Back in the Day: Surfing the East End

Things really started here in Montauk because the surf was so much better than anywhere else on Long Island. We started coming out here on the weekends. Back then, Montauk was empty. It was a really small fishing village. So we raised hell, you know. Then came the summer of ’67, which was the summer of love, right. That’s when it really started.

The only place we could live that was cheap was the trailer park over by Ditch Plains. The only people in it were surfers and fishermen. I think my rent —we lived in tents and there were some cabins —I think my rent share with 4 of us on this plot, was $20 a month. And that summer, the place was awash in very good drugs, lots of acid, lots of pot. So the word got out that Montauk was the place to come.

By ’67 and ’68 all hell was breaking loose in the country. You were either going to Vietnam or you were going surfing. That was the start of Montauk as a surf town. Nobody surfed out at the point much, it was just Ditch Plains. We followed what was going on in Hawaii: we had SURFER Magazine, there was East Coast Surfing, and by that time there was competition on the East Coast. It was the soul surfing era and you were kinda weird if you competed but, you know, things change.” – Rusty Drumm, as interviewed by Ed Thompson. Rusty’s full interview will be part of an upcoming book out later this year by Julien Roubinet and Ed Thompson. Check out Ice-cream Headaches for more details.

Whalebone would like to greatly thank Rusty for his contributions and love to the community that have since helped pave the way for the many who have followed. Rusty was an avid surfer and sailor, accomplished writer, loving father, grandfather and friend to the entire community. He remains part of the fabric of the East End. Thank you, Rusty, for everything.