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Montauk is the Malibu of the ’60s for New York surfers

By Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times

It’s a three-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan to the tip of Long Island, where you’ll find a scene similar to Malibu of the 1960s. Montauk, N.Y., is a summer destination for many and a winter hideout for others. It might not have the climate of Malibu, but it has the clout. In fact, a few years back Surfer magazine ranked Montauk the ninth best surf town in the U.S., right behind Malibu.

Surfboards line the shore at a spot called Ditch Plains, a favorite of both beginners and veterans like Steve White, who has been riding Montauk waves for the past 50 years, even in the winter. “It gets down to 20 degrees and it thins people out,” White says. “You have to have a thick suit and not much intelligence to go out in that kind of surf.”

In the summer, however, the beaches are packed and so are the waves. People of all ages, from 7 to 77, find pleasure in the rolling surf. Ditch Plains has a rock bottom, so when it’s flat everywhere else, it’s always breaking here, explains White, a surfing instructor.  Comparing New York to California surfing, White says, “The person who has the most fun wins, especially in New York. We’re convinced this is the best spot in the world.”


Waves just west of the Montauk Lighthouse were 12-15 feet in August 2009. Credit: Doug Kuntz for Newsday

1 Comment

  1. September 1, 2013, 8:47 pm

    Please make it stop….montauk has been ruined and these stupid press pieces don't help. It used to be the red headed stepchild of the hamptons that no one liked. Now it's a circus. I hope a non-deadly hurricane makes it an inaccessible island.

    By: itsallnewtonsfault

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