7th Day in Rockaway: how surfing creates community
Yesterday I took another surf lesson during which my instructor Kevin shared his insight on being part of the Rockaway surf community:
He asked us all where we were from, each of us said an area within the five boroughs. He nodded: "if I was a teacher out in Hawaii all of you would be tourists from far off places. Rockaway is a local destination which means we get people from the five boroughs. So when I'm teaching you, I'm not just teaching you how to surf but teaching you how to be part of the community here because this is going to be your local beach. As an instructor in Rockaway I know that my students will be coming back and surfing next to me."
"This local nature of surfing Rockaway means that people are always looking out for each other. As New Yorkers we usually are trying to watch out for ourselves first and then others. But in surfing we're making sure the other surfers are safe first and wiping out (or taking a hit by our board) if we need to in order to make sure no one else gets hurt."
"Welcome to the Rockaway surfing community!"