New Jersey Surf Spots

Open up any surfing magazine with a photo spread of the
East Coast during a big swell event, and most likely you’ll be
looking at perfect peeling beach break peaks in New Jersey.

Along the 130 miles of coastline, New Jersey surf spots all basically
offer the same setup; a perfect, barreling beach break. What creates the
perfect New Jersey surf? Each coastal town has a series of small jetties
that extend into the ocean. These jetties help control beach erosion from large
storms and swells during hurricane and winter season. These jetties also help to maintain the legendary New Jersey sandbars from season to season.

Typically, New Jersey surf spots break best on a long-period south to southeast swell. Most southeast groundswell is produced during hurricane season or during winter when low-pressure systems move off the eastern seaboard and into the Mid-Atlantic. This is a great time of year to be in New Jersey - the water is still relatively warm and the waves are pumping.

New Jersey surf spots see their fair share of crowds during summer, but it is a great surf destination during fall. The summer vacation crowds have all gone home, the kids are back in school, and that leaves you with uncrowded weekday surf. Weekends are always crowded with locals, weekend warriors and road-trippers.

As summer fades away, so do the warm air and water temps. During summer, most New Jersey surfers get away with wearing a neoprene top with baggies or a spring suit. In the fall, a 3/2 with booties is needed; the air gets crisp and the water temp starts to drop. As winter sets in, surfers are either making plans to escape to Puerto Rico, or reaching for their 5mm wetsuits with hood, booties and gloves. In winter, water temps hover between 32 and 45 degrees, and it's not uncommon to be surfing while snow flurries are falling.

Find a New Jersey surf school.

New Jersey Surf Breaks

Below is a list of the major New Jersey surf spots. There are many more, but we cover the major areas.


Sandy Hook

Surf Location Northernmost beach in New Jersey
Best Swell Direction Southeast to East
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Good sandbars throughout Sandy Hook produce hollow beachbreak waves. Gateway National Recreation Area offers one of the only point breaks in New Jersey.
The Surfers Very crowded with some pretty agro locals
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Monmouth Beach

Surf Location
Best Swell Direction Southeast to East
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Thanks to a beach nourishment project, the sandbars are incredible.
The Surfers Heavy crowds in this area
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Belmar

Surf Location
Best Swell Direction North to South
Best Tide Mid outgoing low tide and mid incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season and winter
Wave Quality Find a sandbar to your liking. This entire stretch of coast is littered with good sandbars and hollow waves. Handles larger swells very well.
The Surfers Heavy crowds in this area
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Manasquan Inlet

Surf Location
Best Swell Direction South to Southeast
Best Tide Bottomed-out low tide and incoming
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season and winter
Wave Quality New Jersey’s best wave, and one of the best waves on the East Coast. Manasquan Inlet is basically a steep, hollow right-hander off the jetty that can peel for some distance on good swells. It's totally capable of handling a huge Atlantic swell.
The Surfers Heavy crowds full of Jersey’s best talent
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate, but can be tough
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Jenkinson

Surf Location Point Pleasant Beach
Best Swell Direction Northeast to East
Best Tide Low to Incoming
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late Fall, Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Thick and powerful beach break. Fast, ledgy drops that produce barrels from the takeoff.
The Surfers Pretty thick. There are some tough locals in this area.
Boards Shortboard, fish
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Mantoloking

Surf Location
Best Swell Direction South to Southeast
Best Tide Low to Incoming
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season and winter
Wave Quality Classic New Jersey beachbreak surf. Find your own peak and you won't be disappointed.
The Surfers Less crowded; you can spread out and find your own spot.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Casino Pier

Surf Location The epicenter of New Jersey beach life
Best Swell Direction Northeast to Southeast
Best Tide Low to Incoming
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late Summer/Fall for hurricane swell; Winter
Wave Quality One of the best spots in New Jersey. Long tube rides can be had from either side of Casino Pier.
The Surfers Crowded. Lots of local surfers, tourists and traveling surfers.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funshape, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
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