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Surfers to ride the waves of Long Beach this week

Surfers compete in New York Surf Week in

Surfers compete in New York Surf Week in Long Beach last year. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

New York Surf Week is coming back to Long Beach this week, marking a decade of the event that brings together the New York surfing community each year.

Hosted by NYSEA, Surf Week consists of multiple competitions that draw some of the country’s top surfers. The surfing will take place at the beach between Long Beach and Riverside boulevards.

“Surf Week is always a special time of year, when the whole community comes together to celebrate the passion and sport of surfing,” said Will Skudin, founder of the event.

The main surf contests happening between Wednesday and Sunday include the NYSEA Junior Pro for wave riders ages 20 and younger, and the Lady Liberty Classic, open only to female surfers of all ages. Each will give out $750 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third.

Sponsored merchandise, such as surfing gear or a Yeti cooler, will be given to winners of the Kids Surf Contest, split into two divisions between boys and girls ages 17 and younger. T A competition for adaptive athletes also will take place.

This is the first time the event is holding a Junior Pro contest, Skudin said, replacing the men’s race.

“We want to focus on the kids and the next generation of New York surfing,” he said. “It’s important to cultivate and preserve the next crop.”

The Lady Liberty Classic race debuted last year.

“There’s a lot of women killing it out there, and they deserve to have their own platform,” Skudin said.

Judging will be based on the best two waves in a 15-minute period. Criteria include critical maneuvers, speed, power and flow, event organizers said.

A skate competition, party and film premiere are also on schedule. The film titled "And Two If by Sea" will showcase the lives of professional surfing siblings Damien and C.J. Hobgood, both of whom have won many accolades.  

The brothers will be present at the event, just two of many professional or up-and-coming surfers attending Surf Week, such as Skudin and TJ Gumiela from Long Beach and CJ Mangio from Massapequa.

Event organizers expect about 74 surfers to compete and about 2,500 attendees. All beach events are free to watch from the boardwalk, but cost $12 to $15 to watch from the beach, according to its website.

As for weather, organizers said they expect good conditions and a lot of waves.

New York Surf Week began as a memorial for legendary surfer and Long Beach resident George "Geeza" Geiser, who died in a 2009 car crash. Since then, a memorial paddle for Geiser is held during Surf Week every year.

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