Though surfing was brought to the East Coast by Duke Kahanamoku in the 1910's, the sport had trouble gaining popularity and being taken seriously on this side of the United States over the decades it rose in popularity elsewhere in the world. Well known for its frigid winters and flat summer spells, surfing in New York wasn't a reality for anyone in the surf world until advancements in wetsuit technology made the cold just another factor that made it unique to be a surfer in New York. After years and years of putting out some of the best surfers in the world, the East Coast finally got a break with the first ASP world tour stop, bringing the best surfers in the world to be webcasted on the internet live across the world to anyone following the top 34 surfers in the world.
Once word leaked out to the public, plans of having motocross, skateboard demos, and live music by major acts, hype for these events began to overshadow the surfing event itself. Parking, already being a problem in Long Beach, was forecast by anyone you spoke to on the subject to be a nightmare. With just a few days until the event began, Hurricane Irene made landfall almost directly over the contest site where weeks of work setting up the event site had already taken place. Everything was deconstructed with hours to spare before the effects of Irene were felt across Long Island. After Irene's passing, Long Beach was left with severe flood damage and only days until the largest surf competition in the history of surfing was to be hosted just 30 miles east of the biggest city in the world. Rumors began to spread that the music and all events other than the main surf event were to be cancelled, followed by murmurs that the whole event was off. Word quickly spread across the surf world and an outcry was heard by the movers and shakers of Long Beach who immediately felt themselves being scrutinized by an outpouring of complaints from the surf world and Long Beach community. With just three days until the event's start, the contest was put back on but all side events were officially cancelled. A major hurricane was also shaping up to deliver one of the best days of surf the ASP had seen all year, and an event no one will quickly forget. -Matt Clark
This show is a photo summary of the 2011 Quiksilver Long Beach Surf Competition.
The opening reception will be on November 5th at 8pm.