More than a decade ago, Will Skudin and a crew of East Coast hellmen attempted the paddle to Montauk's outer sandbars, as a macking swell rifled into shore.
After hucking into a few, the whole team was sent packing back to the beach by a huge closeout set. Over the next 10-years, Mr Skudin made it his mission to return to that same spot, in similar conditions, but wanted to be armed with a ski and an entire crew. Which brings us up to last week, when Will got his chance at redemption via Hurricane Maria, delivering swell for NY that emulated a certain Mexican powerhouse.
"March 17th 2007, Sean Killarney, Ryan Carlson, Timmy Turner and myself tired to paddle to the outer sandbars in NY. It was huge and freezing and we all made it out after 30 minutes of paddling in 6 mil wetsuits,” says Will.
And what was the difference between this session and the one from a decade ago? “This time with bigger waves, bigger crew, more safety and a lot warmer condition,” Will recalls.
It was the biggest I have ever seen in NY by far “Lead by Montauk local legend Charlie Weimer, we had three skis and the two-day field trip began. It was the biggest I have ever seen in NY by far. Most of the boys got sometime on the ski and, between a lot of closeouts, a handful of 10-point Puerto Escondido like barrels went down.
“I personally saw Pat Havlik, Tyler Maguire, Leif Engstrom, Charlie Weimer, Travis Beckmann, Trip Patterson, Kurt Rist, Ryan Seelbach and Cliff Skudin get crazy ones. Definitely a day that will be engraved in the back of my brain for life.”
Hawaiian born Travis Beckmann said: “Honestly,this session should be going down in New York history as one of the biggest days ever towed or paddled. Thanks again to everyone that got shots of all of us. And not to mention the entire ski crew we had trying to keep us safe in some serious conditions anywhere in the world, but it just so happened to be in my current backyard here in Montauk.”
Joining the gents for this session was Mavericks charger, Ryan Seelbach – his first time setting foot on Long Island. He said: “I didn't know what to expect. A dreamy West Oz beach break with a tribe of ripping surfers? After being welcomed on the day of all days, I wondered where the spot was.
“The Skudins knew. It was generous in size and power, with Puerto-like quality. Each of us equally ravenous, we shared as much as we could. It made for some good stories at sunset. Days like these are fleeting in the surf climate of today. So nice to see pure stoke is alive and well in NY.”
Cover shot: Cliff Skudin by Jason Belsky.