But Will it Play in New York?

Gilgo Beach, New York, 1964
Ronnie Mellott, Kitty Hawk, NC, 1964. Photo: Robert Myers
Miami Beach, 1965
Gary Propper, 1967. Photo: Ron Stoner
Mimi Munro, 1966

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 maybe 250 dedicated riders between Miami and Cape Cod. By 1966, the East and West Coast surfing p...

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.