Ten million gallons of ZenWTR, 8,000 photos from the photo booth, two speeches by Benji, 11 cartwheel competitions with Maxwell, 100 downward dogs, a few dozen waves caught, endless Sun Bum reapplied, six nights of mindblowing concerts later—are we crazy to think we should do it all over again next year? Maybe, but you know us. As long as Caviar and The Flower Shop are keeping us fed again. Below you’ll find a day-by-day look at just exactly what went down, but before we get into that, a special thanks should be made to the community of Montauk for all their continued hospitality to locals and visitors who came into town. For those of you who might’ve not be around here is what took place…
Whalebone and friends helped blow out all the candles on the VHS-shaped cake for Taylor Steele’s 50th birthday, but not before Benji (who seemed to have forgotten his blue tux) did his version of an ode to Mr. Steele with a little toasty roast. Very proper. A better-than-average version of the “Happy Birthday” song was sung by Unwritten Law after one stunner of an acoustic set. Rob Machado still can’t win at the claw machine but otherwise, we really did it you guys. Plenty of Solento Tequila. Matt did not get lost during setup. ZenWTR aplenty for those who were thirsty for something other than tequila and some pretty good options for new dancing shoes brought to you by a nice-looking setup by the Havaianas crew.
But the moment we rented the tuxes for was The Surfrider Fancy Gala. If you can tell us where else you’d find a board shaper in one corner and tiny passed hors d’oeuvres in the other we might tell you that seems like too much of a coincidence and maybe they’re copying us and who are these people anyway? And why is hors d’oeuvres such a hard word to spell? Anyhow, the main event took place when Surfrider CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen was handed the mic for a panel with two of the most badass ocean women we know—big wave surfer Keala Kennelly and SurfearNEGRA founder GiGi Lucas—for a discussion on the environment through their connection with the ocean + a little advice on how to help. We’re not all claw machines and photobooths. The night was capped off with a jam sesh with very special guest Danny Clinch with his band the Tangiers Blues Band. Hydration encouraged by the reusable Dragon Alliance water bottles throughout the event and a few sunnies handed out to dinner guests. But of course, there was also tequila.
Taylor Steele and the Solento crew took us all out to a little matinee over at Gurney’s Star Island for a series of three short films followed by a panel lead by aforementioned Mr. Steele with all-stars Dylan Graves, GiGi Lucas and Ben Potter. Packed house, standing room only. Big shout out to the lovely humans at Gurney’s for making sure our shirts were tucked in. After the credits rolled, we changed out of our 3D glasses and into our best Hawaiian prints and over to Hawaii Night presented by Havaianas, to learn a few moves from an indigenous-led dance troop. Richard showed up just in time. The Havaianas’ beach cart rolled into the party with flops for sale, along with a couple nice freebies for those who came out. Probably could have ended right then and there with a smile, but you know us—always another trick up the ole sleeve. Mid-evening Lily Meola and her band took the stage to serenade the crowd while they tested their new dance moves. Rob Machado even took the stage for a special performance again with guitar in hand. Come back anytime Lily. And it wouldn’t be us if William Grand didn’t end us on a dance-off—so we did that too. Keep it simple.
Surf Day at Ditch made its way into its second day with some special treatment by the weather gods. Pat and Mal did their best on the beach and kept safe from the sun with likely the people we rely on the most to do so, our friends at Sun Bum, YETI, Pangaia and of course ZenWTR. And our friends from Dip came to the rescue with their after-surf formula. While over at The Boneyard we got in a little journaling session with the one and only Laura Rubin from AllSwell Creative. To get extra creative we made sure to pour a little rose by The Beach and add a little Baileys to our Left Hand Coffee. Really got that creativity going.
Then, the event we’d all been waiting at least a year for: The Second Annual Whalebone Golf Tournament where team East West Security took home the Whale Tail aka the trophy Matt had been spending months on making just right. Matt and Kristen did their best survey of the green and supervised the golf mini-games by Chippo, Malbon, Dos Hombres and Spirited Hive. One or two Surf Thing Beers by Montauk Brew Co. were enjoyed. The afterparty took place at Roberta’s with plenty of pizza for the winners and losers alike and one or two more Surf Thing Beers were enjoyed again. DJ Bill was back at it to close us off.
DanceBody with a little Baileys and coffee to start the day. Finally decided on the Vuori set we had our eye on and the editor may or may not have tried on some Left On Friday she’s still gunning for. The backyard of Solé East was the dream location for a little health and wellness with a sprawling and lush green setup. Thoroughly danced out and spruced up by Verb dry shampoo, it was time to take a seat at Montauk Beach House for a panel with a few NY Surf legends. Hosted by T. Steele the convo took place between Balaram Stack, Will Skudin, Tony Caramanico, Chase Lieder and Mike Nelson, with a little commentary from Reef in the crowd.
Taking it a little slower for the evening, the courtyard of Montauk Beach House was taken over by our favorite band for Whalebone parties—Dexter Lake Club. We sipped a Juneshine and discussed whether or not we might wanna do this thing again next year. Dip says definitely.
The Whalebone team could not have put this whole thing together if not for the help of partners, especially the 10 million gallons of ZenWTR that were very much needed. To end the week we wanted to go out with a bang as they say, and serenade The Surf Thing off with a private concert from none other than Wyclef Jean. Not a bad way to go. Maybe we will do this thing again next year after all.