Dying To Catch Your First Wave At Ditch? Montauk Shredder Max Foley Can Hook You Up At His Family Shop: Air and Speed

Pro surfer Dane Reynolds tears it up on a Neck Beard board.
The Neck Beard board
Pros favor the Water Hog board
Surfer chicks dig the Lilly Pulitzer boards


Air and Speed owners Stu and Catherine Foley opened their Montauk doors in 1996 to provide for what they felt was a growing surf community.  Today, this one-stop shop for boards, apparel and lessons helps all of us east-enders hang ten.  Sam Talbot, Executive Chef at Surf Lodge, is among the legion of fans.
To get the lowdown on boards and the surf scene at Ditch Plains, KDH writer Christine Morrison caught up with Max Foley, Stu’s son and a 17-year surf veteran, who can be found in-store when he’s not in the water:
CW:  What advice can you give a newbie surfer?
Max:  The longer the board, the better!  It’s all about buoyancy so you can be more stable.  Some waves might be too rough for a long board though, so know your ability.  The best time of day for novices to hit the water is first thing in the morning [7am], before the crowds arrive [10am].
CW:  Thanks for the 7 am tip-off.  I’ve been overrun by skilled surfers in the afternoon.  What’s their deal?!
Max:  Sounds like you are surrounded by the ‘Noon patrol guys,’ young and restless dudes who just rolled out of bed and shake off the cobwebs by getting in the water.
CW:  What will my first long board “investment” set me back?
Max:  Hah!  You can get a Walden ‘Magic Model’ for $800-$1,000.  We also carry Channel Island’s ‘Water Hog’ for $900.  If you really want to take the plunge we sell Donald Takayama’s ‘In the Pink’ for $1,000.
Advanced surfers are catching bigger waves, and have progressed to airs and skateboard tricks, so they use short boards.  We like Chris Burch short boards, which run from $600 to $700.  There is also Channel Islands’ The Neck Beard board, a collaboration with pro surfer Dane Reynolds, which is not very aesthetically pleasing [due to a wider nose and chop tail, the latter which encourages more top to bottom vertical surfing] but a great ride.  It costs $700.
CW:  Speaking of pros, are there any hanging around Ditch Plains?
Max:  There are no competing pros, but there is a strong local contingent who call Montauk their home.  They shall remain nameless though, because it’s not about name-dropping for this crowd.
CW:  We get that…can you at least share the boards they are into lately?
Max:  They use long boards, just like beginners, but with upgraded fins [a tri-fin].  Actually 95% of the long boards in our store have fins that come out and can be upgraded, depending on the level of surfer.  It also helps that the fins come out when you are road-tripping.
CW:  Fins aside, what are the most common requests from surfer girls?
Max:  Hey, we are all about equality here!  Honestly, girls look at the aesthetics of the board more often.  The store carries colorful boards for girls, some with flowers.  Walden Magic Model carries a bunch of pink floral inlay $850-1000.  [CW note: Lilly Pulitzer is in the board game.  Designed with full inlay Lilly Pulitzer fabric decks, coordinated color rails and bottom with sparkle, each board has the famous Lilly Pulitzer logo on the top and bottom and the Walden logo on the bottom.  Available online at waldensurfboards.com.]
 CW:  Lessons are such a blast!  Any big changes with the Air and Speed surf program this season?
Max:  I was right to anticipate a ground swell of teens coming in for lessons this summer, following the spring release of the documentary Soul Surfer [the griping tale of surfer Bethany Hamilton’s left arm being bitten off by a 14-foot tiger shark].  This happened right after Blue Crush came out too — A lot of 15-year old girls wanted to surf, which worked out great for me as I was 15 at the time.
*Private lessons cost $100 for an hour, and this includes the board and wetsuit.  Surf camp for kids age 7-15 runs for 6 weeks, with classes 8am-11am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The $395/week fee includes board and wetsuit.  Kids can also show up for one camp day session for $150.
CW:  Do you give lessons to cool moms like me?
Max [laughing]:  A lot of older women are taking up surfing in the summers, and they have good attitudes!
CW:  I am a definite SUP wannabe.  What do I need to know about these boards?
Max:  The most durable boards are made of molded epoxy, and Surf Tech is a leader in this arena.  The store carries these boards for $1200 to $1500.
CW:  We love a good surf flick.  Our favorite is ‘Surfwise’ [which chronicles “the first family of surf, the Paskowitz.”]  Yours?
Max:  I have a few…Big Wednesday, which actually has a good plot.  ‘North Shore’ is funny, but cheesy.  And ‘Point Break’ is a classic, even though it’s not a very good movie.
**LOVE SURF FLICKS TOO?  Check out Surf Movie Night, August 3rd from 7-10pm, at East Hampton’s Guild Hall.  SEE YOU THERE!
*Location: Air and Speed Surf Shop, 795 Montauk Hwy, Montauk.  631.668.0356.  Open 9am-6pm, daily.  Follow their blog at: www.airandspeedsurf.blogspot.com.