Rhode Island Surf Scene: Catch a Wave This Summer

After a winter and spring season of great surfing in our area, the summer looks to be just as promising. The premier surfing breaks for the next three months will be located at the beaches, as the big and nasty nor’easters make way for the warmer wind swells. The most consistent action will be at 2nd Beach in Middletown and the Narragansett Town Beach. These breaks catch just about every wind swell that comes through, and there is always something out there to ride. First Beach in Newport and the Misquamicut State Beach are not as consistent, but also ridable most of the time.

While the ocean water temperatures are still quite icy, surfers should be shedding the boots and gloves within the next three weeks. The best way to get the true surf report is to listen to it live on 94-HJY mid-morning and during the afternoon rush hour.

Local competitors surfed the main event last weekend in Belmar, New Jersey, at the 2017 ESA Northeast Regional Surf-Offs. The surf was held in rough 3- to 5-foot beach break, and many area riders excelled in the tough conditions. Lily Gartner was a double finalist, taking 3rd in the Junior Women’s Longboard and 5th in the Girls Under 16 Shortboard finals. Her brother, Noah, took 5th in the Menehune Longboard division. Sophia Martino advanced to a 4th place in the Girls Under 14 Shortboard Final, and Page Hedde took 5th. Pat Redmond won the Open Bodyboard crown, while Aurelien Bouch-Pillon captured the Masters division. Chris Herbert finished 2nd as well. Kevin Roy took a 3rd in the Senior Men and 4th in the Masters Longboard finals. Chris Herbert finished 5th in the same division.

The local summer contest circuit begins on June 11 at the New England Longboard Classic in Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts. It then moves to 2nd Beach in Middletown for shortboard and longboard action on July 8, July 22 and August 19. These contests are sponsored by the Eastern Surfing Association, which is the largest surfing organization in the world. The ESA is where competitors learn to surf against the best. Famous alumnus Kelly Slater, 11-time world surfing champion, is the best example of an ESA member. Interested surfers can find out more information by going to the South New England Eastern Surfing Association Facebook page.

For beginner riders, there are four-day surfing camps available at both the Narragansett Town Beach and at the Matunuck Point in South Kingstown. These surfing camps have been operating with great success since 1978, and offer novice riders of all ages professional instruction by National Surf School Instructors Association professionals. Interested parties can find out more about the camps at peterpansurfingacademy.com

Private, group and individual surfing lessons are available all year long at the Narragansett Town Beach, as well as seasonally at almost all the Rhode Island beaches. Lesson information can be found by contacting local surfing shops or the Eastern Surfing Association. East Coast Champion Ana Barend runs surf classes in Little Compton, Bobby Drought of Rhody Surf teaches surfing at 2nd Beach, and Narragansett Surf and Skate has a stable of top-rated ESA surfers who run the show at the Narragansett Town Beach. For more information, go to narragansettsurfandskate.com. Watch this space for info on the Rhode Island Skateboard scene, including up-and-coming contests and camps.

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