Long Beach is only a few miles west of my home break Gilgo Beach, but it’s a totally different vibe. Gilgo is a barrier beach. Just a sliver of sand with a few residential homes lining the bay side. The parking lot is fairly empty this type of year, and when you’re in the water there’s noting staring back at you except for a couple seagulls and rooftops peeking over the sand dunes.
Long Beach on the other hand has a real urban feel. There’s no parking lot with high school kids in toll booths collecting parking fees. You park on the street and you get in to your wetsuit on the street. 6:30am, towel around my waist, I chatted with two guys who were still making their way home from the night before. Friendly guys with opinions on the wave quality. From the water you look back at high-rise apartments, condos, hotels and a beautifully rebuilt boardwalk.
I surfed at the Lincoln Blvd jetty solely because it’s where a Surfline cam is situated. Lincoln is a good wave and the breaks are more spread out then I thought. It doesn’t break just off the Jetty, which is good for not creating a crowded takeoff spot. I’m sorry it took me so long to drive the extra 15 minutes to find out what a good wave Long Island has in Long Beach.
Waves and rain on Saturday. Waves and rain on Sunday. Waves and snow on Monday. Spring has already had its share of good swell, but now we just need the weather to improve on the east coast. Still, March wrapped itself up nicely with a few days of solid waves on Long Island.
I grew up surfing at Robert Moses. Field 4, field 5, and then mostly Democrat Point. Lately I’ve stuck to Gilgo, and if I felt adventurous would drive out to eastern Long Island. Today I went back to Robert Moses and found some little barrels at field 2.
I love getting a new surfboard. It’s a great feeling to hold a clean new shape in your hands that doesn’t have wax or dings scattered across the deck. The easiest way to get a new board is to have someone with surfboard shaping experience help you out. An actual shaper with a skilled hand and a trained eye. But the shaping process can be just as enjoyable as is surfing the finished product. The trouble is getting your hands on the necessary tools, a blank, space to shape, and most importantly a bit of knowledge about how to get from a white foam brick to something that resembles and actual surfboard. Recently, I got my hands on all those things.
With the use of my friends tools, a local shop’s shaping bay, and a helping hand I’m trying to learn how to shape. I scaled a shape off of a board I saw online and starting making a mess out of the 5′-6″ blank. It took me almost 5 hours to unevenly shape (and I probably made it too thick) my first blank, but it is starting to look somewhat like a surfboard.
Published February 6, 2014
Art , Surf
Tags: Art, print, surf art, tyler warren
I discovered professional surfer/ artist Tyler Warren while checking out the Captain Fin Co. blog. They were featuring a surfboard he shaped, and it turns out he’s not only a great surfer and surfboard shaper, but also a pretty darn good artist. Most of his work is surf or beach themed. I ordered one of his prints and it came numbered and signed by Tyler. It’s actually the first print I’ve ever ordered, and I was totally impressed with the quality. It even came with a personal thank you note written out on masking tape!
You can check out more of his art at Art By Tyler Warren.
Last week brought some great waves to Long Island. I decided not to go out on those days. It just seemed way too cold to have to duck drive all day. However, I did paddle out towards the end of the swell and managed to get a few little waves. The photo was taken by Laura Eppig (my aunt). She has been photographing wildlife for years, mostly birds around the Island, and this was her first time shooting someone surfing.
For me, the worst part of winter surf isn’t the cold. It’s the small window of time that you have to surf. With daylight savings taking away all hope of surfing after work it leaves us with early morning and the weekends. Now, here and there I can take off a few hours in the middle of a work day to get in the water, but for the most part I’m hoping for weekend waves.
With forecasting sites like Surfline.com and Magicseaweed.com you can pretty much pin-point when Saturdays and Sundays are going to have good surf. This leads you to start making plans for when you’re gonna meet up with your buddies at the beach – throwing around ideas of driving to new spots far from your home break because you have the time. Well, at least this is what happened last week. All week I checked the reports which were calling for a clean head high swell coming thru on Sunday. I was getting a sinking feeling in my stomach with every refresh of the web browser because I was unfortunately going to be nowhere near the beach.
And Sunday came and so did the waves. My friend George was able to get the beach while I sat far from it hopelessly refreshing web browsers. And wouldn’t you know it, clean head high surf just as they called it.
Have you ever read a surf report that called for knee high surf and wondered to yourself what that wave actually looks like? I always have, and now I wonder no more because I scored some pretty fun knee high surf yesterday. Truth is that we get these type of small wave reports all too often on the east coast, and you really can’t dismiss them because they can turn out to be pretty good days. If you can get in the water on a mild October day with knee high clean conditions, why would you pass that up?
Published October 16, 2013
long island , Surf
Tags: dusk surf, Gilgo beach
Ice Tubes closed out the beach tonight. As we move deeper into fall, the hours of daylight are fading. I took this photo around 6:30pm tonight at Gilgo Beach, New York. It seems that here on Long Island we swap out daylight for waves this time of year, and you just have to take advantage of every bit of sunlight you can get.
And not that you need a reminder, but it’s only getting darker and colder.
While riding the Fire Island ferry today from Bay Shore to Ocean Bay Park I overheard another passenger say, “Look over the right side of the boat someone is going to try and surf the boat wake.” I quickly looked and saw two kids sitting on their boards in the bay just off the end of the dock waiting for the boat wave.
I’m pretty sure the ferry boat captain was in on this stunt because as soon as he saw the surfers jump into the water with their boards he gunned the boat towards the dock to build up as much of a swell as he could. Although neither of the surfers caught a wave off the dock, I still thought their idea and execution were close to perfect.
This past weekend I was hanging with a group of open water swimmers, and they started talking about great white sharks in the waters off Long Island. I’ve always known there are sharks throughout the north Atlantic – recently I’ve read the reports of sharks along the shores of Cape Cod – but here on Long Island I thought the only place you would cross paths with something as big as a great white would be miles and miles out at sea. Turns out I might be wrong.
The swimmers told me to check out a website called OCEARCH. The site lets you “observe the navigational pattern of sharks that have been tagged with satellite tracking technology all for the purpose of shark conservation.”
So, chances are there are sharks swimming in and around the waters you like to surf. It shouldn’t freak you out, really, but it’s still a little unnerving to know that you’re treading water with big toothy creatures.
As OCEARCH importantly notes, “sharks play a crucial role of maintaining balance in the delicate oceanic ecosystem as they have an effect on all levels in the food web below them. Unfortunately sharks are being slaughtered every day putting the shark at risk for survival. The navigational and migratory data being collected from OCEARCH will be used to support and devise successful conservation and management strategies which will affect policy for global change.”