Who Is No Surfing NYC and Why Is He Trying to Clean up Our Beaches?

The first couch I ever did was over three years ago as a graphic concept for my first t-shirt line called “Summer Rental.” Shortly after, I had a ridiculous run-in with the law, which left me with a misdemeanor graffiti charge for a misplaced sticker! I was pretty angry at the whole situation and started to notice signs everywhere that said “no” this, and “no” that. At that same time I was also noticing a lot of couches on the street!

It sounds dumb now, but I felt like doing more couches was kinda my rebellion against the cops, without permanently defacing anything. No Surfing NYC was just a silly way for me to add one more rule to the list of things we’re not supposed to do.

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Before I knew it I’d done like 30 couches! I was kinda bummed I didn’t have any good pics other than a few cellphone shots so I got an old Minolta Hi-Matic 7SII Rangefinder Camera. I felt they told such stories so I was obligated to shoot them on film.

I didn’t actually begin the Instagram feed until 2014. There was zero plan. I just thought they were funny so I might as well give people something else to laugh at. Now I have a pretty clear direction for the feed. I use it to put some good in the world. I basically post what interests me and then use that as a way to start conversations.

It’s really become a bit of a research project for me. As I learn more about environmental problems we face, I’ve become more conscious where I spend my money and what I put on/in my body. I use the feed to share a lot of this info.

In the big picture, I’d like to expand my reach, and I have a few collab projects I’d love to see happen. I will make tees at some point, and ideally I’m trying to put together a group art show to raise funds for an environmental charity. Stay tuned.

The Content


Hopefully no explanation needed, but this is where it all began. I think they’re funny, and I love finding new ones. I’ve done over 300 to date, mostly in NYC but also in Montauk, LA, SW France, and Mexico. I have a fantasy somebody will pay me to travel and do commission pieces.


The girls replaced the “no” signs when I decided to use the feed to try and make a difference protecting our beaches. This was summer 2015 and I was super bummed how much trash was on the beach in Montauk and Rockaway all summer. The inspiration was the Reef Brazil ads I grew up to in the back of surf mags. I wanted to bring the beauty back but with a message, so I call them my “beach cleanup crew.”

The original concept was to shoot my own girls as part of a “leave no trace” initiative. The message is simply to pick up a few extra pieces of trash each time you leave the beach. Something I’ve always done and I hope will catch on. My intent is to organize mini cleanups and shoot a whole series this summer.


I ran out of my own shots, so I began borrowing from surf photographers who inspire me. Always empty waves, and I always convert them to black and white. I enjoy the simple beauty of a wave and this is a reminder to protect this beauty.

Thanks, Whalebone.

All words by NoSurfingNYC. Stay in the sustainable loop over at NoSurfingNYC’s Instagram. Thanks, Dave.