There is more to New Jersey than The Sopranos and Garden State—it is also one of the most densely populated states in the US, which means crowds on land and crowds in the water. Luckily, Jersey also has one of the most surf-dense coastlines in the US—at least as far as number of surf breaks goes. And if the ocean does happen to go flat, there is virtually unlimited entertainment to be had in the parks and casinos and along the famous boardwalks. If the central East Coast has a thriving beach culture, it’s in New Jersey.

The Surf: Mostly beach breaks and jetties with the odd point thrown in for good measure. In general, this is a beginner to advanced surf region.

Five Waves Worth Surfing:

Five Waves Worth Surfing:

The Season: As with the rest of the East Coast, it’s all about hurricane season in New Jersey, with September through November seeing good weather and consistent swells in water that isn’t too cold. Summer (June through August) is warm and somewhat inconsistent, but still surfable, while spring (March through May) is deceptively cold and less consistent than you’d think. Winter is downright frigid and practically empty, but the waves pump.

The Vibe: Lots of people equals lots of conflict, so summer and fall can be somewhat chaotic—but if you keep your wits about you and don’t hassle anyone, you should be fine. In winter you’ll be begging people to surf with you.

Things To Do: Cruise the boardwalk. Throw away your money at the casinos. People-watch on the beaches. Take a day trip to NYC or Atlantic City. Practice your best Joisy accent—“How you doin’?”

Where To Stay: Jersey is expensive, so if you can, befriend a local with an empty couch as soon as possible.

What To Bring: A shortboard and something fun for small/soft days (longboard or fish). Various rubber suits of different thicknesses, depending on when you are coming and how long you’ll be staying. Cash for the casinos and parking fees and street vendors and practically everything. A few gold chains and some hair gel.

Getting There: Newark Liberty International is New Jersey’s main airport, but the state is less than a day’s drive from practically the entire East Coast. US visa rules apply. Airport code: EWR.

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