My last bodysurf in New York

by brian lam

I’ve been home in California for a bit now, but I had a great time body surfing a second weekend in New York and I thought I’d tell you about it.

I was supposed to go to Montauk for the first time in 20 years with a few friends, but had to work late and missed the train and the sea plane and the car or whatever. Seriously, someone I know flew there in a sea plane!

Instead, the next day, I met up with my brother, who I think likes the water mostly because a girl he liked likes the water. It’s a new thing for him–not that I’ve been enjoying the ocean for very long either! I got him to surf in SF and thought he’d like body surfing better, given two things: He’s got bad balance and the subway makes board carrying not quite as cool as it is in my station wagon.

We headed to Mollusk NYC and the store felt just like the SF store, except maybe a bit more cozy! And warmer, on account of it being late summer. I noticed two hess planes on the wall. One was big, for two handing it. I almost bought it, on account of it looking like it would be great for mushier stuff and then realized I was talking about buying a longhandplane, which is probably not the highest priority right now when it comes to gear. Still need a new wetsuit!

The thing is, at Mollusk, they were out of the fins I like, Da’ Fin, which are the official fins of Oahu, Hawaii’s North Shore Lifeguards. Later I find out the reason why: the company that makes em relocated their factory and when they got to their new digs the city wouldnt’ let em operate their hot smelly rubber machines. So there’s been a shortage.

Luckily, Chris at Mollusk let my brother borrow his personal set of fins. Super nice!

Jon and I took a train out to the Rockaways, where I spent the previous Saturday. It took awhile, which made me realize how lucky I am to be 1 minutes from the beach at home.

The waves were good, even if weaker than on the previous weekend, but I couldn’t help but be distracted by the fact my bag and wallet and phone were just chilling out on the beach, where anyone could grab em. It was me freaking out, for sure, but it would have been too easy to steal that bag.

I missed the latest weekend of swell though. My buddy nick said the hurricane (hurricane!) swell is kicking up. Kind of interesting you have to wait for a hurricane to enjoy bigger surf there.

But what was most interesting, was the stark difference between the city and the local shores. You could have a very full life here, if you didn’t mind not being in the ocean every day.

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