Surf Guide: Long Beach, NY

Surf in New York? Heck yes!

Last year, we covered MI OLA’s founder’s home break of Rockaway, New York City’s surf break.  But a couple miles East of Rockaway is Long Beach, located only 35 miles outside of downtown Manhattan.  Long Beach is a great place to surf, especially with the right hurricane swell. We asked our new MI OLA Brand Ambassador Katherine (@katizmc) to give us the local scoop on this break.

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Surf Guide: Long Beach, New York

My name is Katherine McNamee, I’m from the small beach town Breezy Point, NY, I’m 22 years old, and I have been surfing since I was very small. I am a full time surf instructor during the summer months here in New York City, and teach a lot of different people how to surf.  I’m on the beach all day everyday teaching and surfing.  I surf in NYC all year long, and when I get a chance I like to escape to somewhere warmer. Warm or cold, I love being in the water!  When I’m not surfing, I’m running, swimming, biking, and training for surf both indoors and outdoors.

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Where to Surf:

From the heart of New York City, the Long Island Railroad can have a surfer arrive in Long Beach in less than an hour. Consisting of beach break with rock jetties poking out into the Atlantic, these rocks hold the sand and set us up with shifty sandbars that prove to be a nice landing strip for noreasters and hurricane swells. There are many jetties spanning the entire length of Long beach, and they all produce quality waves.  Lincoln Boulevard (on Surfline) and Lindell/Grand Street are my go to spots when I know the swell is going to be sizable.  On a good south swell, there are usually quality lefts breaking off the jetties and sand bars, with the occasional, but shorter right.  While Lincoln and Grand get very crowded in the summer, there are plenty of other beaches to surf.  The sandbars are constantly shifting, so taking a look around before the lifeguards start work could score you an empty lineup.

Best Tide: Low Incoming

Best Wind: North, Northeast

Access: Easy

Best Swell: South, Southeast

Ability: Beginner to advanced

Best Season: Fall

Best board: any

Best size: waist high to double overhead

Water Temp: 37 degrees F in winter, above 70 degrees F in summer.

Wetsuit: 6 mm in winter, MI OLA bikini in summer.

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Crowd Factor:

Watch out for beginner surfers on small days.  Due to its proximity to NYC, Long Beach tends to get ridiculously crowded when Surfline calls for Good + conditions.  The Quicksilver Pro in 2011 also helped put this beach town on the map.

How to get there:

I always travel from Rockaway Beach in search of bigger waves, it takes me about 20 minutes by car.  While the subway does not go to Long Beach, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR does), making it a super easy and comfortable 52
minute commute from NYC!

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Other Surf Breaks:

The farther West (towards NY harbor) is Rockaway Beach. It accessible by subway, so some choose to surf there over Long Beach.  Lido Beach, Robert Moses, Fire Island, South Hampton and Montauk are all further East on Long Island, offering plenty of great beach break and the occasional small point break on a quality swell.

Surf Shops:

Long Beach Surf Shop, UnsOund Surf, Maritime Surf, Moku Surf Shop, Atlantic Beach Surf Shop

Places to Eat:

After an epic hurricane session in Long Beach, it is a tradition to go to the Laurel Diner or the Lindell Deli, and get a killer breakfast!