The 14-minute film, “Beach 87th St./Surfing After Sandy” which features the Rockaway surfing community after Hurricane Sandy, is well worth a watch. Debuting this month and filmed by snowboarding brothers Jesse and Lukas Huffman about 34 days after the storm, the film reminisces what it was like on October 29, 2012 from the vantage point of J. Scott Klossner, Keone Singlehurst and Beth Perkins, bungalow dwellers on Beach 87th Street.
As a reminder, the storm surge hit on October 29 affecting 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine, and became the most devastating storm to hit New York and New Jersey since 1938. It was also the costliest storm to hit the region, with northeast surfing spots including Rockaway, being utterly destroyed – surf shops were flooded and blown away, boardwalks were ripped apart and the beaches were severely eroded.
The film starts off with painting the picture of last summer’s “them vs. us” vibe – the local, experienced surfers vs. novices from Williamsburg and other parts of Brooklyn, and the growing fight for waves. 7.1 million visited the beach last summer vs. an average of 3.4 million on prior years.
But after Superstorm Sandy, these once-dubbed “hipsters” became “helpsters.” After local Rockaway residents came to grips with all the loss they had experienced and realized they couldn’t rebuild alone and needed help, the newbie surfers who were once-stigmatized and blamed for robbing locals of waves in Rockaway showed up in droves to lend their hands. In the words of Beth Perkins, “[the surfing community] saved our butts.” They helped rip out soaked drywall, flooring, and helped distribute food and other necessities.
“We appreciate the help from Brooklynites, Manhattanites, and anyone else who came here,” said Keone Singlehurst, 42, a Rockaway surfer who lives with Perkins. “It has brought the surfing community together.”
Watch the short film to see gorgeous shots of the ocean, surfers, and beach lovers, as well as images of broken, damaged homes, and residents sifting through belongings that were destroyed by the hurricane. It will give you a warm fuzzy about what the surfing community is really about. “The surfer community is sort of like a family,” said Singlehurst.
For those looking to donate, our friends at Sector 9 are offering up a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Tee in either black or white. It’s made of 100% organic cotton, and best of all 100% of the sales proceeds of each tee will be donated to the Waves for Water Hurricane Relief Initiative to support their disaster relief efforts in New York and New Jersey.
For more information, on the Waves to Water mission, go to http://www.wavesforwater.org/.