East Beast Weekly: Ditch Plains
A beach community that rises and leaves with the sun, Montauk is an awesome spot for relaxation, surfing, nightlife, and everything in between. Jake and I just made it out for an event at Montauk Downs and brought a few long toms along for early morning/late afternoon sessions. Ditch Plains, the most famous and most visited beach in Montauk, is the go to surf spot in the area. Shaped like a flattened-out C, the beach is home to various kinds of waves and breaks. One awesome part of Ditch Plains is the procession of ages along the beach – the younger groms start out surfing the semi beach break in the center, and then as they get older they progress to the sides of the beach for bigger, more coveted waves, almost like a coming of age.
When not surfing, many of the kids are doing lifeguard training camp on the beach, which is taken more seriously here than any place I’ve seen. Learning the ins and outs of safety regarding the beach and ocean is very important while surfing, and I was impressed with the dedication of the teenage lifeguards and their little protégées.
On to the waves. Walking out onto the beach, the first thing you see is the beach break, which has nice but short breaking waves for bodysurfing, bogey-boarding, and the adventurous surfer. To the left along the rocky bottom is a right break (it breaks left too but not as well) that is a favorite among the longboarders of the area. As the tide goes out and with even a little bit of swell, this wave rolls out slow and steady for a smooth ride. This gives riders the ability to hone their skills moving up and down the board (hang ten dude!) On big days, the wave will break farther out with the potential for rights and lefts. Ditch Plains can get very crowded, but the crowd during the summer is typically vacationers and the like, so hopefully few crabby, aggressive locals. While everyone tends to go for the same waves, if you have the right of way, call people off the wave with impunity - everyone does it. For an aspiring longboarder, this place is awesome, and I highly recommend it. A word of advice - let all the people go for the good looking wave, and keep your eye on the wave that is likely coming out the back - there's no better feeling than surfing your own wave past a bunch of people you're competing with!
Sea's the day!
Written by: Will Holding