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Page 39
The Rockaway Times
The Pipeline:
urfing Hermine Or Trying:
By Katie McFadden
Surf ’s up, but off limits! With
Hurricane Hermine churning
off the coast, the waves over
the past week were what every
surfer waits for all year. Yet in
anticipation of the storm that
never made landfall, May-
or Bill de Blasio put a leash
on surfers when he made the
premature decision to close
the beaches to everyone, from
Sunday to at least Wednesday
of this past week.
Some surfers ignored the
requests of Parks Department
employees and police, taking
advantage of the storm surf
regardless. Some were hit with
fines and others simply avoid-
ed Rockaway altogether and
went to Long Island beaches.
Overall, most felt the nanny
state restrictions were ridic-
ulous and they hope that it
doesn’t set a precedent for fu-
ture storms.
“These are the primo con-
ditions that we live for,” Elliot
Chaffer said. “As surfers, we
wait for months for waves like
the ones from Hermine,” Ryan
Norton said. “We surf these
waves, and bigger, all winter
long and no one bats an eye.
We surf at our own risk, so it’s
weird when all of a sudden
we’re told we can’t surf, just
because it’s in season,” a surf-
er who chose to remain anon-
ymous said.
Some admitted that the
waves were not for the inex-
perienced. The regulars didn’t
let the restrictions stop them.
“I go to the beach when there
are waves. I listen to Surfline,
not de Blasio,” Andrew Hughes
said. Some noted that the
rules being enforced were at
the discretion of the enforcers,
with police being more lenient
and Parks Enforcement being
stricter. Some took the warn-
ings and went in regardless. “I
couldn’t believe I was stopped
by the NYPD and told not to go
in. I looked at them like they
had three heads and proceed-
ed to go in the water. It was
just too damn good out there,”
Norton said, adding that he
was never fined, but knows
others that were. According
to the New York Post, several
surfers received summonses
of $80 for “failing to comply.”
Others heard that fines would
be $250, but were actually $25.
Others said the threat of fines
actually made surf sessions
more dangerous. "Every time
a cop came toward me, I'd run
back in the water. It made for
a longer session than I thought
I could handle. At one point I
got so tired it felt dangerous to
not come in, but I didn't know
if the tickets were $5 or $500,"
Brian Wengrofsky said. But for
some, this week’s waves were
priceless. “I would have paid
$250 for those waves without
hesitation,” J Scott Klossner
Not wanting to be babysat,
some surfers chose to avoid
Rockaway altogether, which
was noticeable by less crowd-
ed concessions and local busi-
nesses. A surfer who chose to
remain anonymous said mak-
ing the call to close the beach-
es a few days in advance, was
the wrong one, as it kept peo-
ple from coming to the neigh-
borhood, despite the beautiful
weather. She chose to leave
town for the weekend. “We
went and surfed and spent our
money in Long Beach instead
of being treated like crimi-
nals in our own front yard,”
she said. “This should have
been a big weekend for local
businesses, a moment where
Rockaway shined, and instead,
it was an embarrassment with
the city declaring no surfing on
a weekend when you want to
go surfing most. This was the
equivalent of two feet of fresh
powder in Vermont and being
told, no skiing.” She added that
she hopes closing the beaches
to surfers doesn’t become the
Photo by Alexander Pudov Photography
Surf Conditions
Avg. Water Temp:
74-77 Degrees
Thursday, September 8
84 Degrees/ Partly Cloudy
1 ft
6:18 a.m./ 6:12 p.m.
High Tide:
12:29 a.m./ 12:59 p.m.
Friday, September 9
88 Degrees/ Partly Cloudy
1-2 ft
7:12 a.m./ 8:18 p.m.
High Tide:
1:17 a.m. /1:47 p.m.
Saturday, September 10
82 Degrees/ Partly Cloudy
1-2 ft
8:21 a.m./ 9:21 p.m.
High Tide:
2:10 a.m./ 2:39 p.m.
Sunday, September 11
82 Degrees/ Partly Cloudy
2-3 ft
9:27 a.m./ 10:17 p.m.
High Tide:
3:06 a.m./ 3:35 p.m.
Monday, September 12
77 Degrees/ Sunny
1-2 ft
10:25 a.m./ 11:07 p.m.
High Tide:
4:06 a.m./ 4:32 p.m.
Tuesday, September 13
79 Degrees/ Sunny
1-2 ft
11:18 a.m./ 11:55 p.m.
High Tide:
5:04 a.m./ 5:27 p.m.
Wednesday, September 14
80 Degrees/ Mostly Sunny
1-2 ft
12:09 p.m.
High Tide:
5:56 a.m./6:17 p.m.