Professional Big Wave Surfer Kurt Rist Launches New Hamptons Surf School
“I’m lucky to have a job I love,” shares Hamptons surf instructor and professional big wave surfer, Kurt Rist [above, center]. “The natural speed of riding a wave is a one of a kind rush. While having fun with your friends in the sun and waves, you are also strengthening your body, mind and spirit. You’ll never forget your first wave.” With a hot new surf school, website [www.hamptonssurf.co], and clothing line on the way, Kurt shares his passion and love for surfing with the Hamptons community in this NEW KDHamptons Lifestyle Diary, below:
KDHamptons: Tell us about your new surf school? Where can we find you this summer?
Kurt Rist: I just launched my own Surf School business named Hamptons Surf Co, and there will also be a small clothing line launching soon as well. I will be teaching in Bridgehampton and Southampton. The sandbars tend to shift around a lot out here, but most likely we’ll be hanging around Mecox beach in Bridgehampton and at Cryder beach in Southampton Village. I’m stoked to be representing Depactus for NY and beyond. You can find their gear at Flying Point in Southampton this summer or Depactus.com
KDHamptons: Who are your surf students? What do you love most about teaching?
Kurt Rist: I teach everyone from little kids to moms and dads. I must admit though, the moms have really been stepping up their game. I love seeing my students getting stoked after catching a good wave. I know that the feeling they’re getting from riding a 2 ft wave is just about equal to the feeling I get from riding a 20ft wave.
KDHamptons: What is the hardest part about learning to surf?
Kurt Rist: If you’re athletic and flexible, a lot of people will pop right up and ride the wave successfully. The hardest part for any beginner surfer is spotting your wave, paddling at the right time, and catching the wave.
KDHamptons: What is the best age to start surfing, and which board is best to start with?
Kurt Rist: I caught my first wave back in 1992, when I was just 7 years old, in Shinnecock Inlet in Southampton. When I was 16, I started teaching people to surf and connect with the ocean on a deeper level. The best age to start is around 7-12 years old depending on the child’s ocean swimming ability. Some of those little guys progress so fast, its amazing. Starting on a longboard gives you more paddle power and more stability when catching and riding a wave. When you’re first starting out, you’re going to take wipe outs, and you’re still learning how to handle your board through waves, so having a soft board is going to keep you that much safer when getting banged around.
KDHamptons: How do you keep the kids safe?
Kurt Rist: The Hamptons Surf Co. team is CPR and first aid certified, with one or more lifeguards on duty at all times. Every student learns how to identify unsafe surfing or swimming conditions, and develop the important safety precautions that are necessary in preventing any danger in the water.
“Blew a bunch of perfect ones paddling in with the gopro in Ireland,” says Kurt.
KDHamptons: Where were you surfing in the off season this year?
Kurt Rist: I was in Ireland for a little bit surfing its famous big wave spot “Mullaghmore” and in the spring I caught a huge swell at Mexicos big wave spot, Puerto Escondido, known as the Mexican Pipeline. In between trips I was surfing out here in the snow with a few of my crazy friends.
“The ocean is my home, and when I’m not teaching, I’m out there looking for the biggest waves in the world,” says Kurt. [here, in Puerto Escondido] Photo by Camilla Neves
* For more information, please go to: www.hamptonssurf.co or call 631 495 1162