I can’t believe this was almost a year ago. I wish they came back, although I was told how the 2012 ASP World Tour was actually condensed due to the economy.
We still have the Unsound Right Coast Cup, which is presented by Quiksilver. That event has a waiting period that starts this Wednesday, Sept 5th. I’ll post the press release for that in a bit. In the meantime, go to surfbang for more amazing Quiksilver Pro, NY photos
[quote]Sixty-four of the best surfers on the East Coast will vie for $20,000 in prize money in the Unsound surf shop’s Right Coast Cup competition in Long Beach next month.
The event is being presented by Quiksilver, exactly a year after the city hosted the East Coast’s largest and most lucrative surfing event, the Quiksilver Pro New York. It attracted roughly 100,000 spectators to Long Beach to watch the world’s best surfers compete.
The two-day Unsound event, which has a five-day window from Sept. 5 to 9, comes at the peak of hurricane season, as did last year’s contest.[/quote]
This is not part of the ASP tour, so it won’t be of the same magnitude as last years Quiksilver Pro, but according to the article, there will be “Quiksilver merchandise, a Roxy surf camp for women, surfing demonstrations and more.” Hey, what about surfing legend Kelly Slater?
[quote]“It’s bragging rights to who’s the best surfer on the East Coast,” Juan said.
Added (Unsound’s Luke Watson), “You never know with Kelly. If there’s a swell on the East Coast, he might sign up.”[/quote]
Kelly Slater is from Cocoa Beach, Florida. Last time I checked, that is part of the East Coast.
Update: 4/14/2012: In a little more than 24 hours, more than $1100 was contributed to Fire & Water via Kickstarter and the project is on. I can’t way to see it now! Additional funds are still allowed via Kickstarter to the project if you still want to get involved in the film and be a part of what will be an amazing story. My thanks to all the SBC readers that contributed.
Last summer I told you about Shadows of the Same Sun, an amazing surf documentary made by Thomas Brookins about the roots of Long Island surfing in the Rockaways and Long Beach. Brookins and the team behind that film are back and working on a new surf film about a local surf legend so many of us have never heard of. It’s the story of surfing’s roots in New York and the hard-working blue collar firefighters who were, and still are, at the forefront of it.
Fire & Water is the tale of “Don “Gums” Eichin, from Long Island NY, who was one of a handful of pioneering surfers in the late 1950’s and 60’s that set out to make a life in Hawaii,” and then brought what he learned back to New York while becoming an NYC firefighter.
Brookins calls this film “an important lost surfing tale that is still being written today as Don’s sons, Eric & Randy follow in their father’s footsteps alongside good friends Brian Walsh & Casey Skudin.”
I had the chance to talk to Casey Skudin who’s known the Eichins since he was four and said Gums “was like a second father.” Skudin grew up surfing with Gums, his sons Eric and Randy, and friend Brian Walsh, and then became a New York City firefighter.
That’s Skudin to Slater (in blue)’s right
I asked him what surfing with Kelly Slater and Travis Logie was like during the Quiksilver Pro‘s Bravest Vs. Finest surf competition. He called it “the highlight” of his surfing career.
Skudin said that being a firefighter was “unpredictable,” much like surfing because the “waves and conditions are always changing” and noted more importantly that surfing was an outlet to “decompress and clear your mind after a long 24-hour shift.” Skudin called Fire & Water “important” because it “will put a spotlight on surfing in NY, along with the people who surf it.”
Back over at the Kickstarter page, Brookins said he was “very proud of the people and Firefighters in this film” and had “no doubt… that people will fall in love with the characters in this film.”
Check out the film’s teaser below which is already looking amazing. Help Brookins make Don “Gums” Eichin’s story a reality. Right now the project is sitting at $8,892, $1,108 short of their goal. Every dollar counts and there are only three days remaining so follow this link and toss in what you can.
In other surf film news, Long Beach Surfers Association and SMASH are hosting a Surf Movie Night at the Long Beach Cinema tomorrow night, where another movie focused on LI surfing will premiere. “Stacked” focuses on the rise of Long Beach’s own Balaram Stack and the Quiksilver Pro.
In this addition of Friday Photography I’m going to highlight Wednesday’s surprise surf session. In case you don’t remember, we had a bit of a surf contest here over the summer that turned out to be an incredible event. While the circus might be gone, the locals have donned wet suits and “kept the stoke alive” all winter. I wasn’t able to get all the surfers names out there, so if you recognize anyone please let them (and me know).
“The transformation of Long Beach from a quiet beach suburb of New York City into the center of the action sports world is the subject of “Stacked,” a new 15-minute documentary set to premiere in April.” (source – Stoked for N.Y. surfing in ‘Stacked’)
The film is made by Patrick Cummings, of Fine Thanks Inc.. Pretty freakin’ cool if you ask me. Check out the trailer below (Link):
While sipping my coffee & strolling on the boardwalk, I overheard this crazy conversion. I had to pace myself right behind the couple talking because I couldn’t wait for it to be resolved. It was almost like a Three’s Company episode: misunderstandings galore.
This is almost verbatim, as I tried to remember all I could. Oh and the lady had the thickest Long Island accent I ever heard, which added to the hilarity.
Lady: You shouda seen the large volleyball tournament that went on here a few months ago. The beach was loaded with so many people.
Man: Oh yeah? Was it fun?
Lady: Oh it was amazing. So many people here to see it. Kelly Slater was even here.
Man: To watch?
Lady: oh no, he participated. He’s the best at it yah know. And he almost won too. That woulda been somethin’ else I tell ya.
Man: Wow, that guys does everything I guess.
Lady: He was jumping so high. It was a sight to see.
Man: Yeah, Well you need to jump high to get the ball over the net.
Lady: Huh? No the waves.. the waves were big. So he was jumping them.
Man: Waves? Oh so they played in the ocean?
Lady: Of course, where else would they do it?
Man: I just figured on the sand.
Lady: I never saw that before. Well anyways, it was so much fun, but I heard they aren’t coming back next year.
Man: Wait, you mean that surfing tournament.
Lady: Yes surfin, what did ya think?
Man: (laughing) You said volleyball.
Lady: ohhh.. hahaha nooo… surfin, SURFIN. NOT VOLLEYBAWL! It was the Surfin tounrament. Quikpro-somethin…….
Man: haha yeah I heard about it.
Anyways, I’m sure it’s one of those things where you had to be there, but I was amused.
Note: I was going to write this as a comment, but had way too much to say, so I am exercising my ‘seabythecity’ power by starting a new thread.
Regarding U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s press release, urging Quiksilver to come back to Long Beach in 2012.
First of all, please put the whole Democrat/Republican crap aside. If the Democrats say chocolate ice cream is better, the Republicans will start screaming that vanilla ice cream is better and you’re not a patriot if you think otherwise. It’s so stupid. Both parties are stupid. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s press release has nothing to do with what party she is from. She is doing her job and I would still commend her for that, regardless of what party she is from. Heck, at least she is paying attention; half of these politicians do nothing once they are elected.
So why would she reach out to Quiksilver in the first place?
It has to do Tourism, one of New York State’s biggest industries. The Quiksilver Pro is a prestigious event that happens to be international. Why wouldn’t Gillibrand want them back in New York? If I were a U.S. Senator, I would be reaching out to anybody I could to do business here. Less we forget, the Quiksilver Pro and other ASP World Surfing tours are international (France, Brazil, Portugal, Brazil.. etc). Here is the wiki of the the 2012 Tour (which needs to be updated): 2012_ASP_World_Tour .
Long Beach, NY is now regarded as a surf city – not just nationally, but internationally.
Long Beach, NY has and will be mentioned in every major surf publication (online, magazines) for the next few months – at least. (cough cough cough cough)
Long Beach, NY is a train ride away from a city that everybody in the world wants to visit: New York City. How many surfers around the world are now going to make that trip to the Big Apple and take a pit stop to the town that hosted the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York? Lots.
How many of these folks are going to spend money in our stores? Renting surf boards at out shops? Eating at our restaurants? Lots.
Yes, the event is over, but our elected officials will want to keep that momentum going. It doesn’t matter how well local businesses did those two weeks in September, it’s the loooooong teeeeeerm effeeeeeeect: To get those folks who were already going to visit NYC to check out that ‘cool beach/surf community’ that is only a train ride away. One can argue that New York also wants to promote New York to New Yorkers. Most New Yorkers that live north of the Bronx go to the Jersey Shore for the beach. Why not try to keep their money here?
Do we even want Long Beach to be a tourist destination?
I keep hearing the same stuff from the NIMBY folks: But Long Beach is a residential area. Well guess what? With a population of over 8 million people, one can argue that NYC is more residential than us, especially with the density factor. What does that mean? Should NYC get rid of all museums because it’s a residential area? Should NYC get rid of the theater district because it’s a residential area? Should NYC get rid of all things that make NYC great because it’s a residential area – and all in the name of traffic and parking?
We live in New York. Traffic and parking are going to be tough all over. If you don’t like it, then move to South Dakota.
Long Beach has the infrastructure to handle events like the Quiksilver Pro. We just didn’t have a good plan in place. That can and will (most likely) be corrected for future events.
From a local point of view, it’s not all about the money:The Entertainment Factor:
I enjoyed the Quiksilver Pro and found myself very lucky to be able to walk down the block and see all these pro surfers putting on a great show. Oh yeah, and not to rehash another thing that was written here before, but: We saw Kelly Slater surf Long Beach and we weren’t forced to buy a t-shirt to do it: THE EVENT WAS FREE. As far as I’m concerned, the entertainment factor alone is reason enough to want Quiksilver back in Long Beach.
Mike Matey, vice president of marketing for the surf and sport retailer, says the brand is not entirely ruling out a return to Long Beach. “Our year-one investment is being assessed. We are working to understand how much it really cost. We thought we would take a year off and regroup and decide,” he said.
The competition portion could come back in 2013, Matey said: “It’s a still a possibility. We would hope to make a decision by the end of 2012.”
Yep, nothing to see here. Move along. (Thanks Amy for sending it in!)
From the article, Quiksilver President Rob Colby says:
“We’re going to take a breather for 2012,” says Colby. “The Americas business is doing very well, but we don’t want to lead with our chin—we want to be cautious in 2012.”
Quiksilver will reexamine doing the event in 2013. When asked how significant the 2011 event’s financial hit was, Colby responded, “It was a lot,” but despite that fact, the event was a success on a number of levels including engaging with mainstream media and the New York City market. “We were really pleasantly surprised by attendance during the week,” says Colby, adding that it was a great opportunity to engage the entire area with events in the city and in Long Beach.
Colby says he’s a firm believer in the concept of hosting large surf contests in major metropolitan areas and looks forward to bringing the event back to New York in the future.
Sorry that I’m just posting a bunch of links today, but it’s Saturday and I’m feeling lazy. This article does seem kind of promising that they won’t rule out a future return to Long Beach. Let’s hope that our new administration does the right thing and starts courting Quiksilver right away. The September 2011 event was not handled properly, but I am sure we all learned a lot from the experience.
Head over to surfline.com for an article on the cancellation of Quiksilver Pro New York 2012. Long Beach’s own Mike Nelson from UNSOUND is quoted talking about the Quiksilver experience as well as the return of the UNSOUND PRO next September. In the article, Mike says what we’re all thinking:
“I’m bummed, but it’s not totally unexpected,” he said. “It’s not the easiest place in the world to run an event.”