Looking for the best surfing beaches in New Jersey? From the north to the south end of the New Jersey shore, there are great beaches where the swells and breaks are as good as, if not better than Florida and the Carolinas. Take a drive along the Jersey beaches and ask the locals checking out the surf in the early a.m.
You can break 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, then you could check the conditions for the best surfing beaches in Asbury through Manasquan in a quick drive.
Let's talk about the beaches north of Long Beach Island, between Manasquan and Island Beach State Park. Separated from the mainland near Barnegat Bay, this great stretch of beach breaks packs a heavy punch. Located right between Manasquan Inlet and the seclusion of Island Beach State Park, this narrow peninsula follows Rt. 35 through a path of lovely, often predominantly summer towns, such as Point Pleasant, Bay Head, Mantoloking and Lavalette all with some of the best surfing beaches, though not all accessible.
Be wary of the currents at Jenkinson's in Point Pleasant, they can be very dangerous. It is a well known left that ledges and winds along the beach on a solid NE swell. Go out with a local, or try one of the less-crowded jetties to the south. You can't surf Jenk's in the summer; it's privately owned and heavily guarded.
South of Point Pleasant, beach access in the summer time is also almost a no go, as the beaches are privately owned. By law, there has to be public access to the ocean, but these paths are narrow and few and far between. This is just the way the owners like it. So it is hard to surf these beaches unless you have a connection to a local. The vibe here is far from being mellow. You would be better off surfing a less crowded beach to the south. Fall access is more laid back as the summer visitors vanish and the real swells take form.
Bay Head, just south of Jenk's, offers some of the best tuberiding opportunities in New Jersey. The short jetties create beachbreak sandbars that are awesome during hurricane season. Forget about it in the summer, however, there is a fierce staunch crew of established (read old) locals around Bay Head, and anyway, little parking.
In Lavalette you'll find several beachbreak alternatives to the big name, big crowd locations just north. Each is highly dependent upon the sandbar at any given time. In Ortley Beach, the Ocean Hut Surf Shop is the locals' choice. And since these are some of the best surfing beaches in the area, there is young gang of chop hoppers that will run you down if you aren't careful.
Mantoloking, with its beach badges, parking issues and unwelcoming residents, make just getting to the water a chore. Be very determined or have a friend in the 'hood if you decide to try it.
At Seaside, both sides of Casino Pier offer some of the longest tuberides in New Jersey. Crowds are heavy, and the strong crew of locals run the show. There are guys in this group who have done just that for over twenty years.
On the south side, there's an occasional right bowl that breaks in the middle of the beach. As one of the best surfing beaches in the area, Casino Pier has hosted world-tour surfing events in the past, including the infamous New Jersey Pro of 1988, when the prize money mysteriously wasn't there when the contest ended.
Just north of Casino Pier, Hiering Avenue offers fun lefts and rights. It is wide open to almost all swells and breaks with relative consistency.
South of Seaside Heights, Seaside Park is a magnet for south swells, with fun rights long before other spots. If you see a small south swell in Manasquan and beyond, you can almost count on Seaside Park to be twice as big.
Some total boardheads will drive down the whole coast, jumping out of the car and checking the waves until they find the beach that works for them.
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