Many people think of New York as only the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. But the state is huge, NYC is but a speck on its map, and Long Island juts out in the ocean catching south swells for much of the year. Although there are surf spots relatively close to the city, like Rockaway, which is about an hours drive, Long Island is where most of the action is. The south facing Long Island shore is speckled with long flat beachbreaks like Lido Beach, and reef and point breaks all over Montauk.
The New York coast has a nice long swell window. But the water stays pretty cool, so wetsuits can be worn year round. Spring suits in the warmer months and full coverage into the winter. Large winter swells bring the most powerful surf to the area. Crowds on the beach will be thinner, but if a reef spot is working, there will be crowds in the water. That could mean braving the bitter cold and surfing in the snow. Fall brings hurricane season and south swells from the Caribbean that hit directly onto south facing breaks. New York offers a diverse, dynamic scene for the dedicated surfer and close to one of the most eclectic cities in the world.