“Are there really waves in New Jersey?”
As traveling surfers from New Jersey, it used to be a regular occurrence that people would ask, “are there even waves in New Jersey?” People unfortunately associated the beaches (and the surf) of New Jersey to the MTV show Jersey Shore, where they see crowded beaches for miles usually with little or no waves in the background. Most people aren’t aware that New Jersey does get world-class surf. During the summer we get great mellow, beginner friendly waves accompanied with warm weather and water. Every now and then during the summer months an early season hurricane will send New Jersey solid ground swell which turns those mellow small waves into top to bottom grinding surf (see below).
This picture of Mark Gilmartin is from Hurricane Arthur July 4th, 2014 at our Belmar location! (Photo: Matt Catalano)
Then comes Fall when the water temps dip a little bit but the surf really comes to life. Hurricane season is in full swing and we commonly receive long period ground swell from those storms, and the air and water temps can be compared to South California. The change of seasons is occurring as well which will often generate strong coastal storms during the Fall months. These storms commonly generate strong onshore winds that will kick up some solid surf, usually as these storms move out to sea they will leave the beaches of New Jersey will clean solid surf (see below).
This picture of Shaun McGrath was take in October of 2007 after a low pressure system moved off our coast. (photo: McKnowledge)
As the leafs pile up on the streets and the day-light hours dwindle in New Jersey, the winter season settles in for the long-haul. It is during the winter months that New Jersey can produce some serious surf. Water temps will get in the lower 30’s and air temps occasionally in the single digits. Winter storms in the northeast will test even the most committed and hardened surfer. Gearing up for a solid winter day can sometimes feel like preparing for battle. Solid swells and stiff off-shores are common during these and the crowds have thinned out to just you and your best friend if your lucky.
This picture of our Point Pleasant manager Brendan Tighe was taken during the Dooms Day Swell on December 27th, 2013 (Photo: Mike Incitti)
Then comes Spring! Birds are chirping, leafs are turning green and people start coming out of hibernation here on the Jersey Shore. The water temps remain quite cold still but the air warms up fast making your surf sessions much more bearable than it was in February. This is another transitional weather period for New Jersey and it is often during these times that we will get coastal low pressures systems making their final bouts with our coast before the summer doldrums set-in. The surf during the Spring can be hit or miss in New Jersey, you might not get the well overhead surf you can experience during winter but often times the Spring months will offer playful waves that everyone can enjoy.
This picture again of Brendan Tighe was taken during the Spring of 2010. (Photo Joanne O’Shaughnessy)