Surfing In Massachusetts

Massachusetts transformed from a state dependent fishing, trade, and agriculture into a manufacturing hub during the Industrial Revolution. Currently, this state is known for being a leader in biotechnology, maritime trade, finance, and engineering.

Massachusetts’s most well-known surfing spots are Long Beach in Gloucester, Nahant Beach in Nahant, Nantasket Beach in Hull, Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, Marconi Beach, and White Crest Beach in Wellfleet. The swell can be unpredictable, so check the forecast before going to the beach.

With a coastline of more than 1500 miles, Massachusetts has many ports, harbors, waterfronts, and beaches to offer – it’s no wonder there are so many stunning surfing spots! Many people believe that the beaches in Massachusetts are not great for surfing but keep reading to find out why this is not the case.

There are many beaches along the coast of Massachusetts, but not all of them are suitable for surfing. If you are into surfing, then this one is for you. On your mark, get set and into the waves!

Surfing At Long Beach In Cape Ann, Massachusetts

Situated in Gloucester, Long Beach is one of the most exposed beaches in Massachusetts and has a relatively low tide and extensive sandbanks. Rocks are visible in Cape Ann when the tide is low on the southern corner. The stones create a good channel, making paddling out into the sea easier.

This surfing spot is not too overcrowded, and when the water is feeling colder than usual, the waves can be pretty empty. If you are a beginner surfer, Cape Ann is not suitable for you – this beach is suited for intermediate to advanced surfers.

The best time to go surfing here is between September and March. Be warned that the parking is limited at this beach, and it is pretty expensive and a bit sketchy.

Nahant Beach For Surfing In Massachusetts

This coast can get quite windy, but Nahant Beach offers some protection from the southerly winds. Nahant Island, in particular, is a great surfing spot when the swell is big. Luckily there are lifeguards on standby in case anything goes wrong.

You should be an intermediate or advanced surfer with decent tube riding skills if you want to surf in this spot. The best time to visit Nahant is from September to December.

To park at Nahant Beach will cost you $10 if you are a local and $40 from another state between May and November. While it is costly to park at this beach, there is plenty of parking to choose from.

What You Need To Know About Nantasket Beach

The long, sandy Nantasket Beach is found on the peninsula in the south part of Boston Harbor in Hull. This beach is suitable for all kinds of surfers: beginner, intermediate or advanced.

There is a welcoming vibe amongst the locals at Nantasket Beach, but this surfing spot is relatively quiet and does not get overcrowded. Between September to March is the ideal time to visit this beach. The access is easy when you go, and the parking is metered.

One downside is that the swell is a bit unpredictable and seldom consistent – but if you go on a day where the swell is significant, then you’ll have a great time!

Why Should You Surf At Coast Guard Beach?

Located along the Cape Cod shoreline in Eastham, Coast Guard Beach has to be one of the most reliable beaches in Massachusetts to catch waves. This beach is one of the top-rated beaches in the US due to its clear waters and pristine dunes. The nicest time of the year to surf at this beach, especially as a beginner, is August.

Shark season is between August and October, so keep a lookout, but there are lifeguards at this beach. The public restrooms and outdoor showers are enjoyable after being in the sea all day.

Parking is limited, and you will be charged if you park down the street. However, this beach is accessible via the tram if you are willing to do the ride with your surfboard.

Surfing In Massachusetts Marconi Beach

Like Coast Guard Beach, this beach in Wellfleet has consistent waves (and sharks). One bonus is that Marconi Beach has one of the largest parking lots in the outer Cape. Another bonus is that Marconi is what you would call a hidden gem – meaning it never gets overcrowded, and surfers have plenty of space in the water.

Marconi Beach is great for advanced surfers due to the fast beach breaks in both directions. This surfing spot has magical sunsets and has a lookout deck above the dunes.

Should You Surf At White Crest Beach?

This beautiful spot is situated in Wellfleet and is an excellent location for surfers with longboards. You will need to make your way down steep dunes to get to the ocean – and unfortunately, there are no stairs! This may not sound appealing when you are tired from spending the day surfing, but it is worth it.

Parking is available across the street, so access is relatively stress-free. This is a fantastic spot to come and watch the sunrise, so come down early and bring your board. 

Tips For Surfing In Massachusetts

The waves at the beaches in Massachusetts are nothing like Hawaii or California, so you need to lower your expectations. Here are a number of pointers to keep in mind when you head to a beach to surf in this US state:

  • Be patient. 

There can be both good and bad surf at the beaches in Massachusetts. You might find a few great waves to catch but could end up waiting a while before the next one comes. Always remember to be patient!

  • Check the swell before you go to the beach.

Some days there will be little to no swell at the beaches in Massachusetts, so the best thing would be to check the local surfing website before you make the mission to the beach.

  • Find surf shops and instructors.

If you find one or both of the above at a beach, then there is bound to be decent or consistent swell and not completely terrible waves.

  • Invest in a wetsuit.

The water in Massachusetts can be chilly even in summer. Temperatures range around 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer, which doesn’t seem bad, but if you are spending hours in the water waiting for waves, then you could freeze.

A well-insulated wetsuit will help you withstand the cold water of the Atlantic Ocean for longer than the average person.

  • Beware of sharks.

Sharks tend to be the most active at the end of summer and fall. Ensure that you keep a lookout and maybe listen to the local news before heading into the ocean. 

Conclusion

Massachusetts is not the most well-known US state for surfing, but it still has some good surfing spots. While not all days are good for surfing, when the swell is on point, you’ll find plenty of sound waves to catch!