Posted by: newenglandsup | November 19, 2008

Future Standup Hot Spots…or Paddling in the Land of the Pilgrims

This post originally appeared in Ke Nalu in April but I felt it deserved a spot here as well for obvious reasons. I’ve updated and edited it slightly.

small glassy plymouth shoal

Glassy knee highs

How often do you get to be the first at anything?

I don’t believe anyone has ever surfed the shoal 2 miles off of Plymouth beach. Why would you? Only a few have bothered to surf the beach itself and the shoal is a 3 mile paddle from the parking lot. A long way for a prone surfer but a nice cruise with a paddle. I know some kayakers, kiters, and windsurfers have been out there but no surfers that I know of. That was part of the reason I was having so much fun riding and connecting section after section on this beautiful glassy day small though it was. Just the thought that maybe, just maybe, I could be the first was pretty interesting.

Me the newb!

This is a small day…knee to thigh…but you could have had 100 people out there and had lots of room left over. On a bigger day the break is even more spread out. Positioned as it is, protected by the arm of Cape Cod and with the Gurnett Point just to the north it needs a swell out of the ENE to really work but when it happens it’s paradise on the water. Soft sandy bottoms, no reef or rocks. It breaks and reforms for 100’s or even 1000’s of yards over maybe 2 square miles. There is a convenient sandbar to take a break on at low tide. At the end of the day paddle in to a beautiful sunset and some extraordinary fried oysters and a beer at Sandy’s, a friendly funky restaurant/snack shack on the beach that has some of the best seafood around, a no frills menu, a motto of “no shirt, no shoes, no problem” is dog friendly and sits right on the beach. My kind of place. Life is good.

plymouth beach sunset

This is a picture of one of the few homes on the beach itself. The best break on the beach is just offshore.

I’ve been surfing Plymouth beach for 9 months now but just last month was the 1st time I managed to get out to this beautiful spot. Not a soul in sight, pure solitude, nice, but lonely too. I’m hoping that changes. As summer brings the warm weather all the people that have been asking me what I’m doing and where they can get a board will start joining me out there. Going to be fun to share some smiles and some waves.

There has been a lot of concern from prone surfers about standup. Some valid, especially newbie riders like me jumping into the lineup and running them down with a 12′ board, some ridiculous and self serving. Regardless of the nature and origin of the concern the truth is that standup doesn’t need the same real estate. Sure it’s fun to surf the known waves and favorite spots but when it gets crowded another big board in the lineup doesn’t do anybody much good. We can head for the spots that prone surfers need a buddy and a jet ski to get to. Why fight the crowds?

moon over plymouth beach
I was tempted to head back out by the moon but just too tired…what a fun day!

For the days when you don’t have the time or inclination to paddle 3 miles to the outer shoal the beach itself has multiple breaks formed by shoals nearer to shore from 50 to 200 yards off the beach


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