But Will it Play in New York?

At Gilgo Beach, day-trippers from Queens to West Babylon lined up to rent boards from Gerry Stewart—the stunning bikini-wearing blond behind the counter who not only outsurfed most of the guys but outstyled them as well, charging down Ocean Parkway in her Cadillac hearse with a full load of boards rattling around in the back.

The 1960s surf boom can be parsed in a lot of different ways. The West Coast got busy inventing the surf industry, Australia was springloaded to become the most progressive wave-riding nation on earth, while surf fever went airborne and touched down on beaches from Sao Paulo to Christchurch. But based on demographics alone, the boom exploded loudest on the American East Coast. In 1959, there were ...

Subscribe or Login

Plans start at $5, cancel anytimeTrouble logging-in? Contact us.