Surfing isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind for a summer activity on Long Island, but it turns out that a bunch of South Shore beaches are the best East Coast surfing spots. For city-dwellers looking for a solid wave, a quick hop on the LIRR or A-train can get you to solid surf crowds. And for Suffolk County natives, taking a trip to Fire Island or The End is the way to go.
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Beach 92nd, Rockaway
As Rockaway’s main surfing beach, Beach 92nd tends to get pretty crowded on summer afternoons—congested with transplants taking the A-train out to ride the surf. While it is the most popular, the waves here are pretty challenging. Only advanced surfers should brave the water, and with the crowds, inexperienced riders only bother the locals.
Lincoln Blvd, Long Beach
One of the more famous surf spots in Long Beach, Lincoln Boulevard provides a mellow wave for more beginner crowds. Its location couldn’t be better, with an LIRR station and Unsound surf shop just a few blocks away. While you will face big crowds on these summer days, rent a board, spend an afternoon hanging ten, and you’ll still be home by dinnertime.
Gilgo Beach, Babylon
As home to some of the biggest East Coast surfing families, Gilgo Beach is a fun spot for late summer and fall/winter surfing. The waves cater to surfers of all skill levels and have a fun beach break that will wall up nicely and barrel with good conditions. But be sure to wear a wetsuit—the water is famously cold at this shore.
Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island
For a less crowded beach, Robert Moses is the place to go. However, you’ll have to wait for later in the summer for the best waves—Fire Island’s surf season is late summer to early fall. With over 10 miles of beach with ample designated surfing areas, you can spread out and enjoy the ride without the crowds.
Ditch Plains, Montauk
For the most consistent surf out East, Ditch Plains is the place to be. Those who have braved the SoCal surf of San Onofre say the ride here evokes similar sentiments on its better days. You’ll find the locals specifically at Terrace Beach, but be sure to get there early in the summer months—parking may be easy right on the dunes, but it fills up fast.
This spot is hard to surf at if you don’t know someone from Southampton, but if you land yourself a way in on a solid surf day, it’s some of the best surfing around. Try planning far ahead and you might score a parking pass, but be ready to shell out some serious cash for it—this is the heart of the Hamptons after all.