New England Surf Information:
Rhode Island, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire & Maine

New England is definitely one of the coolest, most
unique surfing regions in the US. It's loaded with
history, natural beauty, quality surf spots and unique
festivals, events and fun. New England
provides traveling surfers with a unique setup,
away from the tropical surf that is way overdone.

New England surf spots can be characterized by state.

  • New Hampshire is home to many point breaks.

  • Rhode Island is characterized by reefs and cobblestone bottom breaks.

  • Massachusetts is basically one giant, shifting sandbar.

  • Maine offers a little bit of everything.

During the summer months, New England beach towns become a microcosm for travel and fun. The surf can be rideable this time of year, but don’t bank on it.

Once the crowds have all gone home and the kids are back in school, New England surfing comes to life with the late summer/fall hurricane season. The southeast swells sent into this region light up the many points, reefs, sandbars and beach breaks that fill the New England surf region.

During this time of year, surfers are fine wearing a 3/2 wetsuit; however, cold weather progresses fast in the New England states, and surfers are quickly reaching for their 4/3 by the end of October or early November. Winter surfing here makes New Jersey seem like a tropical paradise. It’s not uncommon to walk through a snow-covered beach into the water, or to spot floating pieces of ice that move through the lineup. Like we said, New England is a unique surfing destination.

Find a surf school in Rhode Island.

Find a surf school in Massachusetts.

Find a surf school in New Hampshire.

Find a surf school in Maine.

New England Surf Breaks

Below is a list of New England surf spots from Rhode Island to Maine, and all points (literally) in between.


East Matunuck State Beach – Matunuck, Rhode Island

Surf Location Matunuck
Best Swell Direction South to Southeast
Best Tide Incoming high tide push
Best Wind Direction West to Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality One of the top longboarding spots in Rhode Island. Lefts and rights break on rock/reef bottom, peeling perfect for longboard carves and noseriding. Once a big swell, these usually slow waves turn into speedy walls great for carving.
The Surfers Always crowded with longboarders. Not a great spot for beginners.
Boards Funboard, longboard, stand-up paddle board
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Rock reef
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Point Judith – Rhode Island

Surf Location Southern Rhode Island
Best Swell Direction Southeast
Best Tide High tide push
Best Wind Direction West to Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Rocky right-hand point break. It’s a series of rights that break in sections. It takes a big swell to make them line up.
The Surfers Slways crowded, especially in summer. Lots of good surfers.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult
Skill Level Advanced. Strong currents, impossible sections and rocky entry/exit.
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… The rocks: they are covered with barnacles
Water Condition Clean
 

Point Judith, Rhode Island - Surf Video

 

Narragansett Beach – Rhode Island

Surf Location in the town of Narragansett, just north of the Narragansett Pier
Best Swell Direction Southeast
Best Tide Incoming high tide push
Best Wind Direction West to Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Very consistent and fun beachbreak waves that are good for beginners. Find a peak to yourself and enjoy.
The Surfers Very busy beach, but plenty of room to spread out. Mellow vibes.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Easy to difficult
Skill Level Total Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean
 

Ruggles – Newport, Rhode Island

Surf Location In the town of Newport
Best Swell Direction South to Southeast
Best Tide Incoming high tide push
Best Wind Direction West to Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality One of the best waves on the East Coast. A right-hand rock reef that wraps into the bay. Ruggles needs a big swell to break - it is a true big wave spot. So come prepared for some size.
The Surfers Lots of surfers, both locals and travelers
Boards Shortboard, big wave gun, tow board
Paddle Out Difficult
Skill Level Advanced to Expert surfers only
Bottom Reef, rocks
Watch Out For… Cleanup sets, jet skis
Water Condition Clean
 

Ruggles, Newport, Rhode Island - Surf Video

 

First and Second Beach – Newport, Rhode Island

Surf Location In the town of Newport
Best Swell Direction South to Southeast
Best Tide Incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction West to Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Fun beachbreak waves, good for all ability levels
The Surfers Lots of local surfers, plus all the summer vacationers. Mellow vibe.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Total beginner to Advanced - gets crowded
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean
 

Cape Cod National Seashore – Massachusetts

Surf Location Cape Cod National Seashore stretches from Eastham to Wellfleet
Best Swell Direction Northeast to Southeast
Best Tide Any
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Numerous sandbar peaks that can be really fun. Big storms will move and shift the sandbars up and down the beach.
The Surfers Mellow vibe, plenty of room to spread out
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult depending on the swell size
Skill Level All: Total Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Sharks
Water Condition Clean
 

Seabrook Beach – New Hampshire

Surf Location The first coastal town as you enter New Hampshire from Massachusetts
Best Swell Direction Northeast to Southeast
Best Tide High and Low
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season lLate summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Fun beach break that can handle a big swell. Plenty of peaks up and down the beach.
The Surfers Not overly crowded, mellow vibe
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate, but can be tough with a big swell
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Fishermen
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

The Wall – New Hampshire

Surf Location In Hampton, New Hampshire
Best Swell Direction Northeast to Southeast
Best Tide Low incoming tide
Best Wind Direction West to Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Fun beachbreak waves that wall up and close out when the swell gets bigger than 5 feet. Most consistent surf spot in New Hampshire.
The Surfers Lots of them, and they charge all year round. Mellow vibe.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Closeouts
Water Condition Clean
 

Fox Hill – New Hampshire

Surf Location Across from Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Shop, at the south end of the bay
Best Swell Direction North to Northeast, East
Best Tide Low tide coming in
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Arguably the best wave in New England, and one of the best waves on the East Coast. Perfect peeling, right-hand point break that can handle any size swell. Tight takeoff spot.
The Surfers Tough group of locals that have this break wired
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard; big wave gun when it's huge
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Rock
Watch Out For… The locals, hitting the rock slab at the takeoff
Water Condition Clean
 

Rye on the Rocks – New Hampshire

Surf Location Across from Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Shop, at the north end of the bay
Best Swell Direction Northeast to Southeast
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Another great New Hampshire point break. Left-hand point break that breaks way offshore. Steep, speedy walls are perfect for carving turns. Handles a large swell. One of the best waves on the East Coast.
The Surfers Tough group of locals that are committed to surfing this spot
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Easy but long
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Cobblestones
Watch Out For… The locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Long Sands – Maine

Surf Location In York
Best Swell Direction Southeast
Best Tide Incoming high tide
Best Wind Direction Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Sloppy beachbreak wave that is perfect for beginners or longboarders. Long rides can be had here, but the wave is hardly epic.
The Surfers Crowded during summer, but manageable in the water. Mellow vibe.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Total Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Tourists; frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Higgins Beach – Maine

Surf Location In Scarborough
Best Swell Direction Southeast to East
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season; needs a nice long-period groundswell from the southeast to really come alive
Wave Quality Fun beachbreak setup that gets really good with larger hurricane and winter swells. Can handle plenty of size.
The Surfers Can get pretty crowded with locals. Mellow vibe.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to difficult depending on the swell
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Sneaker sets; frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Ogunquit Rivermouth – Maine

Surf Location Ogunquit Rivermouth at Lobster Point
Best Swell Direction East
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Super fun Maine beach break. Long, carveable rights and short lefts break off of Lobster Point and peel down the beach. Maine’s most famous wave.
The Surfers Committed group of local surfers
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Easy but long
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Trueman’s – Maine

Surf Location South of the Saco River
Best Swell Direction Southeast to Northeast
Best Tide Mid tide
Best Wind Direction Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Fun left point break that needs a larger swell to break. Can have speedy, fun walls.
The Surfers Can get competitive since the takeoff zone is small. But generally this is a pretty mellow spot.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Wells Beach Jetty – Maine

Surf Location South of Drakes Island
Best Swell Direction Southeast
Best Tide Mid tide
Best Wind Direction Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Beach break with long rides off the jetty. Can get epic. Handles a big swell.
The Surfers Can get crowded, but plenty of room to spread out
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate, can be difficult
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Kennebunk Beach – Maine

Surf Location Main beach in the town of Kennebunk
Best Swell Direction South to Southeast
Best Tide Mid tide
Best Wind Direction North
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Fun beachbreak lefts and rights. Popular spot during summer with tourists. Thankfully, this place breaks best during hurricane and winter swells.
The Surfers Plenty of room to spread out during a swell. Summer is very crowded.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Reid State Park Rivermouth – Maine

Surf Location In the south end of Reid State Park
Best Swell Direction Northeast to Southeast
Best Tide Mid tide
Best Wind Direction West
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Classic rivermouth setup with fun rights and lefts breaking over a sandbar. Fast, hollow waves with good tube rides.
The Surfers Can get crowded, but the walk out to the break tends to keep the numbers down just a bit.
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
 

Popham Beach – Maine

Surf Location North of Portland
Best Swell Direction Northeast to Southeast
Best Tide Mid tide
Best Wind Direction Northwest
Best Surf Season Late summer/fall for hurricane season
Wave Quality Really fun waves. At high tide, waves are fast and hollow, breaking over the inside sandbar with good tube sections. At low tide, the outside sandbar produces nice, long walls perfect for carving.
The Surfers There is a good local crew, but plenty of room to spread out
Boards Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard
Paddle Out Moderate to easy
Skill Level Beginner to Advanced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Frostbite and hypothermia
Water Condition Clean and cold
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