Surfing in the US: best spots and destinations

Surfing in the US: best spots and destinations

Surfing in the United States must be on every wave sliders’ bucket list. The most famous surf hubs are the ones on the West Coast and they are associated with Californian sand beaches and palm trees but in reality the US has a lot to offer. From South California to North California – mind there is a huge difference in the water temperature. East Coast surf is often associated with sunny Florida but as you will see there is a plenty spots to discover. On average, water is on average colder than the one in Central America and Asia, but the rewards of paddling out in thick neoprene are outstanding.

Best surf spots on the West coast in US

Best surf spots in South California

Both sides of the Pier, Huntington, Huntington Beach, Orange County

The pier at Huntington State Beach is perhaps Southern California’s most famous surf spot. The north side have excellent rights and the south side great left.

Huntington beach

Huntington beach

The best month to surf: December to February 
Water temperature: 13 to 16° (winter)
Best swell direction: SSE, S, SW

Best surf schools:
• Corky Carroll’s Surf School
Private lesson: $90/1,5h
Group lesson: $70-90/1,5h
HB Surf School
Private lesson: $145/1,5h
Group lesson: $95-125
Banzai Surf School
Private lesson: $159/2h
Group lesson: starting from $79/1,5
Average board rental: $45/a day

Lower and Upper Trestles, San Clemente (San Onofre State Beach)

Take a hike from the San Onofre State Beach parking lot and you will find if the most impressive wave in the mainland. It’s a perfect left and right-hander that works for all levels and board types. In addition to Lowers and Uppers, check three other breaks: Cottons, Middles and Churches.

San Clemente

San Clemente

The best month to surf: June to September 
Water temperature: 18 to 22°C (summer)
Best swell direction: S, SW
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf schools:
• San Clemente Surf School
Private lesson: $120/2h
Group lesson: $90-110/2h
Crook’s Surf Essential
Private lesson: $100/1h
Group lesson: Available upon request
San Clemente surfboard Rental
Private lesson: $125/1h-2h
Group lesson: Available upon request 

Surfrider Beach, Malibu

Iconic and outstanding, Surfrider beach is a long right hand break and it is located between Malibu Pier and Malibu Lagoon. 

Surfrider beach

Surfrider beach

The best month to surf: May to August
Water temperature: 18 to 22°C (summer)
Best swell direction: S, SW, WSW
Average board rental: $40/a day

Best surf schools:
Aqua Surf School
Private lesson: $159/2h
Group lesson: Available upon request
Malibu Makos
Private lesson: $100/1h
Group lesson: Available upon request
• Adventures in Malibu
Private lesson: $120/1,5h
Group lesson: $90/1,5h

Kelly’s Cove, Ocean Beach, San Francisco

Located at the north end of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, Kelly’s Cove is a consistent reef break that offers both left and rights.

Kelly`s Cove, Ocean Beach, SF

Kelly`s Cove, Ocean Beach

The best months to surf: October to March
Water temperature: 13 to 17°C (September)
Best swell direction: SW and S
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf schools:
• Pillar Point Surf School
Private lesson: $120/1-2h
Group lesson: starting from $70/2h
• Surf Kahuna Lessons
Private lesson: Price available upon request
Group lesson: $60
• Surf Camp Pasifica
Private lesson: Price available upon request
Group lesson: Price available upon request

Salmon Creek, Sonoma

This beach break is one of the most popular surf spots in the county and it’s sits right off Coast Highway 1. 

Salmon Creek

Salmon Creek


The best month to surf:
September to November
Water temperature: 13 to 17°C (September)
Best swell direction: WSW
Average board rental: $15/a day

Best surf schools:
Bodega Bay Surf Shack
Private lesson: $145/2,5h
Group lesson: $109/2,5h
• Bolinas Surf Lesson
Private lesson: $150/1,5h
Group lesson: $60/1,5h

Moonstone, Humboldt County

Moonstone Beach is located right off the Highway 101 and sits at the Camel Rock. This beach break produces depending on conditions all sorts of waves – from tubes to lazy peelers.

Moonstone, Humboldt County

Moonstone, Humboldt County


The best month to surf:
March to April and September to November
Water temperature: 10°C (spring and fall) 
Best swell direction: W
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
• Moonstone Beach Surf Camp
Private lesson: $60/1h
Group lesson: starting from $301h
Pacific Outfitters Adventures
Prices available upon request

Best surf spots in Oregon

Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City

Located in the State Park exposed beach break have nice and mellow right and lefts suited perfectly for beginners and intermediates.

Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda


The best month to surf:
October to March
Water temperature: 8 to 11°C (January)
Best swell direction: W, WNW
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
• Moment Surf Co
Private lesson: $200/2h
Group lesson: $140/2h
Safari Town Surf
Private lesson: $79/1,5h
Group lesson: $59/1,5h
• Lincoln City Surf Shop
Prices available upon request

Otter Rock, Oregon North

Located in the Devil’s Punch Bowl State Park, this exposed beach break offers good rights and left for beginners and longboarders. 

Otter Rock

Otter Rock

The best month to surf: October to March 
Water temperature:  8 to 12°C (January)
Best swell direction: W
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
• Pura Vida Surf Shop
Private lesson: $80/1,5h
Group lesson: $65/1,5h
•Ossie Surf Shop
Private lesson: $100/1,5h
Group lesson: $60/1,5h


Port Orford, Battle Rock

Winter swell will offer a good ride for shortboarder in this shore break that sits at the south end of the beautiful tiny little town.

Port Orford

Port Orford

The best month to surf: September to November
Water temperature: 10 to 13°C
Best swell direction: W, SW
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
Surf Coast Tours
Group lesson: $100/4h
Oregon Surf Adventures
Private lesson: $169/1,5h
Group lesson: $25/1,5h
• Go Skate
Private lesson: $129/2h

Best surf spots in Washington

Long Beach Peninsula

A classic beach break that has some surprises on a big swell day. Located on a white-sand beach and it’s 28 miles long – you won’t have hard time to find several breaks nearby. 

Long Beach Peninsula

Long Beach Peninsula

The best month to surf: October to March
Water temperature: 8 to 10°C (January)
Best swell direction: W
Average board rental: $20/a day

Best surf schools:
• Skookum Surf Co.
Private lesson: $179/2h
Group lesson: $99/2h
• Big Foot Surf
Private lesson: $149/2h
Group lesson: $110/2h

 

La Push

A decent beach break at the cove that works well on the mid tide. Located at the La Push Road on the Route 110.

La Push

La Push

The best month to surf: May to August
Water temperature: 14 to 17°C (August)
Best swell direction: SW
Average board rental: $20/a day

Best surf schools:
• La Push Surf Adventures
Private lesson: $120/1,5h
Group lesson: $100/1,5h

Westport/Olympic Peninsula

Close to Gray’s Harbour this spot is reliable break break that works the best on the N or E winds.

Westport/Olympic Peninsula

Westport/Olympic Peninsula

The best month to surf: October to March
Water temperature: 7 to 9°C (December)
Best swell direction: W, SW
Average board rental: $20/a day‚Ä®

Best surf schools:
• Westport Surf Shop
Private lesson: Available upon request
Group lesson: Available upon request
Steepwater Surf
Private lesson: Available upon request
Group lesson: $115/1,5h

Best surf spots on the East coast in US

Best surf spots in Florida

Ponce Inlet

A quick paddle across the inlet and you will find this nice right point break that offers long ride for goofy footers.

Ponce Inlet

Ponce Inlet

The best month to surf: September to March
Water temperature: 19 to 22°C (February)
Best swell direction: SE
Average board rental: $20/a day

Best surf schools:
• Nappy Dog Surf
Private lesson: Available upon request
Group lesson: $30/1h
• Pure Life Surf School
Private lesson: $85/1,5h
Group lesson: $60/1,5h
Drake Hickman Surf School
Private lesson: $125/2h
Group lesson: $70/1,5h

The Ghetto Pier

Daytona Beach Pier, a.k.a. The Ghetto Pier is the place for longaboarders to master their hang tens on a nice and long right break.

Daytona Beach Pier

Daytona Beach Pier

The best month to surf: September to February
Water temperature: 18 to 22°C
Best swell direction: E
Average board rental: $20/a day

Best surf schools:
• Vast Oceans Surf and SUP School
Private lesson: $85/1,5h
Group lesson: $80/1,5h
• Sean’s Surf School
Private lesson: $25/1h
Group lesson: Available upon request
• Ron John Surf School
Private lesson: $65/1h
Group lesson: $50/1h

Cocoa Beach Pier

Home to 11-time world champion Kelly Slater this spot is a must-experience for all surfers out there. Waves can be found at the both sides of the pier.

Cocoa Beach Pier

Cocoa Beach Pier

The best month to surf: November to March
Water temperature: 20 to 23°C (February)
Best swell direction: SE
Average board rental: $20/a day

Best surf schools:
• Ron John Surf School
Private lesson: $65/1h
Group lesson: $50/1h
Cocoa Beach Surf Company
Private lesson: $50/1h
Group lesson: $40/1h
Blue Coast Shop
Private lesson: $50/1h
Group lesson: $15/for each additional person

The Main Street Pier, Daytona Beach

Nicknamed the world's most famous beach, Daytona Beach, has one of the most popular break in the region. It’s a regular sandbar break and it’s a must-visit for the avid surfer.

The Main Street Pier

The Main Street Pier

The best month to surf: September to February
Water temperature: 18 to 22°C
Best swell direction: NE
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
• Surfari Surf Shop
Private lesson: $89/1h
Group lesson: $59/1h
Pure Life Surf School
Private lesson: $85/1,5h
Group lesson: $60/1,5h
Vast Oceans Surf and SUP School
Private lesson: $85/1,5h
Group lesson: $80/1,5h

Best surf spot in Georgia

The Pier, Tybee Island, Georgia (2nd street)

Tybee is a 3 miles long island that has two main surf breaks, The Pier and North Beach. The pier is a right and left sandy bottom beach break.

Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island, Georgia

The best month to surf: June to November
Water temperature: 27 to 28°C (August)
Best swell direction: SE, E, NE
Average board rental: $40/a day

Best surf schools:
• Tybee Surf School
Private lesson: $75/1,5h
Group lesson: $59/1,5h
North Island Kayak
Private lesson: $50/2h
Group lesson: Available upon request

Best surf spots in South Carolina

Burkes Beach

A beach break where waves tend to break both ways depending on swell. Best during the hurricane season.

Burkes Beach

Burkes Beach

The best month to surf: June to November (hurricane season)
Water temperature: 26 to 28°C (September)
Best swell direction: SE
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf schools:
• Surf Hilton Head
Prices available upon request
Forest Beach Surf & Cycle
Surf lesson starts at $75/h

The Washout, Folly Beach

The most consistent spot in southern South Carolina is a pier break that offer both rights and lefts.

The Washout, Folly Beach

The Washout, Folly Beach

The best month to surf: June to November (hurricane season)
Water temperature:
26 to 28°C (September)
Best swell direction:
SE
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf schools:
Sol Surfers
Prices available upon request
• Isla Surf School
Private lesson: $85/1,5h
Group lesson: $45/1,5h

Isle of Palm Pier

Long and sandy beach it has a break that works the best during hurricane season.

Isle of Palm Pier

Isle of Palm Pier

The best month to surf: June to November (hurricane season)
Water temperature: 26 to 28°C (September)
Best swell direction: SE

Best surf schools:
• Carolina Salt Surf Lessons
Surf lessons starting from $45
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf spots in North Carolina

Duck Pier, the Outer Banks, North Carolina

A popular surf spot over the years and has waves on both right and left size. Be careful and don’t surf too close to the pier.

Duck Pier

Duck Pier

The best month to surf: September to December
Water temperature: 26 to 28°C (October)
Best swell direction: S, SE, SW
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
• Outer Banks Surf School
Private lesson: $105/1,5h
Group lesson: $65/1,5h
Surf Hatteras
Prices available upon request
DVO
Private lesson: $79/1,5h
Group lesson: $69/1,5h

Kitty Hawk Pier

Close to Pelican’s Perch, Kitty Hawk is another pier and it can hold a proper size and works on all tides.

Kitty Hawk Pier

Kitty Hawk Pier

The best month to surf: September to December
Water temperature: 26 to 28°C (October)
Best swell direction: SE
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
• Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School
Surf lessons starting from $69
Farm Dog Surf School
Private lesson: $120/1,5h
Group lesson: $75/1,5h

Kill Devil Hills

A fun wave to ride, this spot is about a half mile north of Avalon pier and it is located at the public beach (read might get busy on the holiday season).

Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills

The best month to surf: September to December
Water temperature: 26 to 28°C (October)
Best swell direction: N
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
• Pit Surf Shop
Private lesson: $80/1,5h
Group lesson: $55/1,5h
• Nag’s Head Surf Camp
Prices available upon request

Best surf spots in Virginia

1st St. Jetty

Located on the beautiful Virginia Beach, 1st St. Jetty is one of the most consistent waves on the East Coast.

1st St. Jetty

1st St. Jetty

The best month to surf: August to November
Water temperature: 23 to 25°C (August)
Best swell direction: ESE
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf schools:
• WRV Surf Camp
Private lesson: $60/1h
Group lesson: $45/1h

15th St. Pier

A wooden fishing pier that is off the limit during summer time (surfing is prohibited) comes alive during winter time. When the conditions are right –  south swells can even produce tiny little right barrels.

15th St. Pier

15th St. Pier

The best month to surf: August to November
Water temperature: 23 to 25°C (August)
Best swell direction: WSW

Sandbridge Beach

A popular surf spot for Virginia Beach locals – has four different breaks all together: Little Island Pier, S-Turns, Rock Lane and the Market.

Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach

The best month to surf: August to November
Water temperature: 23 to 24°C (August)
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf schools:
• Surf & Adventure
Private lesson: $95/1,5h
Group lesson: $65/1,5h
Ocean Rentals Ltd
Private lesson: $95/1,5h
Group lesson: $65/1,5h
VB Surf Sessions
Private lesson: $79/1,5h
Group lesson: $65/1,5h

Best surf spots in Delaware

Fenwick Island

An exposed beach break that works most of the times and is rarely crowded.

Fenwick Island

Fenwick Island

The best month to surf: August to October
Water temperature: 22 to 25°C (August)
Best swell direction: S, SE
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
Wave Riding School
Private lesson: $85/1,5h
Group lesson: Available upon request

Bethany Beach

Another exposed beach break that offers both left and right-hand waves.

Bethany Beach

Bethany Beach

The best month to surf: August to October
Water temperature: 22 to 25°C (August)
Best swell direction: ENE
Average board rental: $25/a day

Best surf schools:
RB Surf Boarding School
Private lesson: $110/1,5h
Group lesson: $75/2h

Indian River

A great spot for longboarders – long waves can get big without being too heavy.

Indian River

Indian River

The best month to surf: August to October
Water temperature: (August)
Best swell direction: S
Average board rental: $30/a day

Best surf schools:
• The Ocean is My Guru
Private lesson: $120/1h15min
Group lesson: $95/1h15min


Surfing capital of US

Huntington Beach a.k.a as “HB” is without a doubt a Surfing Capital of United States. The city offers one of the most consistent waves in California – hence the popularity of the spot. It’s hotspot for numerous surfing competitions such as US Open of Surfing and it’s a place where the legends like George Freeth, Duke Kahanomoku, Kelly Slater and Andy Irons have surfed at the both sides of the pier. Huntington Beach was officially named as the Surf City USA in January 2008, after a long trademark argument between the Southern California city and Santa Cruz.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach

With over 10 miles on sandy beach and numerous of post, the the north side of the pier have excellent rights and can handle big winter swell and the south side have some great left that run all the way through the famous pilings. SoCal surfers are friendly, but the place tends to get (not surprisingly) really busy – over 3.9 million visitors travel to Huntington Beach annually. Respect the locals and have some fun surfing those legendary waves!

Surf camps in California for beginners

• Surfhouse, Encinitas, CA
Only two blocks from Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas, this chic hotel used to be s rundown motel – now fully-functioning surf powerhouse.

7-night all-inclusive stay for $1,145:
+ Surf lessons
+ Yoga
+ Surf guiding
+ Custom surf trips

• Surf Diva, San Diego, CA

Located in the laid-back La Jolla Shores, Surf Diva has been serving as a surf camp for over 20 years and prides itself with high-quality teachers. Specialised classes for children, teens and women-

5-day full-time camp from $650:
+ Land lessons
+ Surf lessons
+ Beach games

• Endless Summer Surf Camp, San Clemente, CA

Set up on the San Onofre State Park this surf camp have had students like Julia Roberts and Leo DiCaprio. Run by former member of the USA National Surf Team.

5-day over-night camp from $1095:
+ Accommodation
+ All meals
+ Drinks and snacks
+ Supervision for kids
+ Surfing equipment
+ Surfing instruction

Surf camps in Florida for beginners

• Pure Life Surf School, Daytona Beach, FL

Established in 2009, this summer camp in Daytona Beach Shores is specialised for kids and adults and offers classes for all levels.

5-day half-day surf camp from $225:
+ Yoga
+ Surf instruction

• Jax Surf and Paddle, Neptune Beach, FL 

North Florida’s surf school offers not only surf classes but also paddle and fitness classes.

5-day half-day surf camp from $350:
+ Surf instructions
+ Lunch
+ Snacks and refreshments
+ Theory class

• School of Surf, Cocoa Beach, FL

A small surf school at the famous Cocoa Beach (Kelly Slater’s home break) run by professional surfers.

5-day half-day surf camp from $365:
+ Surf instructions
+ Lunch
+ Theory classes

 

Surf Seasons Guide