Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY
New York has many of the best and most consistent breaks in the North East. These breaks include Breakwater Surf’s home break of 67th Street at Rockaway Beach. There are actually three breaks at Rockaway Beach, and the other two breaks are located at 92nd street and 116th street. All three of these jetties can be accessed from NYC through the A-train by getting off at their respective stops. If you do visit the 67th street break, then be sure to stop by the Breakwater Surf Co and say hi to myself, Gerald, or my partner Rudel (sorry about the plug had to put it out there!).
These three streets are designated year round surfing beaches. During the summer months from Memorial Day to Labor Day, these are the only ones open for surfing between 10AM-6PM, and they each include up to three adjoining jetties, Before 10am or after 6pm all jetties on the beach are open to surfing.
The optimal swell direction is a South to Southwest 3-4ft at 8+ seconds swell period. Most of the time, Rockaway has multiple swell directions effecting the wave resulting in more than one takeoff spot.
Optimal wind direction is a North wind up to 12mph. Obviously we love to have no wind at all, but that rarely happens. Additionally, many times during the summer and early fall there are periods of light to no wind early in the morning followed by the highest wind speeds arriving in the early afternoon (usually at noon time) and an onshore breeze. Many times that wind dies down in the early evening around 5-6pm leaving an awesome uncrowded evening session. While wind is our enemy, higher winds do not necessarily mean bad waves!
Two hours after low tide and an hour before high tide tend to be the most optimal tie 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:
Waves are almost always lefts accessed by going close to the rock jetty on your left. However, its not uncommon to find that gem Rockaway Right! As the waves gets bigger the currents between the jetties can get excessive, and the paddle out can be tough. The easiest way to get past the break on a bigger day 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. It’s also common to walk the jetty and jump off in between the sets. Just be careful!
Jetties and pylons
Train: Rockaway Beach, NY is the closest surfing beach to New York City, and it is easily accessible through use of the NY subway transit system. All three of the jetties listed above can be accessed from NYC through the A-train by getting off at their respective stops
Car: Take the Marine Parkway Bridge or Cross Bay Blvd Bridge to Rockaway