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The North Shore of the East Coast

Seven beaches that, in the right conditions, make for shockingly good surfing.

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Map by Remie Geoffroi  

1. Beach 92nd Street, Rockaway
Rockaway’s main surfing beach is just blocks from the A train and perhaps New York’s most crowded breaks. It’s also one of the more dangerous and challenging waves—steep, fast, and often unpredictable. The congestion can make the natives (or those claiming to be natives) testy.
Best Swell: SE, SW
Best Wind: NNW, NNE Best Tide: Mid
Transit Nearby
Surfline.com Surf Cam
Experienced Surfers Only
Territorial Locals
Dangerous Rips/Undertows

2. Lido Beach, Long Beach
About a mile and a half east of Lincoln Boulevard, Lido offers quieter surroundings and two good-size surfing zones for beginners. However, when an east or southeast swell hits, the beach gets the fast, hollow, A-frame waves that experienced surfers dream about. The crowds, however, can be maddening.
Best Swell: SE, ESE
Best Wind: N
Best Tide: Low
Great Beginner Wave
Super-Crowded
Territorial Locals
Dangerous Rips/Undertows

3. Gilgo Beach, Long Island
Although strikingly beautiful, summers in Gilgo promise two things: weak, dribbly waves and thick crowds of old-timers riding longboards (they catch almost everything, and don’t give a lick about whippersnappers’ feelings). When the fall swells hit, though, Gilgo lights up and the summer crowd stays on the beach.
Best Swell: SE
Best Wind: NNW
Best Tide: Low, Mid
Surfline.com Surf Cam
Great Beginner Wave
Super-Crowded
Dangerous Rips/Undertows

4. Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Park your car in the second lot, walk to the water, and behold one of the area’s only point breaks (though one that seems to work only on major east or southeast swells). The wave can be immaculate, but also insidious—fast, dredging tubes that will pile-drive you to the ocean floor.
Best Swell: E, SE
Best Wind: W, NW
Best Tide: Low
Experienced Surfers Only
Super-Crowded
Territorial Locals
Dangerous Rips/Undertows

5. Beach 67th Street, Rockaway
Rock’s other surfing beach is every bit as steep and erratic as the break at 92nd Street, though not nearly as crowded or hostile, making it a better spot for learning. Novice surfers should stay aware of the wooden pilings protruding from the shoreline before catching a wave.
Best Swell: E, SW
Best Wind: NNW, NNE
Best Tide: Mid
Transit Nearby
Territorial Locals
Dangerous Rips/Undertows

6. Lincoln Boulevard, Long Beach
Mellow and incredibly predictable, the break is excellent for beginners (and located just a few blocks from the LIRR station and Unsound surf shop, where you can rent a board). Best spot for a post-surf nosh: the Beach House on West Beech Street.
Best Swell: S, ESE, SE
Best Wind: N
Best Tide: Low
Transit Nearby
Surfline.com Surf Cam
Great Beginner Wave
Super-Crowded

7. National Boulevard, Long Beach
The consistent, user-friendly wave was one of the best-kept secrets of the Long Beach surf scene for years. Then came the posh Allegria Hotel, a National Boulevard surf cam (nysea.com), and the ongoing ASP World Tour event, all of which means its low-flying days are done.
Best Swell: S, ESE, SE
Best Wind: N
Best Tide: Low
Transit Nearby
Surfline.com Surf Cam
Great Beginner Wave
Super-Crowded


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