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8 of the Best East Coast Surfing Spots in the US

   October 3rd, 2018   Posted In: Articles   Tags:

Eight of the Best East Coast Surfing Spots in the United States

The quality of your surf trip depends on the quality of the surf. You can be all geared up only to arrive at a beach with tiny swells or completely calm waters. Avoid this disappointment by looking up beaches with great waves that you can depend on. But if you’re on the East Coast, where should you go? If you’re looking for some of the best East Coast surfing spots out there, keep reading. We’ve compiled this list of 8 surfing spots back East that won’t disappoint.

1. Cisco Beach, Nantucket, MA

Go big or go home, right? So let’s start big with Cisco Beach.

Beginners should be wary with this spot: the swells are usually big and suitable for intermediate to experienced surfers. It’s known to be on the “rough” side of the island, so be prepared for rougher surf and a bit more wind. Beginners can find some waves here too. In fact, a surf school meets at this beach’s parking lot!

This beach also offers rental gear if you happen to forget something key, like a surfboard or a wetsuit (it happens to the best of us). With lifeguards stationed along the beach, you’ll also have some safety precautions ready.

2. Cocoa Beach, FL

Taking it from all the way up North down to the southern part of the East Coast we have Cocoa Beach, Florida. This is a well-known surfing spot that birthed the famous Kelly Slater, so it’s bound to be surf-famous. These easy and reliable waves are great for beginners, but surfers of all experience levels will enjoy the clear water of this awesome beach.

The only downside is that the beach itself can get quite crowded. However, these are usually beachgoers and not necessarily all surfers, so you’ll have plenty of space to ride the waves.

best east coast surfing

Ruggles, RI. Image courtesy of Magicseaweed.com.

3. Ruggles, Newport, RI

You might be skeptical to hear that one of the best spots for big, serious waves is in located in the smallest state in America, Rhode Island. Ruggles surprises us all by providing you with almost guaranteed breaking waves that should only be attempted by intermediate and experienced surfers.

You’ll also get to enjoy barrels here, which isn’t always the case with surf spots. Slide right through these famous waves at the farthest point on this beach. If you don’t mind colder waters, then Ruggles will provide you with great waves and superb ocean views that you have to experience when surfing the East Coast.

4. Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks, NC

The famous Outer Banks of North Carolina provide you with ample surf spots. You really can’t go wrong in this location, but if you want one of the best spots for East Coast surfing, Kitty Hawk is superior.

What makes Kitty Hawk better than other surf spots in Outer Banks? Its location is one of the best, right smack in the middle of the stretch of land known as the Outer Banks. This accessibility is features easy parking and access to surf rentals, shops, and food. But most importantly is that it’s dependable for the great surf. If you’re looking for huge waves, head here right after a storm. Pretty much any day during the summer and early fall will bring you waves perfect for surfing the day away.

5. St. Augustine Beach, FL

Cocoa beach was in Central Florida. While you’re there, take a quick 2-hour drive North and head to St. Augustine Beach for even more great surf. St. Augustine is great for beginners. It’s known as one of the best places to learn to surf in the sunshine state (that’s saying a lot considering there are 663 miles of beach in Florida).

Don’t think you’ll be bored if you’re an expert. Whether you’re a longboarder, a shortboarder, an expert, or a beginner, you’ll all find a wave at this versatile and fun spot.

6. Wrightsville Beach, NC

Outer Banks isn’t the only place for surfing in North Carolina. Wrightsville Beach in the southern part of North Carolina is just as well known, especially for their storm swells.

The positioning on the coast makes it the perfect spot for getting great storm-made waves, especially during hurricane season. Outside of hurricane season, you can get decent surf as well that’s perfect for beginners. The water’s warm as well, which you might prefer the colder waters of Nantucket and Rhode Island.

7. White Crest Beach, Wellfleet, MA

Speaking of colder water, let’s give you the northern-most surf spot yet: White Crest Beach on Cape Cod. Cape Cod beaches are often slept-on in terms of surfing, but you don’t want to skip these beaches if you want the best of the best.

White Crest Beach in Wellfleet is also known as “surfer’s beach,” which hints at why it made this list. It’s most well-known for the waves perfect for longboards, but all types of surfers will have fun at this surf spot. Watch out for the great white sharks!

8. Folly Beach, SC

With all the hype about North Carolina, it’s easy to forget about its southern cousin. South Carolina waves aren’t as intense as North Carolina, but Folly Beach is still a great spot to check out.

This surf mecca, also called “The Washout”, brings surfers from all over for the storm swells and the great location (a mere 20 minutes from Charleston). The positioning of this beach along the coast sets it up with a wind that whips up excellent, rolling surf.

8 of the Best East Coast Surfing Spots You Have to Check Out

While some surfers argue that the East Coast can’t stand up to the waves of the West Coast and Hawaii, these 8 best East Coast surfing spots might change their mind. Between awesome views and spectacular surf for those of all experience levels, these 8 spots might make you an East Coast believer.

Surfing abroad? Check out three of the best and lesser known surf spots on the planet.

Chris "Mole" Moleskie is the Founder, President, and CEO of Wetsuit Wearhouse. Mole grew up in the water on the East Coast. After graduating from Salisbury University, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, he headed to San Diego to find the eternal Ocean City. Wetsuit Wearhouse was formed a few years later in 2001. He swims, surfs when he can, SCUBA dives, wakeboards, SUPs, snowboards 15-20 days a season, and recently fell in lust with wakesurfing. Mole spends his summers at the not so secret Wetsuit Wearehouse Testing Facility on the Potomac River.

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