line down the middle of the surfboard and should be held taught by the amazing band of muscles near your solar plexus (often called your "core").

So summer. It's more crowded this year than ever, which means lessons are really going to focus on the social aspects of surfing—how to find waves to yourself, maneuver around crowds, communicate with other surfers in the water, read lineups, etc. This aspect cannot be underscored enough especially since the sport is growing and looks to continue to grow despite what grumpy old carps may have to say about it. Long Beach has added many more beaches to its surfing rotation. A full schedule can be found here: Long Beach Surfing Schedule. All beaches in New York can be surfed and are free for entry before 9am (except a few like Gilgo and Lido must be arrived at before 7am). For this reason I want to schedule all lessons as early in the day as possible. Parking also becomes an issue on the weekends. For daytime surfing, the only free beaches available summer-long are 67th-69th and 87th-92nd at Rockaway. As close to the train as they are, these are bound to get nutso on the reg. You better have your crowd surfing skills in check to stay calm, catch waves, and not get hurt (or hurt anyone else). Early mornings are still uncrowded (New Yorkers being the party animals that they are), so I highly recommend owning your own board and getting on the dawn patrol.

I have decided never again to use the word "pop up". It makes it sound as though getting to one's feet on a surfboard happens all of a sudden in a kind of jerky motion. We shall call it getting to one's feet. There are a variety of different ways to go about it, some more efficient and graceful than others. Most of all it is important to take it easy and breathe even in this most crazy of moments—you've just caught a wave, it's exciting, but you need to slow down and pull yourself together. Surfing is all about taking in the tiny moments and appreciating them.

I think I'll leave this post off here. The above picture of me was taken at Fire Island by my pal Thad's dad, Dennis, with my iPhone. I'm riding that Forstall mini Simmons doing a little float. Such a blast! Upcoming posts will concern surf techniques, links to vids and websites you should be watching, and other cool surf snippets.

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