In the summer, the Jersey Shore is a different world. It’s one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations for families and party animals. Although the water is crowded, surfers flock to cruise the waves. Which ones stand out? Here are 10 of the best surfing sports in New Jersey.
Manasquan Inlet is one of the East Coast’s most famous surf breaks and breaks pretty much every time the Atlantic has a swell. The large man-made jetty collects ocean waves in a powerful right wedge that ranges from 2 feet to 20 feet. It’s also one of the busiest waves on the east coast, as the reliable current next to the jetty allows surfers of all levels to drift to the top. But don’t let the easy paddling fool you. It can be dangerous for beginners already battling the crowds to catch a wave.
The L Jetty in Avon is another fun wave, but you have to catch it on the right day at the right time. It only breaks on south swells which means it’s at its best in the summer. At low tide, the L-shaped jetty forms a large cover where children often play in the water and hunt for fish. As it is heavily influenced by the tides, you should plan and be there in light winds at high and low tides.
This stretch of beach produces the big, hollow barrels that seasoned surfers dream of. The beach breaks with all waves and tides, so you can score all year round. However, be aware that Belmar is one of the most popular resort towns on the Jersey shore in the summer. The crowds thin out in the off-season, leaving only the top surfers who travel from across the region to surf this consistently pounding wave.
Bay Head is a large stretch of beach punctuated by short jetties that create crashing waves. This beach is good all year round and works in almost any swell. The crowd is packed with local rippers so keep that in mind when choosing where to surf. The waves here can range from waist deep to twice overhead.
Seaside Park, just south of Seaside Heights, the now infamous location of MTV’s The Jersey Shore, is a South Seas magnet. While most Jersey breaks work in all swells, Seaside Park boosts South swells more than other breaks. It’s generally not as difficult as other waves, with fewer barrels but more rippable rights, making the crowd less intimidating for beginners and visitors. It is best surfed at mid tide on any size south swell.
Nun’s Beach, Stone Harbour
Broadway Beach, Cape May
Located in the popular resort town of Cape May, Broadway Beach is a break in the beach that takes on the most waves. Although it can get nice in the summer, the beach is closed to surfers as it is such a popular destination for beach goers and swimmers. This city is packed and Broadway is at the heart of it. So better wait for the colder months. You’re in good company as there’s likely to be a lot of good surfers here on an epic day!
The dam, brigantine
Located on the former site of a haunted castle and fishing pier, this spot is best on northeast swells when the links line up to produce nice shoulder-to-head high peelers. The wave is gentler than some of New Jersey’s other steep barrel beach breaks. But beware of the sunken pilings – remnants of the former fishing pier. This beach also remains open to surfers in summer, but only via paid access with a beach token.
Crystals, Atlantic City
At Atlantic City’s last beach you’ll find this jetty setup that produces good waves in all waves. This whimsical wave has a unique assortment of obstacles to watch out for – from fishermen to people ending a long night at the same time as your sunrise session. Still, it’s worth it for a consistent wave, which is rare on the east coast.
32nd Street in Longport is a rocky ridge that creates solid lefts and rights. It works on all waves from head to well overhead. This wave is at its best in larger waves and requires very specific conditions to break. But being a bit off the beaten track makes it worth the trip for anyone looking for a less crowded lineup with friendlier surfers than other North Jersey locations.