08/12/14 4:00pm
Women's Surf Film Festival, Women of the Seven Seas

World champion Sofia Mulanovich will be one of the surfers featured in the second annual women’s surf film festival, Women Of the Seven Seas, at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club on Saturday, August 16. Photo: Red Bull

Summer’s coming to a close but we’re not ready to wave good-bye to the outdoor concerts, BBQs, and park screenings just yet. There is a month of outdoor films left, so enjoy your last weeks of movies on a blanket, starting with these three screenings.

Spice World
Plus, DJ Dog Dick and Eartheater
Wednesday, 6pm
Free
The final movie of SummerScreen is here and it makes me a little sad. Not because it’s the final outdoor screening at McCarren Park (they’ll be back) but because somewhere between irony and ridiculousness, taste was thrown to the curb and the audience pick, the most voted for movie, and what you’ll be forced to endure for a full 93 minutes, a movie that only has a 3.2 rating on IMDB for a reason, is Spice World. Seriously, this was picked over Mean Girls? Over Kill Bill? You should go, you should watch it, you should really zigazag ah.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Plus, DJ Emch and the short film The Roper by Ewan McNicol
Thursday, 6pm
Free
Since we’ve been robbed of Kill Bill at McCarren Park, it’s only fair that Brooklyn Bridge Park makes up for it with the Syfy Movies With A View screening of Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. When samurai culture, hip-hop and Italian gangsters collide to form a soundtrack written and produced by the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA on a huge screen with the amazing NYC backdrop, your night can only be amazing. Plus free bike parking with Transportation Alternatives!

Women of the Seven Seas Surf Film Festival 2014
Saturday, 7pm
Free

When the week’s up and you’re still mad about Spice World but the Ghost Dog screening has cooled your guns a bit, you’ll be ready to chill out on the beach all day—it’s not hard, not far to reach, I assure you, we can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach. After you’ve been baking in the sun all day pull up a seat at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club for the Women of the Seven Seas Surf Film Festival. Catch these films about female surfers from around the world and take a ride on a wave so awesome only a post-beach Saturday night at the Rockaways can keep you steady. Plus raffles for awesome prizes like a Natures Shapes surfboard, a 20×30 signed print by photographer Dylan Gordon, a surf  lesson by Locals Surf School and more.

08/16/13 8:05am


Matthew McGregor-Mento gets wet with his English wooden surfboard in Montauk last summer. Photo: Christiaan Bailey

Matthew McGregor-Mento gets wet with his English wooden surfboard in Montauk last summer. Photo: Christiaan Bailey

If you’ve ever enjoyed a hot summer’s day on the sand in Far Rockaway, you may have spotted a wetsuit-wearing fellow riding what looks like a wooden boogie board. It may well have been Matthew McGregor-Mento, a Long Island native who has surfed New York City’s waves since 1986. McGregor-Mento is part of a small but growing community of surfers who enjoy riding the waves while lying low.

According to McGregor-Mento, a traditional Hawaiian short bodyboard called a paipo (pronounced PIE-po) can enhance even an expert surfer’s day in the water. “They ride well in super, super, super, small waves, like almost no waves at all, and then they ride really well all the way up to like epic barreling,” he says. Given the streaky nature of New York City’s surf, which is smallest in the summer months and temperamental during stormy seasons, paipos can get board enthusiasts in the water even when the waves aren’t ideal for surfing.

Because of the similarities in technique to boogie boarding, which many of us associate with childhood trips to the shore, it’s easy to relegate the paipo and bodyboarding to the novice end of the wave pool. But during last year’s tornado near Breezy Point, McGregor-Mento was thwarted in the heavy surf on his standup surfboard, so he turned to his short wooden board instead.

“The waves were way too strong, and I was way too weak a paddler–it just wasn’t going to happen,” he says. McGregor-Mento had better luck on his wooden bodyboard, which he always brings with him. “I was basically one of the very, very small handful of people that even made it out that day, and then once I was out on the board, I was picking off all these crazy storm waves that were just like big and burly and weird.”

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06/20/13 2:18pm

Get out on the water for free.

UPDATE: This article was originally published in July 3, 2012, it’s been updated to reflect all time and price changes everything should be up to date as of June 20, 2013, but please let us know in the comments if we missed anything. Here are a few of our favorite hot weather things to do in Brooklyn (though honestly, we’d eat ice cream for dinner anywhere, anytime). Bookmark this list for those Sunday afternoons where you keep texting back and forth with your friends saying, “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?”

Get on a Boat
Brooklyn is a great place for small boat enthusiasts of all levels, with a plethora of boathouses offering free access to boats, equipment and the open water. There are several organizations that offer free open paddle sessions, which are limited to 20 minutes in order to accommodate high demand. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, located just south of Pier 1 in DUMBO, is a popular one, offering free walk-up kayaking sessions from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and from 5:30-7:30pm on some Thursday evenings (check the schedule first). The Red Hook Boaters have free kayaking on Thursday nights from 5:30-7:30pm and Sunday afternoons from 1-5pm. Simply show up at the launch site at the end of Coffey Street in Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park and you’ll be floating in a protected cove in the New York Harbor in no time.

Canoers who aren’t hung up on pristine waterways can brave the sludge on the Gowanus Canal on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, when the Gowanus Dredgers Club launches self-guided tours from 2nd Street on the west side of the canal. In Greenpoint, the North Brooklyn Boat Club is running a boathouse, complete with club-owned and donated boats and gear, out of a location on Ash and McGuiness. A $40 annual membership means that you can participate in practice paddling sessions on Wednesday nights and some Saturdays. In Queens, the L.I.C. Community Boathouse offers free walk-up kayaking out of Hallets Cove in Astoria on selected weekend afternoons. –-Kate Hooker
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