NEW YORK AGAINST THE WORLD
WITH BALARAM STACK
By Andrew Sayer
New York City has became the crown jewel of the surf industry. Eight million people now think the Lower East Side is the coolest place for a surfer to live, but none of them actually get in the water. It’s perfect. Support the lifestyle and don’t clog the lineups. One year ago Long Beach native Balaram Stack was relatively unknown. Then the Quiksilver Pro had it’s one night stand with New York, threw a million dollars in the air, and made Balaram Stack the face of it all. Literally.
Being granted a wildcard spot in the big show saw him draw world champ Kelly Slater and former champ Mick Fanning. Balaram suffered a quick exit after failing to make a heat. But his name was put on the map. Pros loved him. Girls loved him more. He shut the haters down by scoring a perfect 10 at the Volcom Pipe Pro last winter in Hawaii. The documentary, Stacked, is now making the festival rounds, telling the story of NYC surfing by focusing through his lens. Balaram is the king of New York. If pizza, rap, or women are any indication, he could soon be king of the world.
Now we, the DIY media, have to deal with his agent just to get 100 words out of the superstar. Last year we would have been chugging beers with him on the patio at Epstein’s. Now, he’s way too busy. Too busy parading that Yanks New Era hat to exotic warm water surf spots. Too busy showing warm-blooded smoke shows the night of their life. The correlation between mastering waves of consequence and dangerous women is nothing new, and Balaram has found his legs.
Here’s how the best of New York stacks up against the best in the world straight from the keyboard of Balaram Stack.
NY: Gino’s Pizza in Long Beach.
World: Nothing compares to Gino’s!
NY: Big L
World: Wiz Khalifa
NY: Long Beach
World: Macaronis, Indonesia.
Best Cold Water Surf Spot
NY: Long Beach
Best Sports Team
NY: The New York Yankees, the New York Rangers, and the New York Giants.
World: I don’t really follow any teams from other parts of the world.
Best Place to go Snowboarding
NY: Mountain Creek, New Jersey.
World: I don’t know. I haven’t been snowboarding in many other places.
Best Spot to Meet Women
NY: Anywhere with good music and good drinks.
World: The U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.
NY: Canal Street.
World: Maybe Europe? I don’t go shopping very often.
Best Place to Party Under Age
NY: At house parties.
World: House parties all over the world!
Best Place to Hang on a Sunny Summer Day
NY: Unsound Surf Shop in Long Beach.
World: San Clemente, California.
Best Place to Hang on a Snowy Winter Day
At Long Beach if it’s pumping!
Again, I’ll have to go with Gino’s.
The Standard, NYC