Surfers are a hardy bunch, out catching waves in all sorts of temperatures that would have the rest of us tucked up with a hot water bottle and a mug of soup. But whether you’re a gnarly dude or strictly a fair-weather toe-dipper, Rockaway Beach Surf Club in the New York borough of Queens is a place you can be sure of a warm welcome.
Rockaway Beach is the USA’s largest urban beach and the Williamsburg-hipster equivalent of The Hamptons – home also to Playland Motel, the neighbourhood may be a little rough around the edges but the RBSC harnesses the perfect blend of surf and city cultures. You certainly don’t need to be able to hang ten to hangout here either, as the venue is part of a vibrant art and music scene, as well as being involved in community activities; members of the club were soon playing a vital role in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, organising thousands of volunteers to help with the clear-up. RBSC cares about the environment with good reason – one is shaped by the other. The furniture, for example, is all made form driftwood, discarded materials found in the community or donated items, and it’s all on casters so it can be moved to make way for a rolling roster of musicians, exhibitions and the like.