In light of recent events, we’ve been reminded just how important surf photographers and their work are to not only documenting the history of New York’s surfing community, but its inevitably progressive future as well. Someone that has always done a stellar job of that is New York native and talented lensman Andrew Blauschild.
Andrew, or Drew as friends would call, has been shooting surfing in New York (and abroad) since what seems like forever. His name is one of the first to be spoken when New York surf photography becomes the topic of discussion, and rightfully so, because his body of work is as extensive as it is creative — a motion that embodies the Empire State to the fullest.
We got in touch with Sir Blauschild this past week and asked him appease our curiosity in the form of answering a few of our questions (which you’ll find below) and sending us ~10 of his favorite shots (which you’ll find above). The man is a legend that could probably be anywhere in the world chasing swells with sponsor-backed crews and charter boats, but instead remains rooted and grounded, exploring all this his home-state has to offer when the Atlantic serves up swell.
MK: You’re a surf photographer from the Bronx, right? How’d that happen?
AB: My dad taught me a bit about photography as a kid and gave me his old cameras. Coming out from the city to the beaches to visit family, I was always drawn to the ocean and landscapes.
Can you talk to us about your brand Kookbox Surfboards? Is it still going strong?
Kookbox is a collaboration brand of surfers , great craftsman, and artist/ photographers. We produce classically-made surfboards with some of the best shapers and glassers in the industry. It’s a rewarding labor of love to build custom surfboards for surfers all over the world. Our newest account is a shop in South Korea. I mean… that’s cool.
Surfing has undoubtedly — and perhaps surprisingly — made a significant impact on city culture in recent years. Do you think there’s a limit to surfing’s influence in like Manhattan? Is it ludicrous to think that a decade or two down the road it might be up there with hip-hop and skateboarding?
I think the popularity of surfing in NYC shows most in the fashion culture. I don’t know if it will ever reach the influential heights of hip hop.
Alright, let’s say you can shoot any surfer (dead or alive) for one session at any spot on Earth. Who, where and why?
Gerry Lopez, North Shore, Hawaii, 1970s. The boards, Gerry’s style, the music, the drugs, the girls, and the unbelievable feeling of discovery… just being privy to that cultural happening that was a turning point in surfing.
Something tells me you make worthwhile recommendations. Give us one book, one movie and one photographer that we need to check out.
- Art Brewer’s book on Bunker Spreckels. If you don’t know who he is, you should, so find a copy :).
- Any movie from the 1970s.
- All film [photography].