In the Hamptons you'll find some of the best surfing on the East Coast, whether it's mid-August or, for the fanatics, right smack in the middle of wintertime. Although there are places to surf up and down the south shore of Long Island, the experts can pinpoint the places where the breaks are just right and where the locals have been surfing for years. And, if you have never been on a board, you can learn from the best. This summer might be a good time to exchange the beach chair for a surf board.
You’ll find less crowds here but the beach is located at the bottom of a cliff, so surfers need to take care getting there with their boards.
Ditch Plains produces probably the most consistent spot. It is often compared to San Onofre beach in southern California. Because of the soft A-frames, you’ll find crazy crowds almost year-round, especially longboarders. Ditch Plains works on any swell, with peaks breaking over a rocky bottom and a reefy left point. Parking is also easy.
Offering a fairly consistent beach break that works best on a southeast swell, the waves at Hither Hills break both left and right, and the surf will typically work at all tides. Northwesterly winds at Hither Hills State Park tend to produce the most ideal and offshore surf conditions.
Formerly called Fortress, for the old WWII-era bunkers along the dunes just in front, the break later became known as Poles for the pilings rising from the beach. Thanks to a major storm many years ago, they have been wiped away. Poles’ triangle-shaped peaks rolling in west of Ditch Plains need significant size to keep rolling. When hurricane season kicks in, outside Poles lines up into one of the longest (and softest) waves around.
Located in the center of Montauk, this is the go-to spot for local surfers. Crowds tend to spread out due to the sand-covered reef, producing great tubes. With one of the best south-facing breaks on all of Long Island, the best time to hit the Terrace is summer and fall, especially when hurricane swells are on the horizon.
Offering a casual atmosphere like Ditch Plains and Poles, a variety of boarders come here sometimes as the overflow spot to the crowded Ditch Plains. If you are a beginner, you may opt for another spot as the large boulders scattered about the rocky and sandy bottom are somewhat dangerous.
The biggest wave on Long Island, Turtles can handle faces nearing 20 feet. However, the main takeoff spot is taboo for outsiders. You are better off sticking to the middle or inside—you’ll catch better waves and avoid confrontations. The point is loaded with tricky currents and must be at least head-high to operate. If you’re going to see a shark on Long Island, it’s probably going to be here. With all the fishing boats cruising by, the spot is a chum pit.
Area Surf Hazards: Montauk has its fair share of sea life. Great white sharks have been known to buzz the beach from time to time, while the Lion’s Mane jellyfish, one of the world’s largest, which can grow as large as 6-feet wide and 49-feet long, leaves a very painful sting. Hurricane swell can bring strong currents and turbulent ocean conditions. Other considerations are hypothermia during the cold winter months and bloated tourists in the summer.
Surf Pollution: In recent years, Fort Pond and Lake Montauk have had some issues with high bacteria count and closures, but by and large, the ocean conditions are typically safe and clean for surfing and swimming.
Located along Dune Road, this popular beach has decent surf where you’ll have room to snag a wave, is easy to get to and has daily parking passes in some areas. Nicknamed “The Bowl,” the Ponquogue beach break has a fairly consistent surf and can work at any time of the year. Offshore winds are from the northwest. Most of the surf here comes from groundswells and the best swell direction is from the southeast. The beach breaks consists of lefts. A fairly popluar wave that can sometimes get crowded Beware of - Rips / undertow - Man-made danger (buoys etc.) - Localism.
Since Meadow Lane beaches require parking passes, this ocean beach has parking (sometimes) so this is a good spot for summer visitors.
This local favorite is located between Dune Road and Meadow Lane with parking at the end of Dune Road near the restaurants in Hampton Bays or the end of Meadow Lane at Shinnecock East County Park.
Created by Montauk native Austin Eckardt, Austin’s Kids Surf Camp is fun for all skill levels. Camp includes instruction on ocean safety and lessons on the tide and rip currents before breaking off into skill level groups and entering the water. Includes two hours of surf time, plus snacks, breaks, and beach games. Gear included. Offered M-F, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for ages 5 through 14, Memorial Day through Labor Day. The club also offers group and one-on-one lessons.
Location: Ditch Plains “Dirt Lot,” Montauk, NY
CoreysWave Kids’ Surf Academy is a two-hour long semi-private group lesson for intermediate to advanced surfers for ages 8 to 16. Students will be educated about different surfing techniques, try different surfing styles, and learn about ocean safety, surf etiquette, and environmental awareness. In Kids’ Surf Discovery, beginner surfers ages 7 to 16 can expect in-depth beginner surf instruction geared towards instilling lasting knowledge of surfing and ocean safety.
Location: Montauk, NY
Pod Camp consists of small, socially distanced groups of surfers that stick together with the same instructors. Accepting ages 4 through 16, but those who are older can schedule a private surf lesson. Camp is offered in weekly sessions, M-F, from 9 a.m. to noon, June 13th until September 3rd.
Phone: Call: 631-725-8695 or Text: 516-885-6607
Location: 78 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963
Offers a full-day week-long Summers Sessions camp (M-F, 9 a.m.-3.30 p.m.) to help kids 8 to 15 build confidence in and around the water with activities including surfing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, kneeboarding, and more.
Location: 50 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963
A year-round surf school in the Hamptons, led by professional surfer Kurt Rist and his trained team of instructors.
Location: Southampton beaches
The longest-running insured and permitted surf camp in the Hamptons. Five-day sessions from 9 a.m. to noon in July and August; three teams are formed by skill level. Each group works
with the same team coaches each day.
Location: Multiple locations
Surf lessons, a girls-only surf camp (beginner to advanced of all ages), stand up paddle board lessons, and corporate events.
Location: 6 Deforest Road, Montauk, NY 11954