4AM to Rockaway

“Hey man, what is that thing?” A quick honest reply of “just a surfboard” is given, only to be followed by a loud response from the guy hanging out, possibly over-served, in a downtown New York subway station at 4am, “HANG 10, DUDE!” and a silent mumble under the breath of “ain’t no motha-f*cking ocean here.” It’s a common interaction that a handful of Manhattan resident surfers might encounter when looking to get their fill before the school bell rings.

Being a surfer and living in New York City isn’t that bad — besides the fact that it is often 3/2 or 5M wetsuit weather when anything decent comes through. Also, you’re usually rolling the dice without knowing the exact conditions before you go. Plus it takes 90 minutes each way on an unreliable subway system to Far Rockaway. And you have to wake up at 4am before the wind becomes unfavorable and work day begins. Besides that, it’s pretty great.

Whalebone caught up with a few of our friends on their recent adventure to share that you never know what you’re going to find at 4am in NYC. Here is a photo journal of the journey from Manhattan to Far Rockaway Beach to go surfing.

Photos: James Katsipis

Surfers: Jimi Ayers + Liam Tracy

Article and photos as featured in Whalebone’s 5th issue, the NYC Issue, and brought to you by Matuse.