Currents Scenic Slide Shows

November Surfing; Thrills & Ice Cream Face – a Slideshow

Written by Brian Tarcy

ORLEANS – The only part of Dan Schwartzman’s body not covered by his wetsuit was his face. Standing on Coast Guard Beach after hours of surfing, his face looked cold.

“They call that ‘ice cream face,’ ” said Schwartzman. “It’s like sticking your face into the freezer.”

The rest of his body, he said, wasn’t cold at all. Maybe his fingers, just a little. He was, instead, thrilled to be surfing in these November conditions of long open-faced waves. At one point, he rode a wave for about ten seconds. Afterward, he said, “That’s the best wave I’ve had in a long time.”

Schwartzman, of Brewster, was one of a handful of surfers in the chilly sunny air on the desolate beach Tuesday afternoon. Patiently, they waited in the water, watching and then moving at their chance for one of these swells fed by a west wind and well-placed sandbars.

“The surf is really good right now,” said Dave Kelley of Yarmouth. “When there’s good surf, you can’t help but come out. Fall and winter creates these kinds of waves that get really hollow.”

And Luciano Abbate of Harwich said, “This is the time, but you’ve got to freeze a little.”

All of the surfers said that the conditions on the beach were good this time of year – meaning bigger waves and less people. “The surf picks up in the winter, and there’s no crowds,” said Abbate, who described surfing as “kind of a thrill, really.”

“Surf’s up, man,” said Schwartzman. “It’s so nice and quiet here.” Schwartzman, who had a bruise above his lip, said he has surfed in California and all over the East Coast and noticed that, “Cape Cod surfers are the friendliest surfers in the world. Today, I got hit by my board. This guy, John, out there told me I had all my teeth.”


Here are more Cape Cod Wave surfing stories.

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About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
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Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at


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