2004-09-10 / Sports

Surfers Quench Their Thirst for Big Waves

By Henrick Karoliszyn Surfing Columnist

By Henrick Karoliszyn
Surfing Columnist

With last Monday’s 1-footers that closed out around midway Wednesday and Thurs day’s mediocre 2-4 foot slow ones, no one could predict Friday’s explosion of overhead rides and massive waves, provoked by another sporadic hurricane from the South. 

This time, Frances has been the culprit, considered to be “one of the worst storms South Florida has ever seen,” according to an ABC Eyewitness News Report.

With turbulent tides, large fronts and maximum people, 90th were packed on Friday with surfers and excitement as the waves rolled in. Not only was the beach loaded with people, but the skater’s park that just recently opened to the public was stormed with skater boarders, bringing a younger crowd of extreme bikers and in-line bladers out as well.

“This park is the best thing ever,” said 12-year-old Tim Knox. “I surf and when I get cold I come back to skateboard or bike to warm up again.”

With many at the beach to witness the rip curl; ABC and CBS were on hand to capture the action that spread contagiously throughout the main surfing blocks of Rockaway.

From the stretch of 90 to 93rd street, surfers could be seen trying to subdue the big waves and conquer the barrels that were forming outside all day.

“The problem is getting out there to begin with, once you get out there you are set,” said surfer Tom Nolan.“Just don’t take the rides all the way in shore.”

Throughout the day surfers took advantage of the brilliant sun and furious swells to make for a West Coast modeled surf experience.

“It is like the California here during hurricane season,” said Nolan, a native of San Diego. 

With the mob of people bouncing through the water it was hard for everyone to catch rides however and some were frustrated by the “wave hogs” as one surfer put it.

“Man, I been out here for two hours and caught one wave,” said Tony Christine. “I keep getting cut off.” 

That might be because he is still learning how to surf and those above the amateur level can interpret and act on the waves with more agility and vigor, as surfer Greg Cutone said.

“I have been out here long enough to know how to maneuver through new people”, Cutone said. “It’s all in fun.”

As the season moves forward, the waves do not seem to show any signs of letting up as next week looks clearly surf able every day, with Friday being the best, once again.

The same excitement and vibrant masses of people, going to the beach to enjoy the last waves on through Labor Day showed a lot of enthusiasm and humble appreciation for the vivacious waves that will most likely continue to for weeks to come. 

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