Get Active This Summer by Surfing, Skating, Exploring in Rockaway

By Katie Honan on June 6, 2014 8:39am 

Slideshow
 Learn how to surf, bike around and explore the city's largest beach. 
Get Active By Surfing, Skating, Exploring Rockaway Beach
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ROCKAWAY BEACH — The peninsula may seem like a foodie's paradise — from barbecue to tapas — but walking to the taco stand shouldn’t be the only exercise you get at the city’s largest beach.

Whether it’s on a board or in the water, a fitness class or on your own, there are plenty of ways to get active this summer at Rockaway Beach.

SURF

Want to catch waves at Rockaway's two official surfing beaches (Beach 67-69 and Beach 87-92) but not ready to hang 10 just yet? Before you even dip your toes in the water, you may want to work on a few things you’ll need, like balance and a strong core.

Get in shape by taking a class of SurfSET Fitness, which brings a yoga-inspired workout to a specially-designed surf board on land. It simulates the feel — and demands — of being in the ocean and helps you get ripped (without a wipeout.) Classes are offered locally at SunCycle Studios, 137 Beach 116th St.

For updated class times, check their website.

Once you feel like you’re ready to take on the Atlantic, you can sign up for a lesson from some of the peninsula’s surf schools. 

Locals Surf School offers group classes for $80 a person for a two-hour lesson, and private sessions run $100 an hour. It also runs corporate and group lessons, and classes are held at different beaches in Rockaway. 

Call 347-752-2728 or visit their website to reserve a lesson.

Private lessons through Skudin Surf School are $95 for an hour and 15 minutes, and group classes on the weekend are $65 per student for a 90-minute class. Classes are held at the Beach 67th Street surfing beach.

Visit Skudin Surf's site for more information and to reserve a lesson.

Once you’ve built up your confidence, you can rent your own board at surf shops.

Breakwater Surf Company, at 67-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd., rents all kinds of boards — long, short, even boogie — starting at $10 per hour, $30 for four hours and $40 per day. It's right off the Beach 67th Street stop on the A train and a quick walk to the surfing beach up the street.

Boarders at 192 Beach 92nd St. rents boards for $35 for up to four hours, and $50 for the whole day. You’ll probably need a wetsuit if you surf for the next few weeks; those are $10 a day, and $5 with a surfboard rental. After you surf at the surf beach up the street you can use the shop’s showers and changing rooms, too.

Boarders also rents boards at the beach location at the Beach 97th Street concessions. 

But please remember to obey surfing rules when you're in the water!

SKATEBOARD

The Far Rockaway skatepark, at 1410 Seagirt Blvd., near Beach 13th Street, is an 18,000-square-foot concrete park near the beach. The concrete pools and ramps offer a smooth ride and there's also a small climbing wall nearby for additional fun.

Take the A train to the last stop, Mott Ave., and walk a few blocks toward the beach. 

The Rockaway Beach skatepark, at Beach 91st Street and Shore Front Parkway, was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

But a few small ramps have returned to the former site, paid for with private donations. The Parks Department doesn’t have a timeline for its reconstruction.

BIKE

If you took the A train down but still want some pedaling action, there are bike shops where you can rent cruisers for the beach.

Paul’s Bike Shop at 163 Beach 116th St. rents beach cruisers — one-speed bikes for leisurely riding — for $10 an hour. He also rents “fat tire” bikes, which are perfect for cruising in the sand, for $20 an hour.

The shop is up the street from the Rockaway Park - Beach 116th Street stop on the A train and the shuttle, and multiple buses stop nearby as well.

KAYAK

Marina 59, at Beach 59th St. and Beach Channel Drive, rents kayaks to explore Jamaica Bay and its many basins.

First, you learn in Somerville Basin to get comfortable in the boat, according to the site, and then you can continue in the larger bay to explore the many nature reserves. 

Peruse the National Park Service's map and guide for paddling around Jamaica Bay before embarking on your adventure. 

Take the A train to the Beach 60th Street stop and walk towards the bay. Reservations required; email rentals@Marina59.com or call 718-945-4500 extension 2. 

JET SKI

Rockaway Jet Ski launches from Thai Rock Bar and Restaurant at Beach 92nd Street. The company offers a variety of options, from a four-hour tour of New York Harbor to an hour-long sunset tour of Jamaica Bay.

Prices range from $210 per person for the sunset tour and $600 for the longer Harbor tour. The company offers discounts through Groupon, so keep an eye out.

Visit the company's web site for more information.

RUN

The Rockapulco Run Series has three races scheduled this summer, starting with the Pipers Pursuit on Saturday, June 14, a 5K race hosted by the NYPD Pipe & Drums. There’s also Father’s Day half-marathon the following day, which begins at 8 a.m.

Registration for the races are at Beach 101st Street. The location is subject to change, so check the site for registration information and updates.

EXPLORE

Ranger-led tours take guests all around both Fort Tilden and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The activities are spaced out, with some near the tip of the Rockaway peninsula, others in Broad Channel and some in Brooklyn.

You can explore the former military site at Fort Tilden on your own, then relax at the beach, which reopened this summer for the first time since Hurricane Sandy. 

Fort Tilden, 169 State Rd., Rockaway Point, is best accessed by the Q35 bus, which can be picked up on the last stop of the 2 and 5 trains in Brooklyn. 

The “Be A Bird Detective” tour will be held Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8 and sets off from the bird sanctuary in Broad Channel — where you can catch a glimpse of more than 300 species of birds. There are other bird tours scheduled for the rest of the summer. 

To access the bird sanctuary, take the A train to Broad Channel and walk approximately 1 mile to the sanctuary.

 

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