Hey Joe, Who are you ?
Hi! My name is Joe and I run the account called The Surfing Expert (@TheSufingExpert on Instagram). I'm from France and currently live in New York. While I have a day job, I turn to surfing to escape my busy work life! It has also been a great way for me to meet people and make life-long friends.
How did you get the idea to edit your Blog The Surfing Expert?
It started during a winter flat spell in early 2017. I was sick of being out of the water and needed something to keep my mind on surfing. I noticed that some people were doing excellent surfboard reviews, however, no one was focusing on surf gear. Wearing the right wetsuit, for example, is just as important as a reliable surfboard, especially for us who surf in water temperatures dropping to the mid 30's (3 degrees Celcius). I started highlighting innovative accessories most surfers hadn't heard of but could benefit from. Instagram was a great platform for it because it's where all surfers hang out. Surf companies quickly started reposting my content and helped grow my following. As of today I have reviewed everything from surfboards to wetsuits, leashes, fins, board bags, you name it!
How long have you been living in NYC?
I have lived in New York for three and a half years. The city felt overwhelming at first and is so different from where I grew up in France. It took me a long time to feel comfortable and settled in, but I finally feel at home here. Surfing played a big part in that!
Who takes care of the home decor ?
My girlfriend Marlee and I picked everything out together. We were going for the mid-century modern look with some surfing inspiration. We're stoked with how it came out! The place feels cozy yet roomy for Manhattan.
What are your favorite things ?
My favorite decorations are the ones that are functional with a story behind them. Our wooden surfboard rack for instance, was custom built in San Diego, CA by my friend Steve who runs the family business Steve's Rack Shack. Our stylish tide clock was made by Ocean Clock, a local company near Hossegor in France. Finally, this massive metal photo sitting above our couch captured by New Jersey-based photographer Shawn Casey (aka @yewwville) is something I love looking at because it reminds me of the perfect waves we search for on the East Coast. I'm proud to showcase the work of these passionate individuals in my home. And of course my coffee table, The One by SALTY.
What does a surfer's life in NY look like?
Surfing is not what first comes to mind when people think of New York City. Even some New Yorkers find it hard to believe when I tell them I surf here or when they see me carrying my surfboard on the subway. The reality is that surfing gathers a pretty large crowd here. It has become more and more popular in recent years. Conditions vary widely throughout the seasons and few of us commit to doing it year round. It can range from extreme cold and short wind swells to mild weather, warm water, and powerful long-period swells during Hurricane season in the Fall. When waves are going off, this place can be magical!
My go-to spot is the Rockaways because it's the closest one to Manhattan and it's easily accessible via subway. New York has many other great spots further East when you find the right sandbar. Also, a short trip south to New Jersey is often worth it when the wind is blowing west and you're looking to get barreled!
Your favourite adresses in town ?
When I'm not at the beach, I mostly hang out in Manhattan. Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side has the best cookies in NYC! I have to get one every time I walk by...
Patagonia has a large surf shop downtown (Bowery location) that I like to go where they often host events.
Reunion Surf Bar in Hell's Kitchen is an underground bar with great vibes and an excellent happy hour!
Thank you, Joe - See you at the line-up.