Special THANKS to all that attended the 1st REAL Alumni Retreat in Montauk, NY June 26-28!
This past weekend turned out to be the “Beginning of Summer” for the Long Island area, as they have been drowned in rain and colder than average temperatures for the entire Spring season. During the REAL Alumni Retreat, we experienced air temps in the upper 70’s all weekend long, with clear blue skies. Summer was in stock and the beaches were packed!
Conditions were perfect for surfing and standup paddleboarding at Ditch Plains in Montauk on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a solid 3-4ft SE groundswell and light offshore winds. This is a rock bottom point break, making for long left hand rides, much longer than what we experience here in Cape Hatteras with our sand bottom and shorter, more hollow waves. The REAL Alumni showed up in full force and were surfing and standup paddling their brains out, many taking 4 sessions or more each day!
REAL Co-Founder Trip Forman started off Saturday by taking a 6:30am dawn patrol surf on his new Takayama “In The Pink” 9’6, followed by a 12 mile standup paddle around Montauk Point to Gossman’s Dock on a 12’ Naish Glide SUP, then finished the day with some incredible evening glassy waist to chest high lefts on his new 9’6 Stretch Standup Paddleboard. Nuzzi rocked Ditch all day long switching between the Tak 9’6 In the Pink and the Takayama 11’ SUP. Sam Bell, Jason Slezak, Bryan Elkus and Dave Betz also put in more than their fair share of water time on all the surf and sups they brought north in the REAL Heli-Van. All these guys were on the water or helping people on the beach from sun up to sun down! Sessions, Sessions, Sessions…. Everyone was having fun and enjoying the first few days of the northeast Summer!
The evening party schedule was just as intense as the daytime’s water schedule! Friday night saw everyone heading out to The Shagwong Restaurant for dinner and then to The Surf Lodge for after dinner drinks. The REAL Alumni Retreat Party on Saturday night was hosted at The Sunset Saloon, right on the water with a catered BBQ, Beer and Wine, and a live band from Long Island, “My Friend Ben”. The band was impressive with great musical talent and a solid following in the crowd. Everyone was asking, “When are these guys going to play in Cape Hatteras?”. We hope soon, because they put on a killer show! 100 RSVP guests were treated to dinner and drinks while another 150-200 people showed up to join in on the fun throughout the party. It was a great night with a beautiful sunset!
The wind held light on Sunday providing another epic day of surfing and standup paddling, then turned SW and increased on Monday to 15-20mph! Riders headed to the local kite beach at Napegue Harbor for a warm air and water, flatwater session. Slezy-J wowed the crowd when he whipped out the REAL Kicker from the back of the heli-van and set it up on Lazy Point right off the rocks. Slezy rode his signature model, the new LF Influence Kiteboard and a Liquid Force Havoc 12m and 14m kite. As the wind lightened at the end of the day, he kept powered by switching to a LF Havoc 16m and surfboard. All the riders were on 10m to 16m kites most of the day and it was the perfect ending to an unbelievably fun weekend!!!! REAL : Kite, Surf, Standup, Style…..Check, Check, Check, Check! Mission Accomplished!
Everyone involved with the REAL Alumni Retreat would like to THANK everyone that turned out this past weekend to make it such a special event. It was great to see everyone at the beach, take sessions, enjoy new locations, listen to live music, throw a few back, dance, stay out too late, make new friends, learn new sports and all together, have a great time with good friends.
Special thanks to Lilly and Grant at The Ditch Witch for feeding us all weekend and to Alice at The East Deck Hotel for making this trip the best one yet!