The 8th annual New York Surf Week, hosted by NYSEA, kicked off on Wednesday with a jam-packed lineup of events that run through July 16.
This year’s event features a variety of premieres, surf and skate contests, a memorial paddle-out, and festivities to celebrate Long Beach’s surf culture.
Long Beach resident and Surf Week founder Will Skudin, a professional big-wave surfer, said the event has grown over the years and exceeded his expectations.
“Eight years ago, I started this and it was just a little surf outing for my friends and I,” Skudin said. “The goal was always to dedicate the event to my friend, George Geiser, who passed away in a car accident, and that hasn't changed.”
To honor the memory of Long Beach surfer George “Geeza” Geiser, there will be an annual memorial paddle out on July 15 at 2 p.m. at National Boulevard beach.
This year’s event features a new movie that Skudin and others produced called ‘Green Means Go.” It will premiere at Bridgeview Yacht Club on July 13 at 6 p.m. The movie is about Skudin’s experience surfing big-waves in Ireland.
Surf for All, which Will and his brother, Cliff, founded in 2002, is holding a surf outing Thursday for the Henry Viscardi School, which focuses on giving children with physical disabilities an opportunity to surf.
“Watching someone get the rush when they surf is awesome,” Will Skudin said of the Surf for All outings. “It humbles you — it made me realize how fortunate I am.”
This year’s main event, the NYSEA open surf contest, will be held on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the wave conditions, and the kids’ contest will be on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. for boys and girls 17 and under. The event will also feature a vending village throughout the week on the boardwalk at National Boulevard.
“The week brings the community together,” Skudin said. “It’s so cool to see all the surfers from Long Beach, and all over, in one place.”
For the full schedule of events, visit www.nysurfweek.com.