Long Beach, NY
In 2011, Long Beach, NY hosted the World Surfing League for the first time in its history producing epic swells and some of the best waves seen on the tour that year. The final heat between Owen Wilson and Kelly Slater was an epic battle with Wilson coming out on top, and Long Beach and the East Coast being recognized as a premier surf destination.
During the summer months, aka Memorial Day to Labor Day, many of the jetties are off limits to surfing. However, the jetties from Lincoln Blvd to Monroe Blvd, and the jetties from Maple Blvd to Pacific Blvd are designated surfing beaches year round.
My personal preference tends to be surfing either Lincoln Blvd, Atlantic Blvd or Lafayette Blvd, but like Rockaway and any other spot, take a look around and find the area that’s working the best for the tide and day.
The optimal swell direction is a South to Southwest 3-4ft at 8+ seconds swell period. The swell direction and wave period will pretty much stay the same throughout all of Long Island NY. Due to the shape and lay out of Long Island the waves that hit LI are predominantly lefts with the occasional gem of a right passing through. Rarely do we find any A-frames in these spots.
The optimal wind direction is a North wind up to 12mph. Yes, we prefer no wind, but unfortunately, that does not happen very often. There are frequent times in both the summer and early fall with periods of little to no wind early in the morning followed by the higher winds in the early afternoon with an onshore breeze. Many times that wind dies down in the early evening around 5-6pm setting up an awesome uncrowded evening session. While wind is not our friend, do keep in mind that stronger winds do not mean that you will have bad waves!
Two hours after low tide and an hour before high tide tend to be the most optimal tide for surfing. As the tide gets low the waves get steeper while at high tide the waves get fat. Each jetty, however, is its own wave ecosystem with some working better towards low and others towards high. Don’t be afraid to try different jetties as its all dependent on the constantly shifting sands!
Type of Break:
Long Beach has a very punchy left that can rise out of nowhere even on small days! When the wave reaches head high or larger a fast current/rip shows up rapidly moving you from jetty to jetty. It is not uncommon to end up 3-4 jetties away from where you originally entered the water. Paddling out on these days can be a disaster. An easier (although not always successful) way of getting past the break is by entering approximately a quarter of the way from the left hand jetty and timing the sets. You will find the rip current shows up on the sandbar which is about where the biggest wave drops on your head! Once you get past that rip you will blast out past the peak and be in position to catch a beauty!
Rips, rocks, and jelly fish
Train: Long Island Railroad Express from Penn Station