Sunsetting The Summer In Montauk

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Summer is officially over, and we have now unofficially kicked off “light jacket” season. But two weekends ago out in Montauk it was still summer – both in terms of sun and the quality of waves that we’ve been experiencing for the past 3 months.

My brother was visiting from San Francisco for the second time this summer, and for the second time we scored good waves. There was nothing special about the spot we surfed – it was simply walking distance from the house we were staying at and with no parking lots nearby crowds were nonexistent.

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Dear Hurricane Cristobal, Thank you. Love, Long Island.

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At about the same time that the west coast was enjoying the spoils of hurricane Marie, the east coast felt the energy of its third hurricane of the season… Cristobal.

While it didn’t bring as much surf media attention as Marie seemed to bring, Cristobal delivered with 4-foot overhead surf that I was both excited, and a to be honest, a little scared about. Keep in mind that this is New York, and a 10-foot wave isn’t all too common an occurrence.

Cristobal generated our best swell of the season, easily, and it was about as big and good as Gilgo Beach could handle.

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Tuesday During Summer

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Summer continues to deliver fun waves. If you’re not up early on Long Island, you’re really missing out. Here’s a quick shot from this morning.

Surfing Before The Sun Comes Up

Do you wake up early to surf? For the past three days I have been getting to the beach right before the sun came up, and it’s paid off. Summertime always means a more crowded lineup, and unless you’re still in school you have to go to work all day, so heading out for these pre-dawn patrol surfs seems like the way to go.

Long Island got solid shoulder high waves for the past three days, and I was on it early for all three of them. Waking up at 5am isn’t easy, but the pay off can be worth it.

Hurricane Arthur

A hurricane in July is an uncommon thing for the East Coast, but this past Fourth saw the first named storm of the season – Arthur. He brought fun waste to chest high surf in the early morning and like a flip of the switch went well overhead around 6pm. The photo below came from a Fire Island crew that is tight lipped about where it’s breaking.

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Summer Waves

It’s summer time in the North East, which means massive wind-swell surf. Waves with such power you might think twice before jumping in!  Ok… it really means ankle high surf until those hurricanes starting churning down south.  In the meantime get your longboards out and start working on your style.

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Long Beach At Long Last

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Long Beach is only a few miles west of my home break Gilgo Beach, but it’s a totally different vibe. Gilgo is a barrier beach. Just a sliver of sand with a few residential homes lining the bay side. The parking lot is fairly empty this type of year, and when you’re in the water there’s noting staring back at you except for a couple seagulls and rooftops peeking over the sand dunes.

Long Beach on the other hand has a real urban feel. There’s no parking lot with high school kids in toll booths collecting parking fees. You park on the street and you get in to your wetsuit on the street. 6:30am, towel around my waist, I chatted with two guys who were still making their way home from the night before. Friendly guys with opinions on the wave quality. From the water you look back at high-rise apartments, condos, hotels and a beautifully rebuilt boardwalk.

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I surfed at the Lincoln Blvd jetty solely because it’s where a Surfline cam is situated. Lincoln is a good wave and the breaks are more spread out then I thought. It doesn’t break just off the Jetty, which is good for not creating a crowded takeoff spot. I’m sorry it took me so long to drive the extra 15 minutes to find out what a good wave Long Island has in Long Beach.

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Little March Barrels

Waves and rain on Saturday. Waves and rain on Sunday. Waves and snow on Monday. Spring has already had its share of good swell, but now we just need the weather to improve on the east coast. Still, March wrapped itself up nicely with a few days of solid waves on Long Island.

I grew up surfing at Robert Moses. Field 4, field 5, and then mostly Democrat Point. Lately I’ve stuck to Gilgo, and if I felt adventurous would drive out to eastern Long Island. Today I went back to Robert Moses and found some little barrels at field 2.

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A Day Inside The Shaping Bay

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I love getting a new surfboard. It’s a great feeling to hold a clean new shape in your hands that doesn’t have wax or dings scattered across the deck. The easiest way to get a new board is to have someone with surfboard shaping experience help you out. An actual shaper with a skilled hand and a trained eye. But the shaping process can be just as enjoyable as is surfing the finished product. The trouble is getting your hands on the necessary tools, a blank, space to shape, and most importantly a bit of knowledge about how to get from a white foam brick to something that resembles and actual surfboard. Recently, I got my hands on all those things.

With the use of my friends tools, a local shop’s shaping bay, and a helping hand I’m trying to learn how to shape. I scaled a shape off of a board I saw online and starting making a mess out of the 5′-6″ blank. It took me almost 5 hours to unevenly shape (and I probably made it too thick) my first blank, but it is starting to look somewhat like a surfboard.

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Tyler Warren Print

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I discovered professional surfer/ artist Tyler Warren while checking out the Captain Fin Co. blog. They were featuring a surfboard he shaped, and it turns out he’s not only a great surfer and surfboard shaper, but also a pretty darn good artist. Most of his work is surf or beach themed. I ordered one of his prints and it came numbered and signed by Tyler. It’s actually the first print I’ve ever ordered, and I was totally impressed with the quality. It even came with a personal thank you note written out on masking tape!

You can check out more of his art at Art By Tyler Warren.



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