Skudin: Will and Cliff Skudin are industry and local legends.
Will was the first East Coaster to be nominated for a World
Surf League Big Wave Award for best performance. Plus, he is
on record for having ridden one of the biggest and most critical
waves at Nazare, a surfing community in Portugal. Meanwhile,
Cliff is a formally nationally ranked lifeguard who pulled three
drowning teenage boys to safety off Long Beach, Long Island,
over Memorial Day Weekend in 2012. According to reports, he
paddled into the water on his surfboard to grab one boy about 50
yards from shore and then got the other two lads about 100 yards
out. The Skudin brothers provide a wide variety of lessons and
combine sports such as soccer and lacrosse with surfing to offer
dual camps for children. Check them out at Beach 67th Street
and Beach Front Road and skudinsurf.com.
Conatus: Founder and lead instructor Dion Mattison, a former
pro surfer, was born on a sailboat. The son of a wave enthusiast,
he has been surfing since age one. Dion’s philosophy is to teach
students about the ocean and the sand, not to push them into
anything. In fact, his initial classes focus on basics like paddling
and maneuvering. Check it out at conatussurfclub.com
Locals: Co-owners Mike Reinhardt and Mike Kololyan are best
buddies who grew up in Rockaway. They are lifelong surfers
and skaters and they teach both hobbies at this academy, which
they founded in 2011. Currently, they offer individual and group
lessons, camps for kids and charity programs. Check them out on
the sand at Beach 69th Street and localssurfschool.com.
New York: Frank Cullen throws yoga into the mix. That’s right.
One employee, Kwame LaBassiere, uses vinyasa flow, breathing
exercises and relaxation techniques to increase energy, balance,
strength and flexibility. Classes begin in the sand. Then, they go
where the spirit takes them. Check them out at Beach 69th Street
Editor’s note: The Gateway National Recreation Area is
described in the Public Spaces section. The Rockaway Artists
Alliance is in the Museum section. Rockaway Theatre Company
is in the Performance Venues section.
38 QUEENS IN YOUR POCKET • www.itsinqueens.com