Ruggles, RI. There are not many big wave spots on the East Coast, but Ruggles in Rhode Island can legitimately make the claim. This reef break can hold almost anything that the Atlantic can throw at it. When a macking hurricane swell is closing out the entire North East, Ruggles is one of the few places that can consistently hold the juice. For sheer size and form, Ruggles is most certainly one of the best East Coast surf spots.
Point Judith, RI. This tiny corner of land is home to some of the best point breaks on the East Coast. Although plentiful in New England, point breaks are pretty scarce on the right coast. The concentration of quality points is how Point Judith lays its claim as one of the best East Coast surf spots.
Montauk, NY. Montauk is the point where the mostly featureless sandy coastline of the mid-Atlantic and lower-Northeast finally gives way to the reefs and points of New England. For its exposure to swell and the addition of a bit of variety to the New York/New Jersey surf scene, Montauk is definitely one of the best East Coast surf spots. Montauk offers a smorgasbord of great reef waves and is one of the coolest places in NY to get barreled.
Manasquan Inlet, NJ. Would you believe that the Garden State has some of the best surf around, and Manasquan Inlet is Jersey’s Crown Jewel. Able to hold more size than most of the surrounding beach breaks, ‘Squan is often the go to break when a big swell is pumping. The place does get crowded though, so bring your Jersey attitude. Only the strong survive.
Virginia Beach, Virginia. Home to the 2010 East Coast Surfing Championships, though not as strong as its Outer Banks neighbors. Its best spot is in Croatan near the Rudee Inlet Jetty, which protects against strong currents and helps create long, left-breaking waves and occasional barrels.
North Carolina is located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the southeastern United States. All the swell is produced from the Atlantic.
Be prepared to surf with lots of other people, things can get pretty hectic at some of the better spots along the North Carolina Coast.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC. It is impossible to think of the Outer Banks without picturing the towering black and white lighthouse that has become synonymous with the Cape. The grinding beach break barrels that peel of the lighthouse jetty have always been one of the best east coast surf spots and will always be one of the right coast surfing’s most precious commodities.
The continental shelf at Cape Hatteras is the narrowest and steepest in the Mid-Atlantic, exposing it fully to the ocean’s power, and the curved shape of the Cape’s shoreline allows waves to form at many different angles. The best surfing conditions are found in Autumn and Winter. The water is cold at this time of the year.
Florida's Atlantic coastline is home to some quality surf spots but unfortunately the swells it gets are pretty inconsistent.
Sebastian Inlet, Florida. It is one one of the most consistent breaks in Florida. The beach’s popular First Peak, where a back flow from the Indian River Lagoon creates a fast-breaking wedge, has already helped it land on the international competition circuit. When the big inlet jetty works its refractory magic a sloppy two-foot mush-burger suddenly morphs into a rippable four-foot bowl.
The main swell season in winter from November to March gets the swells from North Atlantic low pressures, generating surf from anywhere between 1-10ft. Summer can have long spells of flat surf broken up by small windswell days. That said the best waves that Florida gets are during the summer cyclone season of August to October. Cyclones tracking from Africa to the Caribbean produce quality offshore surf up to 10ft and perfect.