Surf Week returns with surf and skate contests


NYSEA’s New York Surf Week returned to Long Beach July 11-15 featuring an array of surf contests, skateboarding, charity events, parties and movie showings.

The 9th annual event included open surf contests with professional and local surfers, kids’ surf contests, open skateboard contests, open charity surf outings, parties and surf movie premieres at the Long Beach movie theater, beach and boardwalk vendors and concerts presented by NYSEA. The contests included a $3,000 prize purse.

North Massapequa resident Craig “CJ” Mangio, 13, placed first in the boys division of the kids’ surf contest, according to Newsday.

On July 12, the first ever NYSEA’s Lady Liberty Women’s Pro-Am Competition was held with about eight women participating.

The 2nd annual Adaptive All-Stars Surf Competition was held on July 11 where athletes with challenges competed for the New York State championships. On July 12, Surf for All, a local nonprofit organization that provides surfing opportunities to people with disabilities and special needs, hosted an outing for the School of Henry Viscardi at National Boulevard beach. The outing was held in memory of Connor Troy, a local boy who had a neurological disease that inhibited his ability to walk, among other medical issues.

Dylan “Surfing Samurai” Hronec, a 26-year old who has cerebral palsy, attended the event and has surfed in many of the outings over the years.

“I started to surf in 2012 just to escape my wheelchair, and now I’m ready to compete,” Hronec said in a statement. “It’s important to show the world our abilities — to get them to look past our disabilities.”

Surf Week co-founder Will Skudin, a professional big-wave surfer sponsored by Hurley, organizes the outings with his brother, Cliff. The pair run Skudin Surf as well as the Hurley Surf Center on the boardwalk.

Will said surfing is a great way for the kids to get to love the ocean, and, as a result, they become more environmentally concerned about ocean pollution.

Volunteers assisted the surfers, who included Paralympic surfers with limited lower body function, visually impaired people, developmentally disabled people on the autism spectrum and children with Down syndrome.

Will said that Surf Week began in memory of his late friend, well-known local surfer George “Geeza” Geiser, and included a memorial paddle out in his honor on July 14.

On July 12, a surf film called “Andy Irons: Kissed by God” premiered at the Long Beach movie theater — a film about bipolar disorder and opioid addiction as seen through the life of three-time world champion surfer Andy Irons. Surf Week organizers thanked the Harvey and Ellen Weisenberg Foundation, Waterfront Warriors and the Michelle O’Neill Foundation for making the showings possible.

On July 13, NYSEA’s summer party was held at Pop’s Seafood Shack, located at 15 Railroad Place, Island Park. The 3rd annual skate contest, Bowl & Street Bash, held at the Recreation Center, offered cash and sponsorship prizes for professional and kids division participants.

Sponsors of this year’s Surf Week include Honest Tea, Chameleon Cold Brew, Surf Club Skudin Surf, Brew DR Kombucha, Teton Gravity Research, Clif, Surf for All, Skudin Surf and Yeti.