Belmar - Surfing & Windsurfing

Made possible by

About

Summary

If you’re a serious surfer, Belmar is one of the top spots on the East Coast, especially in early September when it’s hurricane season and the waves are huge. Most of the time, it’s small swells and beginner-friendly though!

Written by

Molly Hurford

Distance

0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

42.5 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 days

Seasonality

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Late Spring-early Fall

Dog Friendly

No

Fees Permits

Yes

$7 during the season

Land Website

Belmar Surfing

Review

Intro

New Jersey is the king of East Coast surfing, and I don’t just say that because I’m a native. It’s the accepted surf spot of all surf spots when it comes to hurricane season, and while the swells are mild on nice days, the waves can soar to 10-foot high monsters when a hurricane comes close to the shore. And those are the days that the surfers make their finest appearances.

What Makes It Great

The Belmar Pro is one of the biggest surfing competitions on the East Coast and it takes place in September—the best time for big storms and big swells at the Jersey Shore. Some years, the surf has been disappointing, but it’s still a great time to see what the pros can do on their short boards, even on the tiniest of waves. But don’t be fooled by the nice weather surf: The swells can get intense and ultra-choppy when storms blow in, so only experienced surfers should head out when the forecast is bad. 
On an average summer day, you won’t have massive waves or amazing barrels, but you’ll have fun, and typically at least some surf-able (albeit tiny) waves. The average “swell” is about three feet, but keep an eye on surf reports, since as soon as a storm blows in, seven-footers are standard fare.

You’ll need a beach badge during the summer, but if you get there early enough (a smart move to score a good spot in the lineup anyway), you might be able to sneak in before they start charging. But you didn’t hear that from us. 

As temperatures drop, the beach and the lineup get less crowded, but there are still plenty of die-hard surfers who will paddle out when the waves get good in the fall and spring, though it’s rare to spot one in the winter.

Belmar is also home to awesome pizza at 3 Brothers From Italy on Ocean Avenue—the white pizza is amazing and an excellent post-surf treat. If you forgot your wax, the Eastern Lines Surf Shop on Ocean Avenue has you covered as well, and they offer surf lessons if you’re still a newbie.

If you’re over Belmar and craving new waves, Sandy Hook and Manasquan also have excellent surf scenes.

Who is Going to Love It

If you’re a serious surfer, Belmar is one of the top spots on the East Coast, especially in early September when it’s hurricane season and the waves are huge. Most of the time, it’s small swells and beginner-friendly though!

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Parking is fairly easy to find for free, and even easier if you’re willing to feed a meter. Side streets are crowded on weekends but you can usually snag a spot if you’re heading to surf on a weekday. 

It’s about an hour drive from the city, or you can take NJ Transit from Manhattan to Newark and transfer to the Atlantic City Rail Line to go straight to Belmar. The train will let you out about a mile from the beach, but it’s not a bad walk, or you can hop in a taxi. 

Surfing is permitted only on certain sections of the Belmar beachfront, and there aren’t lifeguards on duty, so you’ll need to be prepared to take care of yourself. 

Location

Belmar Surfing

404 Ocean Ave
Belmar, NJ, 07719
40.182415, -74.011756

Get Directions