Surfers for a cleaner, safer near ocean environment... Our goal: leave the beach better than we found it. Please keep our National Seashore neat and safe. Our notoriety as surfers is important: be courteous and drive slowly in the Seashore Park; be friendly to the tourists; show the world that surfers have respect!

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"Egredri litem mundus"

Harbormaster Tom's
Cape Cod Surf Reports

203 Bank Street
P.O. Box 207
Harwichport, MA 02646
VOICE MAIL (508) 430-7532
VHF Channel 66, 68


Water Temp Coast Guard Beach F

Here we are, the three New Years Eve 2001. Tommy, Tom and Ben
a toasty water temp 42.2F, air temp 30.6F, wind 15 knots SW.

Bryan gets right and Tommy gets a left on the same wave at Nauset.
Ben trudging into water.These chest high beauties
were right up on the beach at mid-tide.

Oh yea, check out the boards. That old Phillips custom was the rage of the backside at one time. Kind of like trying to ride waves on a sunfish hull. It must weigh 40 lbs. Tommy was using a Blue Hawaii 6'3 at the time and Ben has a sliver Aloha which I've repaired a few times after some real blow-outs (like the entire stern). He still has the board in his quiver. Surf board repair on cape Cod is a part of the art of surfing for sure.

September 1998 Tommy, Tom & Ben at White Crest Beach, Wellfleet

Here are Surf Forcasting Link's offered by Darren Saletta in his seven article Eastern Surfing Magazine series entitled "The Cult of Climatology".

Endless summer
Factors like storm swells and breezes feed hungry surf riders


EASTHAM - THE SUN IS SHINING. The breeze is light. The tide is gently rolling out. You stand at the crest of a sandy bluff overlooking the ocean as you watch the waves slowly breaking left to right. You sip a cup of French vanilla coffee as visions of surf riding meander through your mind. A 9-foot Stewart long board, waxed fresh this morning, is cradled beneath your arm as you begin the brief walk to the ocean's edge.

You hit the water. The first taste of salt douses your lips and the exhilaration of 58-degree water jolts you from your Sunday doldrums. The board's long, snaking leash is strapped to your ankle. Your surfing "seat belt" is fastened and you have been cleared for takeoff.

"Paddle. Paddle. Dig baby, dig! Dig baby, dig," cries out a fellow surfer a few yards to the right.

The wave carries you on its mighty shoulders for a 30-second thrill ride and then gently disposes of you close to the shoreline.

Now forget the thought of having to trek to California or Hawaii to catch your "perfect wave" and instead remind yourself that the hottest and most underrated surfing spots are right in your backyard. Welcome to the pristine shores of Cape Cod, where locals and tourists alike have combined to help put nearby surfing spots on the east coast map. In fact, the growing numbers of surfers navigating waves along break points like Coast Guard Beach in Eastham and Marconi Beach in Wellfleet seem to be increasing each endless Cape Cod season.

"More than half of the people that drive around here in the summer have a surfboard on the roof. It's crazy," says Cape Cod surf shop owner Matt Rivers. "Surfing has become everything here."


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The Cape's welcoming surf, more prevalent and most popular between May and November, attracts surfers of all ages and skill types. "You're never too old or too young," explains the 22-year-old Rivers, owner of the Pump House Surf Shop in Orleans. "We've had people over 80 years old going out on the water and we've had mothers buying boards for 4- and 5-year-old kids."

Factors such as developing storm swells, light offshore breezes and favorable tide levels are all ingredients for any hungry surf rider's recipe. "The surf is consistently about knee to waist high and it's more suitable for beginners," explains Rivers, while waxing a surfboard outside his shop. "But if we get a good swell, you've got surfers who come out to the Cape who are pretty good."

Challenging waves

Watershed groupy Brian Cotsonas of Wakefield, R.I., takes it on the head today at Nauset Light Beach in North Eastham as he and three friends took advantage of seas churned up by Hurricane Michael, located about 500 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. Cape Cod Times photo Sept 2000 Since surfing conditions along Cape Cod's shoreline tend to be inconsistent, some visitors conclude that surfing waves with a buddy at the Cape is as common as surfing waves with Santa Claus at the North Pole. But according to Dave Newell, manager of Nauset Sports in Orleans, folks in the past have never given surfing at the Cape a fair shot.

"People come here for two weeks in July and don't see a swell so they think there's no surf," says Newell, who has been cutting through waves on Cape Cod since 1966. "If we get a good ground swell from a storm reasonably off shore, waves can certainly be challenging." The Cape's vast shoreline provides surfers with the ultimate luxury - elbow room, a quality that over-crowded surfing spots in far away places such as Hawaii and Australia cannot boast. "Here is the beauty of Cape Cod," says Newell. "We have the National Seashore. That means we have 40 miles of open beach and countless beach breaks to go along with it. Uncrowded waves are mostly a thing of the past in Hawaii and California, but not here on Cape Cod."

A boom in 'boards

Moreover, the growing number of surfers along the Cape's shores is due in no small part to the overall boom of the sport itself. The popularity of surfing has been launched recently from vast Internet publicity and a multi-million dollar marketing explosion. But Newell also insists that a greater local awareness of product and trends has helped establish a growing base for surf interest on Cape Cod.

The advent of the boogie board, a.k.a. "spongers", has introduced a lot of people to the idea of the wave ride, says Newell. "Water sports are the most important part of this store and surfing is the most important water sport." And if conditions are conducive for hitting the waves, surfers from Mashpee to Provincetown are waxing up their boards and spending a wet, salty day out on the Atlantic Ocean. Surfers look for space to ride the waves off White Crest Beach in Wellfleet in August. The beach has no restrictions on surfing. Pete Flynn, a resident of Falmouth who has been surfing for about a year, cherishes the fact that he can pick up when he wants, take a short ride to the National Seashore and cut on some breakers for as long as the tides will allow. "It's a beautiful thing man," Flynn says. "You don't need anyone else to go with you. There's a little danger involved and a lot of exercise, too." Meanwhile, Matt Rivers, who has been surfing on Cape Cod since he was 5, is testament to the fact that surfing on the Cape is here to stay. "I was able to surf before I could swim," says Rivers, whose father was a lifeguard at Nauset Beach in the 1960s. "Some parents here put their kids in daycare, mine put me on a surfboard." So despite what you read or hear, it's not necessary to fly half way across the world to surf. About 40 miles of Cape Cod's eastern shoreline are inviting surfers of all ages and skill levels. Just hop in the car, wax your board, scout out the "sets", paddle hard and ride the waves. "Once you have your board, you're set," says Rivers. "No lines. No lift tickets. No worries. Just go to the beach and surf."

Off duty Lifeguards rescue two surfers at Wellfleet

WELLFLEET - Two surfers who had drifted out to sea in heavy offshore winds off Macquire's Landing had to be rescued by off-duty lifeguards yesterday. Sean Whitten of West Yarmouth was surfing in 5-6 foot waves when he lost his board.

After swimming for 30 minutes, he made no headway against a strong offshore current. Fellow surfer Chuck Catanzano of Dennis paddled out and the two hung on to Catanzano's board and continued to drift offshore.

Dave Pike, a Wellfleet lifeguard amd Paul Finn, a Cape Cod National Seashore lifeguard, paddled out to the two surefers on rescue boards. Pike towed the 211 pound Whitten back to shore on a torpedoe buoy, swimming against the current in 50 degree water. Catanzano and Finn paddled back in on their boards.

All four men were pronounced in good condition. (Cape Cod Times 6/9/99)

Surfers Beware of Cold Water Extoses

Build up of bony deposits in the outer ear, exostoses, is the body's mechanism for protecting the eardrum from the adverse effects external trauma like pressure, cold, etc.. The affect is our body's DNA is triggered to cause the porous outer earbone to grow, thereby closing down the outer ear canal. Avoidance of cold water stimulation of the external ear canal will undoubtedly prevent exostoses entirely but this option is not available to Cape Cod surfers and you should seriously consider taking measures against this hearing robbing irreversible mechanism the human body has to protect itself.

This is no joke and we have talked to surfers that have gone as far as having a serious and painful medical operation to carve back and reopen the ear canal which leaves a scar. Don't forget we have two ears so this surgery can be doubly painful.

Short of this measure which is no doubt exasperated by duck diving in 60F degree and colder water many locals have been taking preventive measures using an ear wax plug that can be inserted in the outer ear prior to entering the water. The idea being preventing all the water from entering the ear.

Surfers and body boarders are not the only one susceptible to the ear bone closure. The problem is even more common among sailboarders who habitually face off into cold water, get their ear canal full of water then run at high speed usually with a favored side of the head to windward. In these situations an anomally occurs with that ear in extosis while the leeward ear shows little affect.

It is difficult to tell who might be more suseptible to ear bone extoses because this might be related to heredity. However, to be sure, the younger you are, the shorter board you probably ride and the more exposure you will have to duck diving and time in your life to surf in our cold climate, so you are already at high risk. Go to CVS before your next time out and start using wax plugs. The Macks silicone ones are the only ones that I know about. Some of the best surfers are now using the ear protection, but it is incredible how many don't or just don't know! We are just not built like pinnepeds as much as we think we are! Only you can save your hearing. And remember, "Egredri litem mundus" (Leave the shore clean, neat, elegant.)

Our Bluffs are Eroding

The average natural erosion rate on the Atlantic Ocean side of Cape Cod had been 3.8 feet a year. However, in the area of Nauset Light, the average for the period 1987-1994 has accelerated to 5.8 feet. There may be little or no erosion in some years, and more than fifteen feet in other years.