I just got my surfboard (8'6" funboard) this weekend and I am looking to get into the water as much as I can this summer. The only two times I have surfed so far has been once in Virginia Beach and once on the Outer Banks in NC.
Where are some good places to to in NJ? Any places to avoid? I am really just starting out so I have no idea where spots are around here.
As a beginner, my advice is get in anywhere and almost everywhere as frequently as possible, as long as there are no life guards present. Also, as a beginner, it is best to NOT go in where there are a lot of surfers. You can go one block either way and work on a more crumbly wave. You can get in very early this time of year and have many spots to yourself. Also evening is a great time to get in. I find that an hour or two after low tide is the best time, but it does vary depending on tide depth and sandbars, etc.
Personally, I would rather not be intimidated by a ton of surfers, even if the wave is not quite as perfect. Just paddle out anywhere you can as often as possible and smile.
My advice: Go to Costa Rica. It is cheaper, better food, the people are nice and there is less of them. For the price of a couple nights stay in some lame condo in ocnj you could fund a week long trip to Nicaragua or CR. Your learning curve will be much steeper because of the wave quality and options. When you come back you will be better then most of the people in the water in NJ. have fun!
Spring lake's a good place to learn and is fairly uncrowded. I would stay clear of manasquan if I were you due to the fact that it gets extremely crowded (especially during the summer). My best advice is like the other guys were saying, go to a less crowded break just to get the hang of things and then once things start coming along make your way over to the basic breaks. Even though the waves may not be as great, you will be able to make mistakes and catch more waves without having to worry about millions of other people around you. Best of luck to you my friend!
Thanks everyone for the advice. Though i am certainly not afraid to make a fool of myself out in the water starting out I'll definitely look for less crowded places so as not to get in anyones way.
Sadly I can't make it out to Costa Rica, though I would love to, because I have maybe a weekend free, if that.
I am also cool with driving out to Long Island, but really so long as it's withing a 2 hours drive I'm happy to make the trip. As for one question someone asked "Why only summer?", well not only summer, but it's summer now (not technically, but it's nice out so i call it summer), so i'll start here. I have a 3/2 wet suit so I can start earlier next year hopefully.
Ha! I wish I was you, brother... Starting all over again... all those great waves ahead of you. Moments in time you'll remember for the rest of your life. Friends you've yet to meet.... places you've yet to go... GIRLS!
You're first real tube ride... Your first solo scare session when it's macking and still pretty much dark... The cool buzz you get when you've just had the best session of your life...
Brother... if you don't give up...get bored... or hurt... or turned off by some butthead you can't tune out... if you take your lumps and HANG IN THERE... and if God has given you the talent... you're about to take the trip of your life...
But to answer your question... you can do what everybody's telling you to do here... find a place that's uncrowded... or less crowded... and yea... you'll learn faster, and not piss anybody off... and won't get yelled out of the water.
OR... you could find the absolutely most crowded place you can find... where you're one of the nameless smiling faces bobbing around in the summertime windslop... hands slipping off the rails... board sideways to an oncoming wall of whitewater... leash around the front foot... and NOT TAKE THIS THING TOO SERIOUSLY...