Ocean Ceremony For Surfer Killed By Third Rail
Members of the surfing community held a paddle-out memorial ceremony last Saturday afternoon for Patrick Elasik, a magazine publisher, surfer and Rockaway homeowner who was electrocuted last week on the subway tracks in Brooklyn.
Elasik’s friends gathered on Beach 91 Street with their surfboards, flowers and leis for the paddle-out – a traditional Hawaiian ceremony.
About 20 surfers, clad in wetsuits, paddled beyond the break and formed a circle. They sat up on their boards holding hands and took turns sharing memories of Elasik, who lived on Beach 91 Street before he purchased a house on Beach 96 Street, so he could live by the ocean.
A surfboard covered with the red flowers and yellow leis was pushed out to sea at the close of the ceremony, which was recorded by a waterproof video camera and set to the music of Audioslave.
Elasik, 26, lived in Virginia before moving to New York City to co-found Mass Appeal Magazine, an urban lifestyle publication with a readership of about 100,000. He was electrocuted on March 9 when he tried to walk across the G train subway tracks in Greenpoint after he entered the station on the wrong side, according to published reports. His sudden death brought an outpouring of emotion from his friends and co-workers.
Mass Appeal’s website, www.Mass AppealMag.com, featured a photo of Elasik this week along with the following message: “We will all miss Pat, co-founder and publisher of our magazine, tremendously.”
“He would pull me out on his board on the 91st Street break and try to get me to learn to surf,” said his friend Shawna in an online post. “I was looking forward to helping him with his house. We had talked about making sure his backyard was ready by barbecue season.”
Tim Hill, who befriended Elasik when they were neighbors on Beach 91 Street, shared his memories with The Wave this week. “He was a kind and considerate person. He had a love of Rockaway and of the beach,” recalled Hill.
Elasik leaves his father, Ronald Elasik of Chester, Maryland; mother, Colleen Boskin of McLean, Virginia; sister, Lauren Elasik also of McLean. His funeral was under the direction of Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home in Washington, D.C.