Fall Water Sports: Paddleboarding, Surfing, Kayaking

Happily, the outdoor, on-the-water fitness scene doesn’t end with the high season. Yes, the bathing suits and umbrellas and beach chairs have mostly been packed away until next year, but the oceans and waterways of the East End are arguably at their most welcoming to the outdoor adventurer.

Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking

Stand up paddleboarding and kayaking offer a unique way to experience the East End, as you weave in and out of estuaries and hidden bays. The water temperature is at its warmest during the early fall, making it prime time for peaceful excursions.

The essential appeal of paddleboarding is that anyone can do it. Adventure seekers can try their hand at the East End’s break, while those just looking for a decent core workout and an excuse to be outside can check out Long Island’s beauty by exploring the various area waterways. The sport offers paddlers an almost-bird’s-eye view of nature, as it gives the experience of walking on water.

Once you’ve secured a board or kayak from any of our area surf shops (check out Flying Point in Southampton; Main Beach in East Hampton; Espo’s on the Napeague Stretch; and the new One Love Beach in Greenport), head to these launch locations. Perhaps the best part is that most area parking regulations expired in mid-September, so the whole East End is your oyster. Be sure to gear up—full-body wetsuits may be necessary for the ocean, but warm running spandex and windbreakers can work if you stick to the flat water (and don’t fall in!).

Now it’s time to head out:

•Accabonac Harbor at Landing Lane, Springs
•Sagg Pond at Bridge Lane off Sagg Main Road, Sagaponack
•Three Mile Harbor at the end of Hands Creek Landing, East Hampton
•Georgica Pond at the rest stop on Route 27, East Hampton
•Fort Pond Bay, Montauk
•Mecox Bay, Water Mill
•Long Beach, Sag Harbor
•Peconic River, Riverhead
•New Suffolk Waterfront, New Suffolk

For paddlers who have graduated beyond casual outings, the Hamptons SUP Race Series offers an opportunity to gauge your abilities, and there’s still a chance to show off your skills this year. The Paddle Race for Ocean Rescue will be held on October 12 at the Lazy Point Launching Ramp in Amagansett. Registration starts at
8 a.m., with a 9:30 a.m. race start. The six-mile downwind course weaves along the Hither Woods water trail. Also join the season-end party at Eddie Ecker State Park in Montauk.

Surfing

For adventure seekers, fall—aka the most active part of hurricane season—is the best time to surf the East End’s epic breaks. Hurricane season lasts until November 30, and storms don’t have to touch our coastline (whew!) to give relief from flat summers. With the ever-changing tides and currents, there’s no telling where to find a good spot on a given day, so your best bet is to go see for yourself or ask around. While no surfer will give away their secret locales, a few time-tested surf-friendly locations are:

•Sagg Main, Sagaponack
•Flying Point, Southampton
•Shinnecock Inlet a.k.a. “The Bowl,” Hampton Bays
•Jetty Four, Westhampton Beach

Of course, it’s well-known that Ditch Plains in Montauk will always reign supreme as the undisputed surfing capital of Long Island—or, most say, the East Coast. You should beware its choppy conditions, rocky bottom and wild currents, but this is the East End surfing mecca for experienced wave riders.

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