I lived in Brooklyn, New York for two years and have surfed Long Island more times than most of the people involved with the Quiksilver Pro New York combined. I also love surfing Long Island, which is probably something they’ll never feel about that particular stretch of sand. I love the autumn nor’easters and the anticipation of a hurricane swell. I love catching waves beside the jetties and discovering sandbars that are perfect for an hour then disappear forever. I love the surfers, the shapers, and the entire, crazy community that is loosely affiliated with the waves. I love the A train that ferries city surfers all the way out to Far Rockaway. I love that Rockaway is the only surf spot with a hip hop dance named after it.
But I don’t want to watch an ASP World Tour contest in New York.
Surfing, at its highest level, achieves transcendental greatness. Its raw elements of beauty, power, and finesse combine to create moments equal to or better than any comparable sporting achievement. Mountain climbing, big game hunting, fly fishing, skiing/snowboarding – none of these canonized outdoor pursuits can legitimately claim aesthetic or athletic superiority to the wave of the day at Pipeline, the drop at Teahupoo, or the lines drawn through the Super Tubes section of J-bay. But this greatness, this absolute purity of form and function, cannot, by my estimation, be achieved in Long Island – nor any similarly mediocre beachbreak. They simply do not produce the greatest waves in the world, and no Quiksilver campaign insisting otherwise will make it so.