Where is the best wave on the East Coast?

East Coast Surfers:

I’ve had the opportunity to surf twice on the East Coast, both times in New Jersey at Atlantic City and Margate. Okay surf. Where are the best breaks on the Right Coast? I’ve seen some nice photos of surf in the Northeast, the Carolinas, and Florida. I’m curious as to what the equivalent of Rincon/Swamis/Malibu/Pleasure Point is on the East Coast? Thanks.

Jersey has plenty of fun stuff, lots of different waves depending on your location. How long ago did you surf AC/Margate/etc.?

ER- surfed it back in the fall of '98. Pretty decent waves. I’ve always had Pacific Coast mentality, but now I have a newfound respect for surfers out East. Some guys out there surf pretty good… long and shortboards.

AC and Ventnor are completely different breaks now. They did a beach replenishment last fall through this spring. Ventnor breaks at all tides now, but low tide has consistent barrels on a swell with any size. AC still handles any swell pretty well, though there are still underwater obstacles to worry about :wink:

Just a few Right Coast surf venues I’ve sampled - Montauk Point and a few rock reefs East of the lighthouse to just before the town sand bar breaks. A few productive beaches in and around the immediate New York City LI area. More than a few good spots in Jersey from Sandy Hook on down to LBI. VA Beach. Cape Hatteras Buxton beaches that’re in and around the lighthouse. Central East Coast Florida, around the the Melbourne area (Sebastian Inlet jetty, etc).

Hey ER where are you from? I’m in OC.

Pleasure Point?? OK, it looks good in pics. Most of the time, it’s…

But I guess you were saving the real good spots in SC for the locals, and the guys intheknow.

It’s just funny to see PP mentioned in the same sentence as the first 3.

not the equivalent to the point breaks, but i saw some pictures of south beach, miami yesterday that were fairly mind boggling. more like back door than pleasure point… (see attachment)

hatteras is awesome because it breaks really hard but my favorite is my local break the field research facility pier. Biggest pier on the East coast.

I think if your timing is good and you know how to study the maps…you can pick the best spots…and they would have to vary depending on the storm it self…the cleanest ,biggest. knarliest,eastest,bestest most consistentest uncowdedest,the all timest spot izzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz a secret…yyukyukyuykyuyk

most consistent wave in Atlantis : New Smyrna Beach Inlet, i grew up there, its incredibly crowded when its good, check it out if you get a chance, shark shallows breaks rad on a real swell.

there are also really fun waves just inside the jetty @ NSB on a big south swell, sometimes wrapping all the way into the river.

washington mike

Yep, and aside from a few reefs at the top and bottom, the east coast is sand, which means everything changes, all the time. Even jetties and piers, and some reefs, cycle through good and bad setups…I’ve seen epic waves that, I am quite sure, will never happen again, at that spot, like that day.

Driving on the beach in hatteras is the perfect example…just go until you see a sick sandbar, surf it till it changes, move on to the next…but don’t even bother asking anyone where “the good ones” are, because by the time you get there, they’re gone forever.

All that being said, there are places where the waves are consistently good and or interesting.

My favorites:

The lighthouse at hatteras. I’m goofy, and the lefts cant be beat (or couldn’t back when I used to surf it, I hope it’s still good…)

Manasquan Inlet N.J. reflection break, set waves bounce off the jetty to reinforce themselves in right peaks down the beach, can be huge, grinding tubes.

certain hidden gems near wrightsville…certain reefs in florida.

Puerto Rico in february.



Yeah that pic is sick…I’ve surfed SoBe like that back in the 80’s.

If you don’t make that drop your board is almost guaranteed to snap. Its very difficult to get a good wave cuz of the crowd in the lineup and in your line. But man, what a barreling bowling wave! Where did you find the pic?

For me the best wave is the least crowded - if youre persistent, you can find semi-secluded epic spots even in FL…it happens several times each year.

South Florida, Miami ish area breaks like that once every 3 years. And then in between there is nothing except great looking topless chicks and the old men in speedos chasing them.

Rhode Island would get my vote. Lots of spots all within close proximity and a great vibe in the water.

I’d have to agree with Drew, RI has the best bang for the buck with NC coming in a Close Second.

However, if you’ve got the balls, you could head up to Nova Scotia as its got a nice lil point and reef break. Maine’s got some hidden gems as well…

Check out last years “Red Bull Ice Break” for footage of Nova Scotia

I’d have to say NC and NJ:

Hatteras lighthouse, S-turns, and Frisco.

LBI (Surf City North end), Manasquan Inlet, Cape May (South end), and AC (gas chambers). I hestitate to throw ac in as I’ve been ripped off there twice, but the wave is really nice (at least used to be before I stopped going).

Never made it to RI but all this talk has me wanting to check it out…



RI is so rocky that the waves just break super clean. There is a place off Newport that I’ve heard called a number of different names, but the one it’s called most is “The Elbow” and it’s a big wave spot that I remember seeing a tow-in piece about in one of the major mags. was 20ft or something like that.

Block island also gets really good when a swell comes around, just need to be there on the right time. I’m heading up to Block Island in two weeks for some wedding shit, but hopefully I’ll catch a good swell as well.

I like Florida, personally, because everywhere else kind of freaks me out. Don’t ask me why.

But I also like Tybee Island Georgia. The waves almost always suck, and it will ALWAYS be flat as a board at low tide, no matter the swell, but I have a lot of good memories and even got a picture of myself on a three foot right in Surfer Magazine taken at the jetty on the south end of the island. Trippy. (It was actually that edition a couple years ago when they let people send in their own photos for a collage. Classsic. I looked like Forest Gump with a broken arm. Totally lacking style).

Actually, Florida has reef breaks right in the middle of the state. Satellite Beach has reef breaks (RCs).

I have surfed lower NC, SC, GA, and FL. My favorite break was Sebastian Inlet. Maybe that’s because the first time I surfed it the waves were glassy, the water was clear blue, and the surf was head high and well formed with predictable four wave sets. Crowd factor: Four guys. How perfect is that? There wasn’t anything on the radar, so nobody knew it was coming. It was a foot when I got there, and within an hour it was chest high. Second, third and fourth hour head high. I got tired and went in, and immediately a huge crowd showed up.

Florida has always been good to me. I surfed there eight times, and never got skunked. I even caught head high Cocoa Beach (Canaveral) Pier. Believe me. That’s rare. It’s usually mushy and flat in Cocoa.

ChristianfromNJ hit the nail on the head. If you can take the cold, Nova is the place to be. It is the land of epic point breaks, killer seafood, and the kindest locals I have ever met… There is one left that I have seen that breaks for over 400 yards!! (no I’m not telling - I had to find it - so do you :slight_smile:

Bring extra money for gas b/c you’ll do plenty of drivin’ but if things are working it’s always worth the trip. As always bring a little humilty, and extra good vibes; a bunch of extra wax or goodies for the locals never hurts either.

call me if your goin - always lookin for traveling partners.


AC is still not a nice neighborhood, but it’s cleaned up tremendously. Gas Chambers and SoCarolina ave. just got sand pumped in, so it’s really different but still fun. Last week’s swell broke three boards in about as many hours. The vibe in the water has gotten better since years past.