Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Trusted Buoy Is Down!!!! But All Is Not Lost!

The buoy I have come to love and trust—NDBC Station 44025—is down! Hasn't had wave height and interval, water temp, swell direction, and wind info for about a month now. It still has the five day forecast: here. This forecast is the most accurate for New York and New Jersey surfing that I've found so far (beats the heck out of and and even Magicseaweed). Gives you predicted wave heights and wind directions/speed. I'm now searching around for a comparable buoy, but all I can find so far is the NY Harbor, which I'm not a fan of because the readings are so small due to the fact that it's so far in. Even when Station 44025 was functioning I still checked the forecast and have fared well with its predictions. Remember to subtract a foot or two from the predicted seas to determine actual height of waves in Long Beach and Rockaway. For example if the forecast is for 2-3 feet seas expect the waves to be 1-2 feet at the beach. Similarly if it's predicted for the seas to be 5-7 feet, expect the waves to be 3-5 feet. And so on.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall Update

Baz McGee September Rockway slide. 

October. Wow. And mid-October at that. Haven't posted since August. That's been the norm I suppose.  We had a wave-starved late summer and early fall, but then got hit with a wonderful bit of windswell last week. I surfed five days in a row. It has been a long time since I did that. My dissertation is on it's way and teaching at Parsons is in full throttle. I have two continuing fall surf lesson clients and that's about all I can handle right now. I'm closing up shop in December to have surgery. I should be ready to teach surf lessons again in June, per usual. To keep up with me on a more regular basis you can always follow me on instagram @conatussurfclub. I always post "evidence pics" of surfs and other random viewings from academia, the world, and life in general. However, even though I love both dearly, there are very few pictures of my food and my girlfriend on there. But things are well in both of those realms. I've recently gotten engaged and am embarking on a fall cleanse. Both are boding well. Never felt more alive and happy.  Never thought I'd be the marrying type, but it all changes when you meet the right person. The cleanse is not very harsh—it's just an immune system reset—I'm taking a few weeks off of coffee and beer and sugar and focusing instead on hydration and vegetables—also adding a bit more stretching into my life. My five day surf binge has proven to me that a 33 year old body requires a lot of stretching. Most basically, the focus of this fall is on care for the self. It's totally trending right now. I highly recommend. And I think that Kelly Slater would endorse it, which, in surfing, is about the highest endorsement you can muster.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Great Vacay; In MTK Till Wednesday; And Other Scheduling Items of Note

Had a great time in CA visiting family and friends. Scored a bit of south swell when I arrived and hooked into some secret and not so secret spots alone and with buddies. Now I'm back in NY and currently writing from Montauk. I surfed near Ditch Plains this morning. Perfect little one foot peelers—great for beginners. I'll be out here until Wednesday am. If anyone is out here and wants a lesson tonight, tomorrow, or Wednesday morning, give a shout. Thurs, the 22nd, through Saturday, the 24th, I will be in Cape Cod on a mini vacation for my 33rd birthday. Then I'm back and starting teaching at Parsons on the 26th. I'll still be able to give lessons in the mornings and weekends throughout the fall semester. Shoots! -D

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This Calls for Another Update

Good morrow kind surf folk. I dropped off some 'artisanal' handmade lesson cards at Pilgrim the other day and am getting an influx of messages. I have directed a bunch of you to the site already, so I feel an update is in order. I am leaving for CA for three weeks starting a week from today--July 23--and will return August 13. I am booked this coming Saturday. I have openings tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday mornings/late afternoons (pre or post work for you working folk). I will be in Montauk on Sunday and will have boards with me. So if you're keen to get on that let me know. Would prefer to do an early morning or late afternoon/evening lesson out there if I do do one. As of Monday I'm pretty much out. Leaving car out east till I return, which will mean that I'll have a few Montauk lessons available August 14-15 because I'll have to go out and fetch my car. I am available to start booking for the weekend of the 17-18 nowzers. The weekend of the 24th of August is up in the air. My birthday is the 23rd and I'll be up on Cape Cod, but I should be back by the 24th. Will update.Totally down to book early morning/late afternoon/evening sessions for remaining August weekdays.

This morning I got in the water at 5am, was done surfing by 6am, and back in Brooklyn by 7:30am! Lessons of course are longer than that (2 hrs), but I mention it just to give you a picture of how to fit surfing into your working day. I surfed with my buddy, Bryan, who works a 9-5 schedule. He manages to get in the water 3-4 days a week. Oh and the water was waaaaarrrrmmm. I felt like I was on a Hawaiian vacation. All this said, I can book as early as a 5am meeting time or as late as 6pm. It's warm enough for shorts and bathing suits and I have a few extra wetsuit tops if you want some sun/wax protection.

More price run-down: Private (1-on-1) lessons are $250 and include everything. Semi-private (1-on-2/3) are $200 a person and include equipment, except in the case of a third person, then it's an extra $35-$45 to rent a board from a shop. All lessons are to be paid in cash. My speciality is private lessons. I offer an old school approach with real surfboards and intend to equip you to really learn how to surf. I am the best in the business make no mistake about it.

And as for my name, well, everyone usually takes their own approach. My full name is Dionysos S. Mattison. You can call me Dion, Di, D, or hell, Dionysos (pronounced either Dee-oh-nee-sos or Dye-oh-nye-sus). Whatever is clever for you. If you want me to pick one for you, well Di (pronounced either Dye or Dee -- Romance language speakers prefer the latter and that's cool with me -- I am fluent in Spanish and introduce myself with Latinate pronunciation when speaking Spanish) is what I am most familiar with.

Ok that's it for now. Stay cool and drink lots of water!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mid Summer Update

Holy heatwave batman. Hope everyone has managed to stave off heatstroke by drinking plenty of water. Yesterday I dropped off a stack of cards at Pilgrim Surf + Supply. I am looking to book a few extra lessons between now and July 23rd, after which I will be out of town for 3 weeks. I am going back home to CA for a cousin's wedding and to escape from the brutal midsummer concrete doldrums that is NY in the summertime. I return on August 13th and will be booking up for the rest of August soon. Many of you are looking for weekend lessons, which fill faster. I highly recommend taking a half day off of work and getting in an empty early morning session!

Weather/Waves update:
Well, it's hot. The water is wavering from about 65-73 degrees. I have seen people still surfing in full suits, but I am done with them until at least October. On the days when the water is a little cooler I'm wearing either a 2 mil long john wetsuit, a 2 mil long sleeve short leg wetsuit, or a 2 mil long sleeve jacket and shorts. On the warmer days I just wear a 2 mil vest with shorts. Most days it is certainly warm enough for just your bathing suit. I like the neoprene on my belly at all times because of my abnormally protruding ribcage. We've had consistent surf in the 1-3 foot range for a majority of the summer. Light SW (read: onshore) winds have prevailed, but haven't been too much of an issue in the early mornings (7-11am). Looks to be more of the same for the next few weeks.

Lots of people have been really seeing the light when it comes to buying/investing in a longboard and have been asking about where to get one used. All I can say is Craigslist and perhaps try Sundown Surf and Ski in Long Island. Also look at Ebay for boards that are selling in the Long Island or New Jersey area. Most people could certainly deal with having longboard in their quiver. As Maddog (my dad) always says, "If you're not catching waves, you're not surfing!" What he means is that if you cannot catch waves because your board is too small for your paddling ability then you're doing yourself a disservice. Get a bigger board!

The Brooklyn Surf Flea is happening this Saturday at Union Pool. I'll probably make an appearance so come meet me and share a beer and network. Would love to see you there.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Conatus Surf Club

Humans of the surfological persuasion:

The semester has ended. I have a stack of final papers to finish grading and four of my own to write, but lessons are in business. I've updated the sidebar summary. The post below lists new prices. Please read fully and carefully before emailing to schedule a lesson.

I will not update this blog often, as I am using these next few posts to provide crucial surf lesson info for the summer season.

I will be able to accommodate a few rides to the beach from Brooklyn this summer, but I'll mostly be meeting you in person at Long Beach or Rockaway (depending on your car/train situation). Due to my new digs, I have the capacity to schedule multiple lessons in any given day, weather and waves permitted.

About Conatus: Conatus is term from medieval philosophy that defines the force with a being that endeavors to persevere in its own being. I take it from the philosophy of Baruch de Spinoza. In life one's conatus, or life-force, can become enchained, hindered, and even halted. The conatus is deeply connected to the imagination and our capacity to imagine better lives for ourselves. When it becomes hindered it not only loses its force it also loses its ability to imagine—and thus we can argue that the capacity to imagine is a crucial part of the positive force of existence. Our ethical responsibility to one another is to provide channels and ways for our conatuses to thrive—to free up and unlock new vistas for living. My aim in naming my surf business Conatus Surf Club is to help others realize their potential as a surfer and to provide new ways of looking at the ocean, which engender a life-long relationship with it. I emphasize care, patience, and mindedness and believe that in the long run developing these values at the core of one's surfing practice makes for better surfers and a better surfing community.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Hello people!

Geez I have not written in ages. It's that time of year again—surf lesson inquiries are beginning to pound my inbox. Ok so I am teaching lessons starting the week of May 20. I'll be between Long Beach/Rockaway and Montauk/Hamptons this summer. No more rides from the city because I'm going to be posted up at the beach. We'll meet at the LIRR train station in Long Beach, the A train at 67th Street Rockaway, or somewhere convenient out east.

Regarding group lessons: I do teach semi-private and group lessons, but they take a different shape than a private lessons. In a one-on-one we can work more in the waves, but as we add people to the group, it becomes even more about paddling and positioning and ocean knowledge than riding waves. As you may have read in my posts and from interviews with me, my lessons focus on an ethical approach to surfing and making it all about standing up disregards many crucial ethical and practical points. The focus of my lessons is a holistic approach to surfing.

Private lesson: $250. Includes board. All levels (beginner-intermediate). 2 hrs.

Semi-Private (2-3 people): $200 a person. Includes boards. All levels. 2 hrs.

Group (3-6 people): $150. Does not include all boards. Beginners only. 2hrs.

Additional hrs = $150 per.

I have two 9'6" longboards. For beginner private lessons I will be on one and you will be on the other. For intermediates or beginners with boards you are free to bring your board with you. For semi-privates we will need to rent 1-2 extra boards from a local shop. These are not included in the lesson fee and run around $20-$35. It is the same for larger groups—we'll have to rent extra boards. As far as suits are concerned, you need at least a 3/2 fullsuit through June. I have a bunch of Sm-Med wetsuits of varying thickness and provide them when they fit. For larger people, you'll have to rent a suit. Suits run an additional $10-$15. I am working on having a larger line up of suits and boards, but am not there quite yet, so this is where it's at.

I have a new phone number: 646 659 9370. It's text only. For lengthier inquiries please email me at We'll schedule over email. I prefer early mornings and afternoons because the crowds are easier to navigate and there are no beach fees. But if you're down to pay the $12 fee at Long Beach for a mid morning or midday lesson, I'm sure that the city could really use it right now anyhow.

I must remind you all also that if you are looking for a female surf instructor I am not she. As I have made clear in former blog posts, I am a transgender man. My full name is Dionysos Mattison and you can call me Di or D. I am totally down to serve the whole surfing community as a guide and mentor, I just need to make this clear.


Monday, January 14, 2013

San Diego Keeps It Real

5'4" Takayama Quad Fish. 

5'8 Mike Walter Single Fin. 

Typical surf trip scenario.
I'm on the last day of my Socal sojourn and just posting up at my pal Cori's house. It's nearly flat today and freezing cold with brutal offshore winds. Yesterday was the best day of the trip. Got in two solid surfs—the first solo and the second with pals. The boards that my friends have lent me to ride have been amazing. The above 5'4" Takayama holds extremely well for roundhouses. I think it has to do with those outer quad fins. It holds in positions where my Channel Islands fish slides out. The 5'8" single fin has the widest hips I've ever seen on a board and goes incredibly well in punchy surf. It's a high performance single fin—you can slide your foot back over the tail and it responds rapidly to desired changes in direction. Beyond this, yes, it has been an extremely cold week in San Diego. My hooded 4/3 sans booties and gloves has been enough, and the 57 degree water helps ease the frostbitten air. Beyond that, it's been so lovely to realize what a great group of people I have in my life down here. Salt of the earth shredders with big hearts and comfortable couches. Last night some old competitive cronies and I cooked up a plan for an event that's going to blow all previous surf events out of the water. And you know what? I think we're seriously serious about making it happen.  I'm flying back to New York early tomorrow morning. Then it's off to Z├╝rich on Wednesday evening.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Support Digz Apparel

My surfing peoples: a new friend of mine, Michael McWilliams, is starting a brand called Digz Apparel. Digz has a solid story and projected aesthetic. It's founded on the memory of Mike's brother who died of traumatic brain injuries, and on the notion that clothing should be built to last. Below is the video and to help them out go their kickstarter: HERE. Mike and the boys are offering a variety of awesome kick backs for your kickstart contribution.
digz apparel from digz apparel on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year New Updates

People! 2013 is looking up! I missed those amazing days in New Jersey (Dec 21 and 27). If you got it, good on you! The pics are delicious. Also, I've cancelled the camps in Costa Rica this winter completely. So I will NOT be in Costa Rica January 9-25. I've changed my trip and am going to San Diego to surf my brains out instead and then am flying all the way back across the other pond to Europe. I'll be too busy this coming spring semester to offer lessons, but stuff will fire up in full force again in May. With possibly some Costa Rica stuff in July. I will update all plans here. May your 2013 be awesome and filled with good waves and good people!