Best Beaches for Surfing Spots Are All Over the New Jersey Shore

Looking for the best beaches for surfing spots in New Jersey?

All up and down the New Jersey shore, you will find the best beaches for surfing, where the swells and breaks can rival Florida and the Carolinas. Take a drive to Jersey beaches and ask the locals checking out the surf in the early a.m.

You can break the best beaches for surfing on the Jersey Shore surfing up into a couple of main areas, depending on how far you want to drive to check out the action. The northern section starts with Sandy Hook, Long Branch, Deal and Elberon.

Let's talk about the best beaches for surfing in Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach, Avon, Belmar and Spring Lake, all covered in a quick drive.

First, the bad news

Surfing is not permitted on Asbury beaches, and there is actually a law on the books, but that is never enforced. This is probably a good thing though, because parking in Asbury Park can be a challenge, to put it mildly. And even though the law against surfing is lightly, if ever, enforced, you won't find a lot of local surfers on the Asbury Park beach. This may be because Asbury caters more to restaurant diners, music lovers and antique shoppers than actual beach goers. So it's best to just cross Asbury off your list of "must surf" beaches on the Shore.

Ocean Grove surfing is basically a crapshoot. Until the early 90's, driving was prohibited from the towns streets. With the beach road being diverted in a different direction, the surfing crowd is small. With the help of the Army Corps of Engineers adding sand to the end of the pier, they made sure that it wouldn't be surfed for a while.

Head a little south for the real action

Bradley, like most towns in Monmouth County, has many jetties that can get a good variety of swell, making it one of the best beaches for surfing in the area. The 3rd Avenue surfing beach is probably one of the best beaches for surfing, but is frequented by a lot of longboarders, and they are known for hogging waves. Brinley Avenue can take an east swell, so, when everywhere else is closing out, try out Brinley.

Avon has an L-shaped jetty that, would you believe, is called the L Jetty. This jetty, not to be confused with the L Jetty in Deal, takes a south swell to break and is really affected by the tides. This is the place to be just when a swell starts to hit, so keep track of the tides, since it seems that all the key elements have to be in place for it to work.

Two great beaches to surf

Manasquan may be one of the most popular (and admittedly, one of the best beaches for surfing) beaches on the Jersey Shore, but Belmar, its next door neighbor, has the same great swells and barrels as the Manasquan stretch, making it a less discovered one of the best beaches for surfing. Just surf within the posted limits, because the cops can be tough.

Eastern Lines Surf Shop is a hangout for the local crowd, and coincidentally, is right across the street from a great surfer's beach, with great breaking on the swells. That is, in the early morning, early evening or after the summer is over. During summer, though, be ready for a crowd. There are a million people in Belmar in the summer, and maybe the water doesn't have a million, but it is still pretty crowded. Lots of parking makes the lineup even more crowded.

The 8th Avenue Jetty is the beach the locals really love, with a heavy barrel. But the guys there are pretty possessive of this stretch, so if it already looks full, expect some flak. There are lots of jetties along the Belmar Beach, so take a drive and see how the others look. Belmar Fishing Pier, at the north end of Belmar, is another nice spot for swells, but it can be tricky.

Don't let ritzy Spring Lake fool you

Forming at the north end of Spring Lake are two of the best beaches for surfing, Mambo Beach, known for a hollow beachbreak and Washington, for its longboard haven. You can plan on some mushy takeoffs which is great for all the beginners out there, and plenty of hassles with the long board set at Washington since it is Spring Lake's most sought after surfing beaches.

At the far end of Spring Lake you will find -duh- Surfer's Beach or Kook Bay, and these hot spots are always crowded. But you can just pull up, unload and you're good to go. The south swell can be alot of fun, and staying to the inside corner you can bowl up and create a really fun hollow left.

A series of jetties are found at the south end of Spring Lake. Since the sandbar is a bit farther outside, the actual South End Jetty is longer than the rest, making this absolutely one of the best surfing beaches on bigger days. Also down the beach there is a left that can get good on a northeast swell.

Manasquan has the name, but check out Sea Girt

Sea Girt is a small town right next to the National Guard Training Facility. The National Guard Facility has a little beach, where nobody bothers you much outside of the summer months. During the summer, you need to have a military pass to get on, but sneaking on is favorite pastime of the locals. They do know, however, not to sneak on if the red flag is flying over the beach, since that means that the State Police Firing Range is in use, and a bullet in the head can ruin even the best surfing day.

To the north of the Training Facility, there is a range of jetties that control the sand flow along the shore. They break really well on the east-southeast direction, where the coast begins to bend outwards a bit. Because this sandbar shifts, the break gets a little different each year.

If Manasquan is experiencing really good conditions, there won't be too many guys at Sea Girt. There is mostly an older crowd there, with the usual local pecking order. It'll be hard to catch waves if it's crowded, but if not, you can see from Manasquan (south) and Belmar (north) if you want to check out the crowds there.

Manasquan Inlet is considered the northern equivalent of Sebastian Beach, one of the best beaches for surfing on the Jersey Shore. It has jetty setup where the waves bounce off the rocks, with the power concentrated into a steep right wedge. Manasquan, however, unlike Sebastian, can produce lengthy rides and is one of the best-known breaks on the East Coast. In a southwest swell, the Manasquan Inlet can handle up to 20-foot faces, with fast peaks and the occasional quality left break, and ripples refract off the jetty for great waves.

This popularity lends itself to a packed parking lot. A crew of locals tends to dominate on better days. But on less exciting days, the big dogs stay home, and if there is a rip running next to the jetty, the Inlet is an easy paddle, so even inexperienced kids and longboarders can get a peak.

If you want to keep heading south to check out the action, have a look at the beaches just north of Long Beach Island and Long Beach Island on south!

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