What made all those waffle-sole prints in the sand?
Photos by Thomas LaGrega | @tlagregaD
uring the qualifiers at the Vans Duct Tape Invitational in Rockaway Beach, NY—the international longboarding series founded by Joel Tudor, back in New York for the first time since being held in Montauk—we saw our friend Thomas LaGrega looking down. He had strapped to him various 35mm cameras, a Super8 and another video camera. The day was pretty grey and cold, with a fine mist in the air. The surfers bobbed in the churn and chop, waiting for a ridable wave. When we got to where Thomas was standing we looked down, too. Everywhere in the sand, as far as the could see, that familiar waffle-sole print.
When we got to where Thomas was standing we looked down, too.
There sure were a lot of Vans, we thought or maybe said aloud. “A metric shit-ton,” came the answer, either real or implied. On the beach and the boardwalk all that weekend you could follow in the footprints of Alex Knost, Justin Quintal, Karina Rozunko, Pat Schmidt, Mikey Detemple, Ryan Burch, Kaniela Stewart, Chloe Calmon, Kai Takayama, Victoria Vergara, Dean Petty, Kirra Seale, Harrison Roach, and Joel Tudor as well as board shapers, guitarists plugging in, spectators, skateboarders, dog walkers and casual passersby.
But they were a drop in the ocean of canvas gum-rubber-soled sneakers.
Things cleared up and the hazy Queens surf scene turned much sunnier. There were surfboards and even some duct tape. But they were a drop in the ocean of canvas gum-rubber-soled sneakers. And not just sneakers but also sandals, flip-flops and booties. And Thomas tracked them through the three days, aiming to capture them all on film.