Surf in New York??? That’s crazy! Actually, Long Beach, NY has a long-standing surf culture supported by local shops, local surfers, and an aloha attitude well-tempered with an NY intensity.
Long Beach is a sandy bottom beach break with the jetties providing some of the most “consistent” surf in the New York/New Jersey area. I put consistent in air quotes because we all know the irony putting that word anywhere near NY surf. Surf breaks in LB are named after the boulevards that run north/south in the City. Lincoln Blvd is by far the most well known break, and linked below with a surf cam. Every block breaks different because of slight variations between the jetti, the bottom, the wind, and the shape of the beach in the area. Some beaches will be flat while others are breaking. Which ones break best? Find out yourself, I’m not going to help on that one.
Beach passes are required to get on the beach during the summer – $12 per day, available for purchase on the boardwalk.
Parking is first come first serve street parking.
During the summer, only one beach West of National Blvd is a “surf” beach from 9-6PM, meaning that’s the only break you can surf at. East of National, Lincoln and Pacific are always “surf” beaches. Before 9AM and after 6PM everything is fair game. Be warned, on weekends and good days, it gets comically crowded. Groms and kooks are everywhere. Bring a bumper board.
A north wind and south swell is optimal.
Board Choice: Long boards guarantee riding almost every day, while steep closeouts can be common and problematic for them. Hybrids and fish are most common – favoring thickness over high-performance. On the hurricane days, you’ll see guns and all sorts of rhino chasers.
Prime time is September hurricane season in Long Island – when all eyes frantically check the National Hurricane Center hoping to see a Cat 3 crawl up the middle of the Atlantic. When Hurricanes like Earl and Igor hang out in the Atlantic, LB gets the good stuff. Big barrels and great rides.
(Photo Credit: Mike Nelson/Unsound Surf)
The fall and winter is when Long Beach surf comes alive. With the Gulf Stream keeping the water warm late into November. September is still full boardshort weather – occasionally needing a 3-2 suit or a shortie. As the fall rolls in, little more than a 4-3 wet suit is needed with booties and gloves depending on the day. Once December/January/Feb roll around, it’s time to march through snow and enjoy glassy A-frames in a 5/4 or 6/5. It’s a lot of rubber, but the waves are empty and worth it.
Long Beach’s waves are being launched to international level as the Quiksilver Pro ASP stop comes to rip the waves of Long Beach. Attracting the best surfers in the world, battling for a million dollar purse. In the first year of the event, the competition was an absolute success, with the Aussie Owen Wright defeating Kelly Slater, and taking home $300,000 for his 4 days of work. The waves were perfect due to a slow moving Hurricane Katia.
Here’s a great summary video that Quiksilver put together on the event.
Local Surf Shops:
Long Beach Surf Cams:
Surf Forecasts and Reports: