2017-06-02 / Community

Surf Bananas

By Annie McBride & Reece Pacheco

A day full of great waves was capped off by a gathering of familiar faces for the first board swap of the summer. Yes, last Friday was as good as it gets in the Rockaway surf community.

My day started before 5 a.m. I woke, checked the buoy (swell!), checked the wind (light offshore!), suited up, and ran down to my local, the jetty at Beach 90th. At first, I wasn’t in love with what I saw, but, just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, it’s silly to judge a swell by the first set you see. I paddled out, and was quickly rewarded with my first wave of many for the morning. Paddle back. Paddle in. Repeat.

Friendly faces started to dot the lineup and we all reveled in our shared stoke, “one last real swell before the summer doldrums.”

Annie - my fellow Surf Banana - paddled out a while later. She immediately noted my ear-to-ear grin. Some may say I’m a bad partner for not waking her earlier for good waves. We’ll say we’ve worked out what works best for our individual needs in our relationship. Annie needs sleep. I need adrenaline.

The swap’s plentiful turnout. The swap’s plentiful turnout. After three hours, I was starving, overdue for caffeine, and, sadly, had work to do. Other buddies had appropriately planned their week around the swell. Our friend Paul Imperio put in six straight hours that morning. He put in another four or five at sunset. That’s some stamina.

The board swap at Low Tide Bar (at the Beach 97th Street concessions) continued the stoke on land. From 4 to 9 p.m., the monthly board swap attracted all sorts of surfers and their beloved boards.

There were 18 or so boards up for sale or swap — from a beautiful, yet-to-be-surfed twin-fin fish, to previously very “loved” thrusters. Long boards were most sought-after, and noticeably missing from the lineup. Seems that logs just have a longer shelf-life. In sum, six boards and a few wetsuits found new riders. Not bad for our first swap of the season.

Annie was there repping Surfrider Foundation and their local campaigns (for more info go to nyc.surfrider.org). They also sold re-usable metal cups which got you $1 off your beer during the swap.

But more than the boards on offer, or the beers flowing at Low Tide, the swap brought together the Rockaway surfing community in a way I hadn’t seen in a long time (at least on land). From locals, to newly washed-ashore, to DFDs, status and pretension abated, the community was just stoked to chat about the different shapes on offer, the waves they caught that day, and where they’re trying to go with their surfing.

The next swap is on June 30. Hope to see you there, and hope the surf gods deliver another swell, too. Until then, hang loose, aloha, and pray for surf. – RP

Find more travel stories by these two peelers on wavesgoodbye.com

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