January Issue 2011 Surfing Magazine

posted by / Magazine / November 19, 2010

Evan Geiselman, January Issue 2011 Surfing Magazine

I went to New York City this week, and I surfed. But that wasn’t as simple as it might sound.

This was to be a short trip and not one for which a surfboard would seem necessary. I’d be couch-crashing an NYU friend’s pad in the heart of Williamsburg — not exactly coastal — and attending the New York Surf Film Festival on “official duty.” I’d have little time and no car, but I was dead set on forcing a surf into my 48-hour stint in the city. The way I saw it, if I could manage that minor coup, it would validate all the grimy urban night crawling New York seems to invite.

So, as usual, I made my travel experience a nightmare from the get-go and packed some boards.

“You know that’s going to be really expensive,” smirked the Delta ticket agent at LAX. It was 6:00 a.m. and, yes, I knew.

“Why does it have to be your board?” she continued. “Can’t you just use one there?” I didn’t try to explain, just handed over the $200 she demanded — smiling! — which was $60 more than I’d paid for my own one-way ticket. New York, I thought, had better be holding.

An on-board heart attack, a flight diversion for emergency landing, a brake scare and a United Nations security rerouting later, we landed in JFK. Really late — way late for the Ra Ra Riot show I’d planned on, and later still once I collected my boards, which had somehow been sent to the wrong terminal. I learned that cabs don’t really see you when you’re dragging a coffin, and it took my life savings to get me and the gear-heap to Brooklyn. On the way I was made fun of by two hipster girls, stopped and asked about Kelly Slater, and I saw an alley cat catch and kill a street rat. Welcome to the city.

Finally, around midnight, Brooklyn. With surfboards. Now what?

But the next morning was a new day. I finagled a ride to the coast from a friend, and an hour later we pulled up to fun, warm, three-foot peaks. I felt I’d beaten the game, like I’d found some cheat code to the city, which really doesn’t want you to surf. It wants you to go from coffee shop to bar on repeat until your heart stops. But here I was, waxing up in New York for my first-ever East Coast surf session. Success.

I felt I’d beaten the game, like I’d found some cheat code to the city, which really doesn’t want you to surf.

The waves were surprisingly punchy and I was ecstatic. Giddy. On my first right I clicked two pumps and tried an air — a New York City flyby to christen the trip — but this flight went about as well as Delta’s the day before. My whole body came down on the nose, crushing both it and my spirits in a single sad instant. All the sweat, drama, money, frustration and trouble to get there was all wasted in one mistimed maneuver.

I looked over the board, assessed the damage, decided it was serious. Thought back on what it took to get there, contemplated going in — then paddled back out. I surfed the wounded board for three hours and retired it with honors upon reaching the beach. No regrets. Then I descended back into the city, untouchable.

Surfing — wherever, however — it’s the thing. —Travis Ferré

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  • for reals?>??

    you guys are trendier than a sale at urban outfitters. are you seriously showing dudes sliding around on finless boards? for fucks sake get some relevant material

  • NYSFF Kook Chick

    So how was the vibe @ the Surf Film Festival… With that nuts chick going behind Tyler & the other owners back, and Inc and Trademarking the New York Surf Film Festival from underneath them. It’s kooks like her who give this industry and the people in it a bad name. I feel bad for anyone who is involved with her on a business end http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuit.asp?id=65928.
    Truth be told, she was brought in MUCH later and has been a headache for all involved, including top sponsors.

  • Pingback: Evan Geiselman on Cover SURFING Magazine January 2011 Channel Islands Surfboards Blog - Team, Events, News, Videos, Photo, Press

  • wilbur kookie pants

    wow. really? did you write this while sipping on a fine espresso at Saturdays, where the worst surfers in NY hang and talk about the sweet parties they threw the night before, while slinging $150 4 inch long super uncomfortable boardshorts?

    williamsburg is cleaner and nicer than orange county. In all my time in new york ive seen maybe 3 stray cats ever. and they usually look like domesticated cats just lost. Never have a i seen a cat or dog for that matter approach a rat. If they did, I would bet money on it that a rat would win the battle.

    I guess with attention spans shrinking from youtube and facebook and dane reynolds and the geiselman’s doing triple backflips on surfboards, writers have to lie to be any bit worth reading

  • john haden

    wow…. what a bunch of fuckin’ haters! don’t like the story?
    don’t read it f’ing douchebags!

  • ben chapman

    To Stuart and the Surfing staff,
    Is your paycheck worth denying readers the truth? And the damage that you’re doing to our culture as a whole?

    It’s noteworthy that you left The Surfer’s Journal off your list of publications that are too cowardly to practice journalism.

    In doing so you admit that reporting on truth in surfing is possible, but your publication isn’t good enough to do so.

    And, Stuart, to end your post with a flippant “Don’t do drugs” is terribly insulting to the friends and family of Andy Irons, who apparently struggled with addiction for much of his life.

    I’ll avoid your magazine for some time to come.


  • ben chapman

    Based on Stuart’s blog item explaining that you don’t practice journalism or care for the truth:


    I’d say, please stay far away from NYC as we care about both here.

  • PKs

    Ben Chapman, you are mistaken. Nobody ever said anything about not valuing the truth, only that the truth is at this point a bunch of hearsay and rumor, so why stoke the speculation cycle and throw more unsubstantiated claims out there by insinuating and hinting and guessing?

    That’s what would truly be damaging to Andy’s mourning circle of friends and family. Surfing is avoiding that unnecessary pain by showing respect until the facts are actually facts.

    Please stay far away from Hawaii if you don’t understand that Surfing is actually showing restraint and respect.

  • ben chapman

    The entire point of Stu’s piece is: “We’re not journalists.” He even put it in bold for us.

    He’s not saying that it’s too early to cover the tragic death of Andy Irons.

    He’s saying that Surfing won’t ever cover it because they’re “not journalists,” aka they have no responsibility to reporting the truth.

    I think we should all think about what place such a publication has in the surfing community.

    Readers count on them to report the truth. If this isn’t the case, they should put a banner on each issue saying “We’re not journalists” and see where their circulation numbers go.

    As for Surfing mag coming to NYC, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from coming here to surf.

    I only discourage their magazine from coming here if they’re not interested in reporting what’s important and true.

    Respect and aloha to you & yours in Hawaii.


  • Michael

    can’t we all just get along!?



  • JWnFL

    who did the music for the video? July 2011? Please! Thanks!