Downwind Paddling Expedition

Monday and Tuesday saw big wind squalls across Long Island. There was no time to lose.  My buddy Scott and I grabbed our stand-ups and made our way out through thick swell and chop at Beach Lane in Wainscot. Our destination was Amagansett, Atlantic beach about 10 miles due East. We grabbed some hot Chai and dropped off one vehicle at Atlantic Beach parking lot and drove back to Wainscott for the exciting down wind adventure, hot Chai still flowing through the blood stream . It was game on.  As we made it out to the second bar off the beach about a 1/2 mile out big rollers started to funnel in. The wind howling a steady 25-30kts at our backs. Nothing to do but point and shoot downwind. This is when you start to synch with the wind ,waves,tide,and current. Your board rises up , the nose starts to pitch and you know instinctively that you are about to paddle down a 6’ rolling swell. You paddle quickly , feeling the momentum build, you pull hard  over the edge…..,ahhhhh, release. Now your flying down the face with all in you favor, wind ,tide, and swell.  You keep paddling hard and you reach the next crest, a little lull as the board again pitches and the rise and fall repeats itself. Paddle hard, drop, glide, cruise, feel the flow , the momentum, you are one with the elements. Dark clouds are looming behind us and gathering speed as they approach . We feel rain , here comes the real squall. A huge gust hits you from behind. The swell picks up and sets are rolling in now solid head high. The biggest challenge is not pearling the nose of your board at the bottom of the cresting wave. Yahooooo you scream out , the primal scream of pure surf stoke releases as you connect into the next one effortlessly. Not looking up for the last hour and a half you realize your destination is now in site. One  last 100 yard long ride and it’s time to point the board towards shore.  Her comes the real challenge, getting to shore unscathed with your board and you all in one piece. I line up a huge outside set wave and paddle hard to catch it knowing the last one has to be a good one. Got it, now the drop, stomp on the tail , bend the knees to absorb the impact and ride the white water home. You angle towards the parking lot, where the beach break is pounding on the shore. How do I get all this lumber ,my paddle and the board to shore unscathed?  I wait just behind the impact zone and look for a lull in the sets. Timing is everything. Quickly I see a window of opportunity as I turn and paddle hard on the backside of a small roller as I approach the beach . The surge of water hits the sand and I glide on top of the foam ball to the safety of the sand.

Down Wind Paddling

Contact us at Main Beach to set up your next down wind adventure. Take a wave riding lesson , or simply enjoy a calm ,back bay sunset paddle with wine ,cheese, and a fire at the beach. Call 537-surf today.


About mainbeach

The natural resource for surfing, stand up paddling, kayaks, lessons, tours, surf camp, beach wear and all things outdoors in The Hamptons, Eastern Long Island, Montauk and beyond.
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