Stab Magazine | Gentrification Kills Surf fun!
427 Views

Gentrification Kills Surf fun!

There’s a war going on in Rockaway beach! Surfers vs. homeowners. It’s a tale as old as time: Surfers start to frequent some derelict coastal town, and gradually the economy starts to build. Then the upper middle class come hunting for a blast of that crisp sea air, and think that because they spend close to […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

There’s a war going on in Rockaway beach! Surfers vs. homeowners. It’s a tale as old as time: Surfers start to frequent some derelict coastal town, and gradually the economy starts to build. Then the upper middle class come hunting for a blast of that crisp sea air, and think that because they spend close to a million dollars on a house that it means that they have complete control over the area.

The issue at hand is space. Surfing’s super hot right now in NYC, so the number of surfers catching the A train out to Rockaway is booming. At present there are only two sanctioned New York City surfing beaches, Beach 90th street and Beach 67th streets in Queens, and they’re totally packed. Surfers want to open the surrounding beaches, at which surfing and swimming are at present banned, to ease the crowd pressure. But, at the same time property owners want the same beach areas opened for swimming. Surfing and swimming at the same beach is banned in NYC, thus the problem.

Rockaway 1

You gotta fight, for your right, to grooooovel. (Photo by the NY Times)

The surfers’ claim to the beaches stems from the fact that Rockaway wouldn’t be a hot spot currently if it weren’t for them. Local surfer and restaurant owner Conrad Karl says: “Surfing is the catalyst that has begun to change Rockaway. It’s given us a cultural identity down here and brought new restaurants and wine bars and a lot of other businesses.”

Former editor of the local newspaper, ironically called The Wave, Howard Schwach (Boo, hiss!) is angry about the “entitlement” of the surfer’s protesting, and says that it’s preposterous that surfers expect their voices to be heard above “homeowners who just paid $700,000 for a house.”

No decision has been made as to the fate of surfing in Rockaway as yet. But Mr Kavanagh from the Parks department (yes the same one cousin Jeffrey worked for) says that opening the beaches temporarily to surfers to ease the summer crowds was “not an option.” Watch this space for the latest instalment of Surfing vs. Money. Unfortunately only one of them makes the world go round for the masses!

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022
Advertisement