While I was in New York, one of my biggest dreams came true. I had the opportunity to surf in the WSL (World Surfing League) Longboarding Tour! If you know me, you know I love longboarding & this has been one of my dreams for a long time! I entered as an alternate, was late to the heat, rushed to put my wetsuit on, grabbed a random board, paddled out, caught four waves, had the biggest smile on my face & did not advance. But, hey, I got to surf in one of the WSL Longboard Tour events & live one of my dreams.
After the New York SUP Open in Longbeach for the APP World Tour, the WSL Longboard Classic New York started. Zane Schweitzer, Kim Yap & others convinced me to sign up as an alternate for the WSL Longboard New York tour stop. The next day, I went down to the beach & it looked like all the women were there, which meant I would not surf, so I left the beach for a little while. Walking back to the event site after an hour or so, I heard the announcer say they were missing a girl in the water for the first Women’s heat. There was a spot open! I ran over, put my wetsuit on in record time nonetheless & got handed a jersey but did not have a board.
After looking & asking around for a few minutes, we eventually found one, so I grabbed the board & ran out to the water! There were 15min left in the 25min heat. I caught four waves on an unfamiliar board and got the highest single wave score in the heat, though I could not get a backup score to get into advancing position. I came out of the water with the biggest smile; I still could not process what had happened. The craziness at the moment, coming off competing the last few days at the APP World Tour New York Open & then surfing in the WSL! It showed that with all the chaos, being late, riding a new board, only having a few minutes in the heat & not having time to study the water, the mind wins first. It showed how far I had come mentally!
Grateful for the opportunities to do what I love; no matter the situation or the board I ride, being able to enjoy the ocean, surfing & sharing that passion is an incredible feeling.
Photos: Bob Arkow