For most people, the very first thing that comes to mind when you mention New Jersey is pumping nightlife and big names in the music industry like Bon Jovi. However, New Jersey is not only surrounded by several significant cultural landmarks but is also a hotspot for surfing, drawing surfers from all over the East Coast to experience its thrilling waves.
New Jersey is undoubtedly home to some of the best surfing opportunities on the East Coast. From novice to highly experienced, New Jersey surfers are spoiled for choice with several surf spots that cater to all skill levels. Popular surf spots include Manasquan Inlet and Bradley Beach, to name a few.
Whether you are a New Jersey resident or planning on visiting the state’s coastal areas, you do not want to miss out on a surfing experience in The Garden State. With some incredible waves on offer for beginners and highly experienced surfers alike and several exciting amenities, discover why New Jersey should be your next surfing destination.
The Best Surf Spots In New Jersey
Alright, now that you are more acquainted with New Jersey’s surfing experience and the best times for surfing throughout the year, let us help you plan your next surfing adventure by diving into some of the Garden State’s best surf spots.
The first spot on our list is regarded as one of the most popular surf spots in New Jersey, Manasquan Inlet. This spot is not entirely suitable for beginner surfers, but intermediate and advanced surfers are guaranteed to have a great time out on these waves. Manasquan Inlet is undoubtedly New Jersey’s flagship surf spot and has made its fair share of appearances in surfing magazines.
The Inlet can hold wave heights to reach up to two times overhead during good winter swells. However, since this spot has received much attention, you can expect a fair amount of overcrowding when the conditions are at their prime.
Next on our list is Bradley Beach. Located at 3rd Avenue and Ocean Ave, this surf spot is regarded by many to be one of the more consistent beach breaks in New Jersey. Typically, Bradley Beach is far less likely to let you down when other popular locations do not have too much excitement on offer.
On a good day, wave heights can reach anywhere from waist height to overhead heights. Ultimately, this is an excellent spot for surfers of all skill levels.
Asbury Park in Monmouth County has a long stretch of beach breaks that are fun in the summer and the winter. It’s also become (again) a destination at the Jersey Shore. Read more about surfing in Asbury Park, where to stay, and the history.
For summer-time surfing head to the most northern beach in town at 8th Avenue. If you are a winter surfer, you can take your pick of the beach break up and down Ocean Ave. Asbury Park never gets too crowded in the winter, but it does get good.
Winter is where the fun is for surfing in New Jersey and Long Branch is no exception. The top winter surf is The Pit located where Brighton Ave turns into Ocean Ave.
We are also fans of the pipe located at South Bath Ave. When it’s on it’s on. When it’s off, it is way off.
If those two spots are crowded you can typically find a good beach breach between West End Ave and Pier Village.
If you are lucky you can catch Mike Gleason and/or Sam Hammer in the water who are local pros and are talents in the water as you can see by the videos below.
Long Beach Island
Last but not least: Long Beach Island (LBI) which is one of New Jersey’s barrier islands. This spot covers an 18-mile stretch and boasts an extensive swell window – one of the biggest in the state given that is it has a little more angle to it which helps it pick up the southern swells. This is excellent news from a consistent point of view, and the best part is that surfers of any skill level will be able to enjoy the various sections of Long Beach Island.
The average wave heights at Long Beach Island on a good day range anywhere from waist-high to roughly two times overhead. The good news for surfers is that even though the waves are so great here, Long Beach Island experiences minimal crowding e, so this is one of those New Jersey spots that you will really enjoy.
Surfing In New Jersey
Surfing can be enjoyed in New Jersey all year round, which is great news for anyone passionate surfer right off the bat. Consistency is an essential element that makes any surf spot great. Throughout the year – and often regardless of what the weather is doing – you will likely see surfers out in the water ready to ride some epic waves.
The surfing industry in the United States has developed far beyond what anyone could have imagined, and today is considered a multi-billion-dollar industry. Surfers in New jersey are significant contributors to this, with their passion and zeal for the waves adding well over two million dollars annually into the economy.
The waves in New Jersey might not be listed among the top surfing spots globally, but that does not mean there isn’t anything here to be enjoyed. And, if we are honest, that isn’t a fair comparison to make. On average, New Jersey’s waves stretch anywhere from two to 10 feet tall, making this the perfect location for surfers of any skill level.
Another huge plus to the surf scene in New Jersey is that localism is nowhere near as prevalent as many other surfing hotspots in the United States. Sure, you might encounter some localism on a perfect day at a popular spot, but for the most part, New Jersey surfers can be relatively welcoming if you show them some respect.
When to Go Surfing In New Jersey
Anyone who has any experience in wave riding knows that the times and seasons throughout the year play a huge role in the kind of surfing experience you can expect to have. This becomes especially important based on your level of surfing experience and skill, as some seasons are better suited to beginners, as an example.
Fall is considered to be New Jersey’s prime surfing season. During this time, the hurricane season is at its peak, so you can expect the best and most epic waves. The other great thing is that New Jersey’s peak season is outside of the peak vacation time, so you won’t have nearly as much crowding to deal with at the top surf spots.
As is the case with many other surfing destinations in the United States, winter can also be a great time to go surfing in New Jersey. Thanks to those winter storms, you can still experience some great waves. However, they can often be inconsistent, and the water temperature during the winter demands a thick wetsuit, or else you will undoubtedly end up with hypothermia.
Summer is also a great time for surfing in New Jersey – perhaps not as fantastic as fall, but great, nonetheless. However, early mornings and late afternoons are typically better times to surf in New Jersey during the summer, so try to plan your time here accordingly. Overall, fall may be the best surf season, but New Jersey welcomes surfers throughout the year.
Typically speaking, the West Coast receives far more attention and hype from a surfing perspective. However, the East Coast has plenty to offer, and New Jersey is undoubtedly the perfect example of this. Do not miss out on all that New Jersey has to offer from a surfing perspective. On a good day, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life!