Surf Shacks 002 - Mikey DeTemple

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By Indoek / Published by Indoek
New York native Mikey DeTemple is the face of modern East Coast longboarding. His surf films, Picaresque and Sight Sound, helped bring new energy to the sport by abandoning old conventions and pairing unique soundtracks with beautiful cinematography and timeless surfing. Splitting time between Brooklyn and Montauk, Mikey’s blazed a path for the newly in-vogue city-surfer lifestyle.
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What brought you to Montauk?

My parents grew up coming out here, and so did my sister and I. It’s where I learned to surf. It’s where some of my best childhood memories were made. I started coming out here on my own in 1999. I would post up at my aunt and uncle’s house for three months from August to October. I don’t think I’ve missed a summer here in 15 years.

How did you discover your spot?

Two great friends of mine bought a house out here about seven years ago. From the moment they bought it, they always had a tenant. Last fall he moved out and the place became available. I knew I wanted it.

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What’s your favorite part of your space and why?

It feels like a tree house—windows and trees all around. You walk out onto the deck and feel like you’re up in the trees—no view obstructions. It’s quiet and beautiful.

If you can imagine any kind of perfect day of waves, what is your favorite board to be riding?

I love the beachbreaks out here. They are so weird and unpredictable. But when they are on, it’s just as good as anywhere. I’ve got a 6’9" single-fin pintail for days like this. There’s no other board I would rather ride, and it only comes out on those special occasions.

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What do you with your spare time when there aren’t waves?

In the summer months there’s a ton going on and I want to spend as much of it outside as possible. Sometimes I’ll leave my place at 8AM and won’t come back until sunset. Bouncing from beach to beach, or friend’s house to friend’s house. When the fall comes it’s a different story. Sitting out on the deck is one of my favorite pastimes. In the winter it’s amazingly cozy. It’s a tiny little place, but I love cooking dinner here for myself and my girlfriend Lisa. We’ll come out for a few days in the winter just to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

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You and your girlfriend Lisa also share a space in Brooklyn. How much time do you spend out in Montauk?

It really depends. I’m definitely out here from the spring to early winter full-time. I can go weeks without going back into the city. Hell, I can go weeks without ever going west of East Hampton. But I really do enjoy the city just as much.

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Do you ever feel torn between Brooklyn and Montauk?

Not in the summer months. There’s no place I would rather be than Montauk. When that fall feeling is in the air, I’ll start to feel torn. I love the city that time of year. 

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Has Montauk changed? Has your perception of it evolved over the years?

It’s changed in some ways, and it’s stayed the same in a lot of others. It’s always been a summer town. And it’s always been a destination for artists, filmmakers, and the like. So there’s nothing new there. I don’t think my perceptions changed. Every summer I can’t wait for fall and every winter I can’t wait for summer. It’s a vicious cycle.

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This article was originally published on Indoek as part of the Surf Shacks series, featuring the homes of creative surfers from coast to coast and overseas. See the full interview and photo gallery here.