10 Best Places To Surf On The East Coast

The ten best places to surf on the East Coast are found in a variety of eastern states including Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina. When people think of surfing in the U.S., the coasts of California or Hawaii are the first to come to mind. But the East Coast actually has some killer spots, is abundant in good-size waves and has lots of room to master your craft.

  1. Reef Road. This Palm Beach, Florida surf spot offers up swells of all shapes and sizes. Low tide is usually the best time to surf here, but be aware there are sharp rocks and also sharks. Winter is actually the best time of year to surf here, as you'll find swells up to fifteen feet, and offshore westerly winds blowing in.
  2. Indian River Inlet. In the southside of Delaware, the Indian River Inlet is known as the "home of the suicide boarders". Surf competitions are held here frequently, but be wary as this is a challenging East Coast surf spot. If you're not experienced, you could easily get injured. Be sure to surf only during daylight hours when lifeguards are on duty.
  3. Manasquan Inlet. Popular since the 1960's, this surf spot is perfect for all wave-riders. Beach breaks start around three feet for beginners and get up to twelve feet for pros. Be warned the waves near this NJ jetty break hard and fast at times, and can hollow out in the middle. These are waves to ride for the long haul, as some last up to 1,000 feet.
  4. Cape Hatteras. Cape Hatteras in North Carolina is another ten best surf spot, popular for its waves breaking in from all directions, smaller crowds and good-size swells. This cape area is also known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic", having sunk numerous ships due to its swift currents and unseen shoals.
  5. Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach has to be one of the ten best places to surf on the East Coast. After all, it's where world champion surfer Kelley Slater hails from. It's also home to Ron Jons, one of the most famous surf shops of all time. Crowds at Cocoa Beach are laid-back, consisting of longboarders primarily. Cocoa Beach is a great wave spot for both beginners and experienced surfers.
  6. Sebastian Inlet. Just south of Cocoa Beach, you'll find Sebastian Inlet, home to "Florida's best breaks." Since Sebastian has such consistent surf, the beaches tend to be more crowded. Waves here get up to eight feet or more at times depending on the season. Take your place in line, mind the pecking order rules and you'll do fine.
  7. Ocean City. This New Jersey tourist town is not only "America's Greatest Family Resort" area, it's also one of the ten best places to surf on the East Coast. This town takes surfing very seriously, winning a total of eight state surfing championships. You'll find some awesome north and southeast swells here, some hollowing out, others walling up creating the perfect tube.
  8. New Smyrna Beach. This is definitely a blue-collar surf town on the East Coast. You'll find regular Joe's like you and me, but with the skills and perseverance of a pro surfer. Be wary of sharks as the waters can get infested with them. The Smyrna Inlet features some of the most consistent wave breaks on the Florida coast. On a good day, you'll catch surfers performing aerial maneuvers like any other.
  9. Montauk. When people think of New York, they usually don't think of surfing. But the city of Montauk runs along the Atlantic, offering some raw wave riding that's fairly consistent. The beach breaks come in from the south, west and east, creating some pretty mean swells. Make sure you bring a wetsuit too, as temperatures here are mighty chilly.
  10. Kill Devil Hills. Another top spot to surf along the East Coast is Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. This peaceful surf town provides local surfers with killer barrels, consistent breaks and picturesque scenery. In summer, you can get away with wearing swim trunks or a bathing suit, but in winter, temperatures are only 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so you'll need to break out your wetsuit.
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