fbpx
Время чтения : 4 мин

Peter Pan is giddy

Stan Grossfeld | Boston Globe
March 27, 2020

Business at his Narragansett Surf & Skate Shop is booming, the sky is clearing, the waves are building, and he’s going surfing.

The surfing legend’s real name is Peter Panagiotis, but nobody has called him that since a surfing announcer couldn’t pronounce his Greek last name at a 1967 tournament.

Peter Pan says surfing in the ocean is the best place to be during this pandemic.

Peter Panagiotis, owner of the Narragansett Surf & Skate Shop in Rhode Island

“It’s an anti-social sport,” says the 5-foot-5-inch Pan, who weighs 134 pounds soaking wet. “The object with surfing is you want to surf by yourself. It’s like one wave, one person, that’s the way it goes.

“You hate to have somebody near you, so you’re usually in the water screaming at people to get away from you. So it’s the ideal situation. It’s a paddle out, stay the hell away from me, and let me surf.”

Pan only opens his shop for a few hours in the afternoon in the offseason. Every year, he has to borrow money to get through the seasonal lull, but not this year.

“It’s the busiest winter we’ve ever had in 20 years. I’d say it’s up easily over 50 percent,” he says.

Part of the reason has been unseasonably warm weather, but the coronavirus closings brought in plenty of new business.

“People come in and say, ‘Good, can’t work, let’s go surfing.’ It’s been like nonstop ever since the coronavirus started because it’s really a relatively safe sport to do outside.”

Peter Pan avoids well-known surf spots due to overcrowding, an idea that’s doubly sound at a time of social distancing, but clearly not universally observed.

Peter Pan avoids well-known surf spots due to overcrowding, an idea that’s doubly sound at a time of social distancing, but clearly not universally observed.

He excuses himself and changes into his wet suit. It’s a gorgeous 50-degree spring day with 41-degree water and 6-foot waves, and he is eager to hit the surf.

As a younger man, he worked in New York City for eight years and hated it.

“I’d rather surf and make no money,” he says.

He has stopped here only as a convenient meeting point, because his favorite surfing sites are a secret. He wanted to surf with his daughter, Tricia, but she has to deal with the kids.

Instead, his friend, Jennifer Costanza, a social research consultant who knows to give Pan his distance, meets the energetic surfer. Costanza is stressed out over the pandemic and confesses she has been a virtual shut-in.

Clad in wetsuits to combat spring water temperatures in the mid-40s, surfers prepare to paddle out at Narragansett Beach, just off the opening of Narragansett Bay.

Clad in wetsuits to combat spring water temperatures in the mid-40s, surfers prepare to paddle out at Narragansett Beach, just off the opening of Narragansett Bay.

“This is my only time leaving the house today, and I don’t leave the house at all,” she says. “I’m having my groceries delivered.”

Surfing, she says, is an adrenaline rush and the centerpiece of her life.

“It’s just really nice to be in the ocean and be at one with nature and just not have to think about other things going on in your life.”

Off they go in separate vehicles to the secret location, in the vicinity of Point Judith. Please keep the surfing location vague, Pan pleads.

Surfers are extremely territorial, right?

“Exactly,” he said. “That’s why we keep telling everybody from Cape Cod to stay on Cape Cod.”

Read the article in Russian.

WelcomeToMA © & “ILike.Boston”™. All Rights Reserved. 2020.

Аутентичный текст проекта WelcomeToMA © и “ILike.Boston”™. All Rights Reserved. 2020. Использование текстовых материалов без изменений онлайн в некоммерческих целях разрешается c упоминанием названия проекта «Welcome to MA»© (или ленты новостей “ILike.Boston”™) и активной ссылки на оригинал материала на сайте или на одной из соцсетей издания.