Crest Surf Clubs to Make Waves in Surf Communities – Starting With Long Island’s

crest surf clubs surf pool
Rendering of Crest Surf Club pool
Courtesy Crest Surf Clubs

Crest Surf Clubs to Make Waves in Surf Communities – Starting With Long Island’s

Father-son duo Chris and Brett Portera, cofounders of Crest Surf Clubs, are planning to make waves – literally and figuratively – in the national surfing community, and it’s all starting on Long Island.

The Bay Shore residents will open what they believe is one of the first-ever outdoor, heated surf pool clubs in the world, Crest New York, in Shirley in 2024, after breaking ground in May on the pool and facilities. According to the lifelong surfers, this controlled wave pool model, to be open year round, will be a gamechanger for surfers everywhere.

“It’s something we’re very passionate about,” Brett, 27, says. “Part of being a surfer is you always want to surf more and you always want to be a better surfer. Living on Long Island is really tough because in the winter, it’s unreasonably cold and not inviting to go surfing.”

crest surf clubs surf pool
From left to right: Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico; Chris Portera, cofounder and CEO of Crest Surf Clubs; Brett Portera, cofounder and CEO of Crest Surf Clubs; Alex Portera, director of sales and development for Crest Surf Clubs; Ricky Portera, partner of Crest Surf Clubs; and State Sen. Dean Murray at a groundbreaking ceremony on May 17Courtesy Crest Surf Clubs

Crest New York’s 55,000-square-foot pool will be an outdoor, temperature- and wave-controlled spot for surfers to practice in conditions of their own choosing. For Brett, creating this type of environment for surfers has been a longtime dream that’s finally coming to fruition.

“We’ve unofficially been at this for 15-plus years at this point,” says Brett, who had the idea when he was around 10 years old and enjoyed going to wave pools. “We were originally branded as Long Island Surf Park and launched that idea in 2015, and then Crest came about in the last year and a half or so.”

Chris, 63, recalls surfing at Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon surf pool about 10 years ago with Brett, which he points to as inspiration for wanting to start his own surf pool company. Aside from being a dedicated surfer, Chris has owned a cleaning supply business for 34 years and is now applying his business experience to his passions.

“I’ve surfed all over the place and gone on trips but going [to Typhoon Lagoon] and having it to myself and surfing with my friends and my kids was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” Chris says. 

Leif Engstrom, 35, a lifelong surfer from Montauk, will be manager of surf performance and coaching at Crest New York. He has been working with the Porteras for close to 10 years on opening the surf pool and notes that though you’ll find surfers in any coastal community, the conditions aren’t always ideal.

“I’m pretty excited about everything that’s happening,” Engstrom says. “As a surfer in New York] you don’t get too many great days until it’s hurricane season.

“Being able to control the environment is huge,” he adds. “From beginner to advanced, to be able to make those waves, instead of waiting for God to create some storm, is really any surfer’s dream.”

surf pool
Rendering of Crest Surf Club loungeCourtesy Crest Surf Clubs

Engstrom will hold beginners training classes and advanced lessons at Crest New York.

The surf club will also have fitness classes such as yoga and Pilates, dining options, a balcony bar, and an open-plan lounge as well as semi-private areas for business meetings and concierge services.

Crest New York will also be carbon-negative, the owners say. It will have its onsite power generation that captures and recycles carbon emissions to be environmentally friendly. 

In addition to the flagship Shirley location, the Porteras have about a dozen locations chosen to open Crest Surf Clubs across the country.

The company is also working to bring the Ambassadors of Compassion program, which teaches children emotional resiliency, to Long Island, and will work with the Boomer Esiason Foundation to give back to the community.

To stay updated on the opening of Crest New York, visit crestsurfclubs.com or @crestnewyork on Instagram.