The Best Waves Ridden at Quiksilver’s New York Surf Contest

by Owen James Burke

Photograph by Mike Nelson, unsOund surf

“Although people don’t think of New York as necessarily a great wave…I think the ironic thing is we’re gonna get a really nice swell from Katia, and there might be like 6-foot barrels, which would be really hilarious.”  Kelly Slater

Surfers, first and foremost, were wary of holding a million-dollar competition at a beach that probably only sees a handful of swells throughout the entire year. New York does receive surf, but not to the knowledge of most New Yorkers, or surfers.

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In 1912, Hawaiian surf legend and missionary of the sport, Duke Kahanamoku traveled to New York and gave a wave-riding demonstration on Rockaway Beach, and in 1960, Lido Beach held its first surf competition.

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The Quiksilver Pro New York is the first of its kind–the largest surfing event ever held in New York, and the first ever million-dollar prize in surf contest history. Crowds, surfers, and contest-organizers alike grew nervous during the first day of the event, which was canceled due to a lack of waves.

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Kelly Slater’s 10-point wave

Lo and behold, a swell arrived for the next day, which continued to build for the duration of the contest, reaching the point where Kelly Slater was able to earn a perfect score and in the high surf, even break a board.

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There was also a side event, which pitted New York City’s bravest and finest against one another. The winners from the World Police/Fire Games, including the top four surfers of the New York Fire Department and the New York Police Department who were led by captains Kelly Slater and Travis Logie.

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In the final heat of the Quiksilver Pro, Owen Wright wound up ahead of Kelly Slater, taking the win and the $300,000 first prize.

The ironic moment came on the dawn of the day after the competition had ended, when the Atlantic Ocean bore not even the slightest ripple, and New York surfers were yet again bound to the doldrums of the lifeless summer swells of the North Atlantic. Just wait for fall, New York.

*via quiksilver, aspworldtour, wsj and clubofthewaves*

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