In the salty heart of surf culture, many clubs and collectives have formed to build camaraderie. In 2021, Yeasty Boys, a name as unique as their mission, celebrates not just wave sliding, but also the importance of building inclusivity and connections within New York’s surf community.
What was initially a quirky way to describe the group of women she surfed with, Founder Gina Jurlando has organically transformed Yeasty Boys into an inclusive community of surfers from all backgrounds and levels. Founded in 2021, the club has become a beacon of camaraderie in New York’s surf world recently gaining over 270 members who are passionate about the water and range in skill level.
“They’re going out every single day and now they’re the ones taking on the newer batch of beginners,” said Jurlando. “There’s become this really cool thing that you know, you can start [surfing] as a beginner and if you really commit to it and you enjoy it, you can share the knowledge that you’ve learned.”
Yeasty Boys has made it their mission to create a space where everyone feels welcome, regardless of gender, socioeconomic background or experience level by organizing surf groups and a “buddy system” where they pair a less experienced surfer with a more experienced surfer. This also doubles as a way for less experienced surfers to better understand surf etiquette and gain more knowledge of the ocean and waves, despite surfing’s often lofty price tag.
“Even if someone can’t afford a lesson and could just afford to rent a board, you know, they have at least a basis of information on etiquette,” said Jurlando. “And I think that’s also why like the buddy system that we have worked so people can afford lessons when we go out with them.”
In addition to the buddy system, a WhatsApp space and more, the group also organizes events that feature board swaps, surf forecasting basics and water etiquette. They also partner with local businesses to hold yoga sessions and ocean safety as well as volunteer for beach cleanups. Lest we forget—they also partner with the Women’s Surf Film Festival every year, which is coming up on its 10th year.
Whether it’s introducing two kindred spirits or simply sharing the thrill of the ocean, these surfers-turned-community builders know that it’s all about the friends you make along the way.
Next time you paddle out in NYC, keep an eye out for The Yeasty Boys – a group of surfers who prove that the best rides are the ones you take with friends, old and new.
Photos courtesy of: Yeasty Boys