Surf Shacks 007 – Moose Huerta

Chances are if you’ve spent time in the surf world, you know Moose or know his name. With a name like Moose he’s hard to forget. The Florida native and longboarder calls New York City home and when he’s not grinding away at his creative studio Land-See for the likes of Nike, you’ll probably find him out east enjoying the spoils of his salt box at Ditch Plains in Montauk. We stopped by to check out his hideaway.

Moose Huerta is one of those enigmatic characters in the surf world that everyone knows. The combination of his unforgettable first name and a passion for surfing and its people has connected him with many of surfing’s circles. A Florida native who was always “the longboarder guy”, Moose moved out to California as soon as he got a chance to work in the surf industry alongside the likes of Thomas Campbell and the Malloys. Moose now calls New York home where he’s lived for almost a decade and become a fixture in the city’s ever-growing surf community. Splitting his time between his apartment in the West Village and his salt box in Ditch Plains, Moose has found the balance in life he has been searching for over the years and a place he can call home, while always “staying true to his roots”.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Moose Huerta. I was born 2 months premature and a friend of the family told my older sisters that they had a baby brother and not to worry one day he’d be as big as a Moose. My real name is Enrique Huerta.

What do you do for a living?

I am a partner in a content production and creative development studio named Land-See. That’s a long winded way of saying we make videos, take pictures, and create marketing strategies. Nike SB is who puts most of the food on the table. Please go buy yourself a pair.

Where are you from? What brought you to NY?

I’m from Pensacola Beach, FL. I moved to NY from San Diego for what I thought was going to be a summer of hell raising, which has turned into 9 years counting and a wife. NY is definitely home.

How long have you had your place in Montauk?

This past summer was our 4th summer, but technically 3 1/2 years.

What attracted you to your spot and Montauk in general as a place for a second residency?

My first trip to Montauk was in 2004 and I’d go out whenever there was waves and I could find a couch to crash on. As the years went on I was able to afford a 2nd home with the help of a serious girlfriend (and now wife). We fell into a great spot. Thanks to Whitney a friend and fellow tenant we were at the right place at the right time to get our spot. Our landlord is a living legend and great great person, which makes it even better. Being able to walk to the surf is not too shabby either.

You and your wife Jane live and work in New York City full time, do you find it hard to get out east as much as you’d like with all your responsibilities and attractions of city living?

Actually it’s gotten easier as the years have gone on. We feel less pressure to get out there every weekend. As my own boss I have a lot of flexibility so I can jet out mid-week if need be. More and more the city can be more relaxing than Montauk during the peak season. I think people feel more pressure to be out there every weekend when they have a summer rental instead of a year round one.  This summer was especially easy since it was so flat.

What are the things and places that keep you busy in Montauk during the summer?

My wife Jane and I have our little routines and spend a majority of our time together. Besides that, surfing when there’s waves, shooting the shit at the Ditch Witch and skating the park after hours when George isn’t working and we can get away with not wearing helmets. I also like to open water swim and run when there’s no surf.

Do you spend any time out east during the offseason?

September, October and May are my jam, but the late fall, early spring, and hard winter months are mostly reserved for work and trips out west. However it is nice to have a hot shower a stones throw from the beach for the random winter surf.

Do you and Jane like to cook or do you mostly dine out in Montauk?

We are creatures of habit. Friday night is The Dock. Saturday nights are a shit show [out in Montauk] so we stay in and grill fluke, striper or tuna. Jane only eats my cooking if it’s off the grill. Not sure why. Sundays we’ll go to The Crows Nest. As for other spots Rick’s Crabby Cowboy has the best ribs, but Jane doesn’t eat meat so I go there on solo missions. La Brisa has great authentic tacos, but I’ll hit up the Hideaway when I want some sopes or nachos. The Ditch Witch is pretty much my fridge for breakfast and lunch since it’s so close. Sesame noodles!!! Damn I’m hungry.

You’ve got a bunch of Andy Kessler’s decks around the house. Can you talk about their significance?

Ah man, well, The “Jesus Is Answer” is a board that Rick “Charno” Charnoski designed for a benefit when AK blew out his knee in 2005. Andy gave it to me as a thank you for helping with the benefit. He knew I’d been eye balling it. The white one with spray paint is his old deck. Neither of us really skated flat ground, and we ran into each other at Tompkins (flat ground mecca) and looked at each other like “What are you doing here?” because we only really skated transition. There is a long board that he was hand shaping and never finished. I like that idea that his hands were on it. There is the black one that my friend Brady and I made. It’s a Kess Mini; his model was way too big for me. I always felt like I was gonna get hung up so I wanted to make a smaller version. Chapman blanks made a grip of the minis. It’s a good bowl board or a cruiser. Andy always said “soft wheels are for pussies” so I never made mine a cruiser.  I always carry around some mini’s and old decks in my truck. Andy always used to give away boards to random people. I grew up pretty poor and vividly remember what it was like not to being able to afford a board and how much it hurt my mom to not be able to give me one, so whenever I see a kid with a banged up board I give them one and tell them about Andy and make sure they know what a legend he is. It’s therapeutic to say the least.

What’s your favorite part of your spot or favorite furniture piece?

Hmmmm, well I spent more on that Heywood Wakefield dresser than I’d care to mention, and 2 months after buying it I saw the same one at a Salvation Army in San Clemente for 1/10 of the price. I look at it and see myself 10 years ago looking at the me now calling myself a yuppie scum bag, and then I have a Tecate and the voices stop.

You must entertain a lot of couch crashers from out of town or New Yorkers literally burning to escape the sweaty oven that is Manhattan in the summer, who have been some of your favorite guests or least favorite guests?

Well our place is small and you have to walk through our bedroom to use the can…so that said most of my guests come visit when Jane is traveling for work. Favorite guest: anyone that will play Chinese checkers. I know we/you had a pretty epic time fall of 2012. Great waves and good times. As for least favorite…friends that come and crash and don’t pick up at least one dinner at The Dock. No shoes inside and a dinner at The Dock. It’s the unwritten law.

I noticed a bunch of things famously of Rhode Island origin around the place. Aren’t we in Montauk? Why all the hints of the Ocean State?

Greener pastures my friend…greener pastures.

For more from Moose check out www.land-see.com  and follow @land_see

/ Photography & Interview by Drew Innis

Drew Innis

A New Englander through and through, Drew grew up in Connecticut / New Hampshire and got over educated in Boston. He also lived on a beach in Southern California for some years. Film, photography, music and literature monopolize his time these days. Drew lives in Brooklyn, NY, eats too many cheeseburgers at the Commodore and hopes to carry on simply one day on a big piece of land by the sea without the computer or YouTube.

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