Many outside of New York (and many inside New York) aren’t aware of the number of excellent beaches and some of the great opportunities for surfers of all levels. The Rockaways and the Long Island area of New York for example have a number of excellent beaches, and you can spot surfers enjoying the waves throughout the spring and summer months. If you live in the Rockaway area, are visiting Long Island on vacation, or are considering moving to one of the great neighborhoods in Arverne by the Sea than you might want to consider surfing as a hobby. Here are a few tips for surfing in the Rockaways:
1. Find the right spot – As mentioned there are several beaches in the area. If you are a beginner you want to keep a couple things in mind, first you don’t want a beach that is too crowded with surfers because beginners tend to get in the way, cause accidents on the breakers and generally it usually is not a great experience for the beginner or those more practiced. At the same time you do want a few people around in case you run into problems. So look for a moderately populated beach with moderate waves to practice on.
2. Be safe – Only surf on the beaches that have a lifeguard on duty. Signs should be posted informing beach goers of whether or not someone is on duty. Next, know the specific beach you are surfing on. Safety isn’t always about the size of the waves. Far more dangerous and impossible to spot from the shore is the power of the tide and currents. Strong tides and currents can pull even good swimmers far from shore, and the power of these can vary from one beach to another. Be aware of your swimming ability and judge the conditions of the water appropriately for your skill level.
3. Get the right board – Most boards are fiberglass, foam or epoxy. Generally fiberglass is the favorite of surfers, but it is a personal choice. The best advice for beginners is to get a used board or rent a board before making a large investment in a brand new one.
4. Wax the board – It’s what beginners forget to do most often. The wax should be placed on the surface where your feet are, not the bottom, it serves no purpose on the bottom. It is there to hold your feet in place and makes surfing a whole lot easier.
5. Have fun – Surfing tends to have a harsh learning curve for most. You may spend more time pulling yourself out of the water than surfing the first few, or even dozen times you try it. Don’t get discouraged though. Enjoy the learning process and just about anyone can become adept with at least the basics of surfing after a while, and once you have the hang of it there are not many things more enjoyable on the beaches around Arverne by the Sea.