Friday, January 18, 2008

the Maine thing is the main thing

Originally uploaded by jmaxh
Surf Trip to Maine

On January 12th, 2008 I surfed at Higgins Beach in Scarborough Maine. Why don’t I go there more often? The choice to go there was driven by the facts that:
1. the wind (light) was building out of the northeast –offshore for that spot
2. the swell was out of the south –Higgins faces south
3. I overslept yet again, and I blew my chance to drive to Rhode Island
4. It’s a super place to come surf, and for some silly reason I love the fact that I’ve ridden my old yellow board in waves from San Diego to Maine.

So I made the 2 hour drive up – passing my typical New Hampshire exits, and plowing through to Maine with my Tyler 305 on the roof. Pulling up to Higgins, I could hardly contain myself – waist to chest high glass. Wave after luscious wave, with maybe 4 other surfers out. I cannot emphasize enough the beauty of this spot.

I took a few pics, pulled on my wetsuit, and paddled right out. My new canon 40D is awesome. I didn’t think a camera could kick so much ass. As an aside: I know it’s shallow, but I get the biggest satisfaction when folks compliment my boards. Tyler’s bards are total head turners. I’m proud of my toys.

I’ve only surfed here once before, and it always takes a few waves to get the place dialed in.


Higgins is a longboard wave, but once you catch the wave, you have to hustle & crank your turn. It also helps to be just a touch back on the board too – I pearled ‘ole yeller more than a few times.

As a beachbreak, the waves go both left and right. The rights were speedy & fast, but quicker. The lefts were longer rides, but softer and slower. Is this a New England thing? Seems like every beachbreak around works like this.

Higgins as a cool summer colony, developed between say 1890 and 1940. The houses are lovely, there’s even a clubhouse and a Victorian shingle hotel. Was it a spot for Portlanders with taste to pass the summer months? The place oozes with an unforced, natural, and uncontrived non-cliché charm. I love it.


The people there are so nice! So much for the stereotype of the icy, stand offish yank. While the skillset of the surfers is smaller than that one would see in Rhode Island or points south, the folks there are stoked and polite. So nice to see these days.

Again, to think I hesitated making this trip! It was a gorgeous sunny, mild day, the last day of the January thaw. The next day was a nor’easter which dumped a foot of snow and ushered in a more seasonal chill.

I’ll be back for sure.