East Beast Weekly: Turtle Cove & Higgins Beach

Characterized by cold water, diehard locals, little traffic, and erratic, inconsistent swells, surfing in the North East requires ample amounts of both grit and patience. Yet occasionally the wind and the Atlantic will work in tandem to produce something magical, on par with anything found across the globe. Presenting the East’s Beasts weekly wave feature on Keep it Clean by FH.

Feature #1: Turtle Cove, Montauk, New York

Beach Parking?

  • Parking near the Montauk Lighthouse, 5 min walk to the beach 

Tucked away on the end of Long Island in Montauk Point State Park, dubbed “The End” by locals, Turtle Cove is not your standard beginners break. Populated mostly by a group of dedicated locals, this classic rocky point break is only accessed by a long paddle out to the left (facing the ocean), breaking pretty far out during serious storm swell. A right with multiple take off points along the line up, Turtle Cove displays its best waves and minimum exposed rocks and boulders from mid to high tide with SE swell and NW winds (for the entrepreneuring goofy-footer, there is a short left directly under the lighthouse, but it takes a keen eye to pick it out). The waves begin to take real shape around 4-6 ft, and can get as big as 10 ft+, almost double overhead! In the summer, the beach along the state park is packed, but rarely does it get very crowded out in the actual lineup. Like all East Coast spots, the water temperature makes a wetsuit a necessity other than during the height of the summer, with water temperatures dropping to around 40-50 degrees in the winter. Interrupting the monotony of the typical East Coast beach break, this point break is a hidden gem known and cherished by few. If you’re an experienced surfer, next time you’re in Long Island and dying to get your shred on, check out Turtle Cove for some raw power!

Check out the Turtle Cove Surf Guide here

Feature #2: Higgins Beach, Scarborough, Maine

Beach Parking?

  • Summer (May-October): $10, Winter: Free roadside 

A little bit further up the East Coast, Higgins Beach is another spot to check out. With a fairly consistent SE swell, Higgins Beach can kick up some serious, well-shaped peaks on a strong day, especially from mid to high tide. Somewhat crowded during the summers but open in the winters, the water temperature typically requires a wetsuit year round, with boots, gloves, and a wetsuit cap during the winter months. Unfortunately, the beach is closed to surfing from 10am to 5pm from May 15th to October 1st, so if you want to get your board time in, you better be prepared to wake up early or stay late. However, this rule does not apply to cool or rainy days (what’s a little rain if you’re already wet?), during which you can surf all day. A sandy bottom with waves breaking both right and left, this is your typical New England beach break with a great town to boot - what’s not to love?

Sea's the Day!

Written by: Will Holding

caroline danehy