Best Beginner Surf Spots On The East Coast

Surfing and catching the best waves are a thrill. But when you are a beginner surfer, you need gentle smaller waves to ease into it. It’s an excellent idea to learn how to surf at a beach where the waves are smaller. This article explores the best surf spots to help you find beaches suitable for beginners.

The east coast of the U.S has many beaches that are great for beginner surfers to learn to surf on smaller waves. As far as beginner’s surf spots go, the best would be Cocoa Beach, Florida, Long Beach Island, New Jersey, Montauk, New York, Sea Isle City Beach, New Jersey, and South Beach, Florida.

Beginner surfers learn to surf on smaller waves around 1 to 2 feet high. We discuss the best beginner surf spots on the east coast to help you find the sweetest waves to gain experience. Let’s find out where they are located.

The Best Beginner Surf Beaches on the East Coast

Beginner surfers need smaller waves and experienced instructors. The east coast beaches we listed here stretch from Florida up to New Hampshire and offer the best surf schools, surf shops, and gentle waves for learning how to surf. 

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach in Florida is a popular surfing spot made famous by Kelly Slater. The waters around Cocoa Beach are gentle, with easy waves great for beginner surfers. This beach is perfect for beginners and skilled surfers of all levels.

Cocoa Beach is well-known as one of the best surf spots in the United States to learn surfing. This lovely Florida beach has incredible waves with sandy-bottom breaks that are easy to ride. The unique Florida lifestyle goes hand in hand with the surfing lifestyle found at Cocoa Beach.

Visit the Ron Jon Surf Shop, known as the biggest surf shop in the area. Cocoa Beach is big enough for beginner surfers and skilled surfers. The wide-open beach with the Atlantic Ocean’s warm waters offers reliable waves.

The only problem with Cocoa Beach is that it can get very crowded on weekends. So, if you are a novice surfer best is to go surfing during the week when it is quieter. During the week, you will find more beachgoers than surfers giving you plenty of space to catch some small waves. 

At Cocoa Beach Surf Camp, you can book surf lessons by the hour, day, or week all year round. Private surf lessons are $75 per person per hour with a skilled instructor from Cocoa Beach Surf Camp.

Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Kitty Hawk beach, located on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is by far one of the best beginner surf spots on the east coast.

Kitty Hawk beach is a great beach to catch some sweet waves for surfers of all skill levels. The quiet Cape Hatteras and Kill Devil Hills beaches are other favorite surf spots for beginners.

Beginner surfers love Kitty Hawk beach because it has the best combination of rideable waves, easy access to parking, and is within reach of the best surf instructors.

Book a surfing lesson at Kitty Hawk Kites; their 90-minute lessons are affordable at $65 for groups and $99 for private lessons.

Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Long Beach Island in New Jersey is one of the best beginner surf beaches. The best time to catch waves is from May to September. 

This famous beach is perfect for beginners because it typically has small to medium-sized waves. The beautiful beach offers many surf shops along its eighteen-mile stretch of white sand. 

The best time to surf would be during the week in summer because weekends can be extremely overcrowded. Long Beach Island is a great beach to learn how to surf.

Surf lessons are available on the bayside of the island. Book a few lessons or a surfing camp at LBI Surfing for you or the whole family. LBI Surfing also offers surfing camps that extend over a few days. 

Long Beach Island private surf lessons start from $55 to $75 with one of the skilled surfing instructors at LBI Surfing.

Montauk Beach, New York

Located two hours away from New York lies Montauk beach, an excellent beach for beginners. New York has several great beaches for beginner surfers, like, Ditch Plains and Turtles beach. Montauk Beach is commonly known for the infamous ‘Montauk Monster’ that washed up on its shore in 2008. This lovely beach offers consistent waves created by natural reefs and coves in the area.

The Ditch Plains beach is probably the best beach for beginners but can be crowded on weekends, so instead, go there during the week. After a few hours in the surf, be sure to taste the turkey-and-mozzarella Grant sandwich at the Ditch Witch food truck at Ditch Plains beach.

The beaches are not well-known as the most beautiful beaches in the U.S, but they offer gentle waves perfect for novice surfers to enjoy. The waves are dependable, easy to catch, and easy to ride, just what a beginner surfer needs.

You will be happy to know the people who surf at Montauk beach are super-chill and always willing to offer surfing advice to anyone who needs it.

The best time to surf at Montauk beach is between June and August when the weather is best.

Book a surf lesson at the family-owned Air and Speed Surf Shop. They offer one hour-long private lessons for $100 per person.

Sea Isle City Beach, New Jersey

New Jersey has two great beaches for beginners, and Sea Isle City Beach is one of them. The waves at Sea Isle City Beach are small, steady, gentle, and easy to catch. Sea Isle City Beach is the best surf spot for beginners. The beach is not as crowded as beaches up further north.

At Sea Isle City Beach, you will find a genuine surfing community willing to help beginners get a taste of the surfing lifestyle. Many surf shops make renting easy. Sea Isle City Beach is an excellent beach to learn how to surf.

Book a surf lesson at the Heritage Surf Shop, which has been open since 1964. They offer hour-long group lessons at $20 per person, and private lessons start at $65 per person.

South Beach, Florida

This lovely beach in Miami, Florida, has beautiful waves, warm water, a sandy bottom, and consistent small waves perfect for beginner surfers.

South Beach is a great beach to go surfing in Miami. The waves are small and flat almost every day of the year.

Book a surf lesson at Sobe Surf, the oldest surfing school in Miami. Surf lessons last 1.5 hours and include a surfboard. The private lessons are $120.

A private lesson offers undivided instruction to improve your surfing skills. For small 2 to 4-person groups, the lessons are $80. The surf lessons are taught in water, typically less than 3 feet deep.

The lifeguard tower is located next to the surf school, where you learn in a playful, safe environment to catch waves and have fun.   

St. Augustine Beach, Florida

This lovely beach in Florida is well-known as a perfect surf spot on the east coast for beginner surfers. St. Augustine also has a wide variety of waves perfect for surfers of all skill levels.

St. Augustine Beach is famous because it offers consistent waves perfect for novice surfers. However, during hurricane season, the waves can swell and are best avoided by beginner surfers.

This beautiful Florida beach offers so much and more as a surfing spot. Hardcore surfers, longboarders, shortboarders, and beginners all find waves at St. Augustine Beach.

It offers dependable waves, lots of sunshine, and warm water with temperatures from the 50s in the winter to the 80s in the summertime.

Book a surf lesson at Surf Station Surf School to learn how to surf or stand-up paddleboard. They have the most experienced surf instructors in the area.

Lessons are given at three beaches  St. Augustine, The Hammock Beach Resort, and Crescent Beach. Private lessons are $95, and group lessons for six persons or more are $55.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Wrightsville Beach on the east coast is the best surf spot in North Carolina, with great waves perfect for beginner surfers.

Wrightsville Beach is excellent for beginners because it has moderate and easy riding waves when no storms are on the horizon. Not only is Wrightsville Beach perfect for beginners, but long boarders also prefer it. 

Although the waves are significantly less powerful, Wrightsville Beach still offers rideable waves for the more skilled surfers.

Surfers from across the east coast flock to Wrightsville Beach for its excellent surf, chilled surf town vibe, and family-friendly atmosphere. Wrightsville was named one of the world’s 20 Best Surf Towns by National Geographic Magazine. Wrightsville Beach is one of a few towns in the United States to earn that distinction.

Wrightsville Beach has a growing reputation as a great surf spot and has several surf schools where beginner surfers can learn the ropes.

Wrightsville Beach is also loved by experienced surfers who like the easy, laid-back waves that perfectly fit the relaxed Wrightsville Beach vibe. There could be no better surf spot to learn how to surf than on the lovely beach of Wrightsville Beach. Other beaches that are great for beginners are Wilmington and Figure Eight Island. 

Book a surf lesson at Safest Surf Lessons. The 1.5-hour lesson is $80. Safest Surf school is the most effective and safest place to learn to surf at Wrightsville Beach. Surf lessons include all equipment.

Their proven style and method of teaching make surfing easy for every beginner surfer. They fine-tune each surf lesson according to your skill level and specific needs.

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Best Surfing Schools on the East Coast

The Tony Silvagni Surf School is an excellent surf school with a great reputation on the east coast of the U.S. They offer surfing lessons and high-quality rental beach gear to students.

 You can book a lesson at the Tony Silvagni Surf School at

Wave Masters Surf School

Book a private surf lesson at this well-known surf school to improve your surfing. Wave Master Surf school is famous for its one-on-one instruction from its skilled surfing instructors at Cocoa Beach.

You can book a private or group surf lesson at Wave Masters Surf school here:

South Beach Surf Club

South Beach Surf Club offers surf lessons for every skill level from 10 years and up. Beginner surfers are encouraged to get an introductory hour-to-two-hour lesson to gain experience and confidence. Improve your surfing skills at South Beach Surf Club.

Book a surf lesson at South Beach Surf Club here:

Surfin’ NSB Surf School

Surfin’ NSB surf school offers private surfing lessons and group lessons to surfers of all ages and skill levels in New Smyrna Beach.

Book a private surfing lesson at Surfin’ NSB at:

SoBe Surf Schaool

Learn how to surf at SoBe Surf school. They have been teaching surfing in Miami for more than 20 years, providing quality surfing lessons to beginners. They specialize in teaching children and adults of all ages and skill levels how to surf and enjoy a fantastic time surfing.

You can book a surf lesson at SoBe surf  school here:


A trip to one of these beginner surf spots we listed above will not disappoint. Most east coast surf spots feature gentle waves and mild conditions. Check out all the beaches on here to find the right one that suits your beginner skill level.

If the surfing lifestyle is calling to you, these beaches are excellent for novice surfers, and all of them feature surfing schools where you can take group or private surf lessons.

The beaches are beautiful, with small gentle waves and laid-back surfing communities willing to lend a helping hand to get you on your board surfing.

We hope you found this article informative and that you are well on your way to one of these lovely beaches to try your hand at surfing.