Top Texas Surfing Destinations

Texas Surfing Destinations

Best Surf Spots in Texas

Looking for your local Texas Surf Spot? Choose an area for Texas Surf or look at the map below to find your local surf break. You can also check the surf report for your local break to make sure that you find better Surf In Texas up and down the Third Coast. Make sure that you also check our Texas surf cameras to know what the surf will be like before you head out. For forecasting, you can also check the wave model and surf report displays from G Town to South Padre Island that includes Galveston (G-Town), Surfside, Matagorda, Port A, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island.

Ready to paddle out and go surfing in Texas? Here is an overview for Galveston (G-Town), Surfside, Matagorda, Port A, Corpus Christi, or South Padre Island so you know what gear to bring:

Month Water Temperature (F) Wetsuit Wave Height
Jan/Feb 59°-65° Fullsuit 3/2 3-4 Feet
Mar/Apr 66°-68° Fullsuit 3/2 2-3 Feet
May/Jun 75°-84° Boardshorts 1-2 Feet
July/Aug 80°-87° Boardshorts 1-2 Feet
Sep/Oct 75-78° Boardshorts 3 Feet
Nov/Dec 66°-69° Springsuit 3-4 Feet

Check out our Surfing in Texas beach guide to find your local break!

South Padre Island Surfing

South Padre Island is the premier surfing destination in Texas. It is the most consistent surf spot due to the fact that the continental shelf is closest to the coast at this point, plus its swell window grabs North, East, and South swells. This deeper water draws more fetch and even has the ability to bring in the groundswell.

The best place to find surf is by the jetties, where it can get overhead plus. Steamers are further down the beach along with tons of wide-open beach breaks by the hotels. When a North swell hits, Boca Chica is a left that breaks more like a point break. The Boca Chica Jetty also will break on a larger swell. If a hurricane swell rolls through, the Cove breaks in the channel.

The best place to find surf is by the jetties, where it can get overhead plus. Steamers are further down the beach along with tons of wide-open beach breaks by the hotels. When a North swell hits, Boca Chica is a left that breaks more like a point break. The Boca Chica Jetty also will break on a larger swell. If a hurricane swell rolls through, the Cove breaks in the channel.

If you have the four-wheel-drive you can head to the Port Mansfield Jetties that are about 40 miles north of Port Isabel. The crowds will be lighter due to the distance and method of transportation need to surf there. If you want to surf in Texas, this is the best place to get it!

Corpus Christi

The Corpus Christi and Port Aransas (Port A) area is know as the Coastal Bend of Texas. It pulls in some of the best surf in Texas, and this is also one of the windiest places on the coast. Many of the breaks have heavy currents and riptides. The locals in the area are very friendly (Bob Hall Pier gets a little localized).

J.P. Luby Surf Park

The border between the city of Port Aransas and the city of Corpus Christi is situated south of Fish Pass, just north of the J.P. Luby Surf Park. The Surf Park was, at one time, a destination for Texas surfers, but a hurricane destroyed the pier, turning it into a secondary destination for spring breakers who get duped into coming to Corpus Christi instead of South Padre Island. State Highway 358 also bears the name of South Padre Island Drive. Unscrupulous vacation bookers in the Corpus Christi area sometimes advertise to the spring break crowd on behalf of hotels and resorts that are within spitting distance of the SPID. Some college students may not be familiar with south Texas, so they spend their spring break in Corpus Christi instead of the MTV-famed South Padre Island. Still, others choose Corpus Christi over ‘Dre, as Corpus Christi offers more variety in clubs, restaurants, hotels and shopping than the party 80 miles south.

North Packery Channel beach

Next, you will find a large beach at North Packery Channel beach. This spot was formed with the construction of Packery Channel, which is the separating line between Mustang and Upper Padre Island. The jetties were finished in 2006, and the beach has become a hot spot and is packed during spring break and the summer months. The break here is protected from the wind depending on the direction and can produce some great waves. The South Packery Jetty Beach is usually good if the North Packery Channel beach isn’t working, or vice versa.

Bob Hall Pier

Further down the beach is Bob Hall Pier. This is the most competitive and crowded surf spot in the area. Bob Hall Pier can hold very large surf and are some of the best barrels in Texas. This also a place where fishermen catch sharks.

To travel further down the coast, you will need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The Big Shell is about halfway down the island (20 miles),  and you will see crushed shells everywhere when you get there. The waves break heavy at the Big Shell, and Little Shell is slightly further down. Both breaks are similar and the waves break upon the smashed Giant Gulf Clam Shells.

At the end of the Island lies the North Jetty and the Port Mansfield cut. There are rarely people here, and usually, you will only see fishermen in these parts. A South Swell can create nice tubes, and with west winds, the waves have a great shape, and you are usually alone (maybe see a few sharks).

Port Aransas Surfing

The Port Aransas (Port A) and Corpus Christi area is known as the Coastal Bend of Texas. It pulls in some of the best surf in Texas, and this is also one of the windiest places on the coast. The border between the city of Port Aransas and the city of Corpus Christi is situated south of Fish Pass, just north of the J.P. Luby Surf Park. Many of the breaks have heavy currents and riptides. The locals in the area are very friendly and this area is very friendly to tourists (Bob Hall Pier gets a little localized).

Port Aransas (Port A), Texas is a small coastal resort town (that is growing) about 40 minutes from downtown Corpus Christi. It is home to the University of Texas Marine Studies Institute, along with an assortment of surf shops, restaurants, and fishing charters. Port A may be known for its fishing and beaches primarily, but when the conditions are right, the surf spots in Port A can produce great surf for Texas surfers. There are many local surf spots around Port Aransas, but the one spot you can almost always find surf at is Horace Caldwell Pier.

Horace Caldwell Pier is in the heart of Port Aransas, near all the restaurants and shops, just down Beach Road. It is free to park on the beach (between Markers 52-58), but you must buy an annual permit for $12 if you wish to park or camp on the beach. The permits can be bought at any gas station or store on the island. You can drive on the beach up and down the coast here, and generally, you do not need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to drive on the beach.

There are a ton of surf shops in Port Aransas, where you can rent surfboards, buy gear, get surfing lessons, try SUP boards, and get anything else you may need for the beach in Port A.  A couple of our favorite surf shops are Board House, Port A. Surf Company, and Third Coast Surf Shop. Most shops will have updates on Port A. surf reports and conditions as well.

There are also a lot of great options for surf schools in Port Aransas. Texas Surf Camps and the Expedition School are several surf camps that are held during the summer for kids and adults who want to learn how to surf in Texas. They both are great companies to help teach your children or family and friends to learn how to surf in Texas.

How To Get There

There are several ways to get to Port Aransas, one way is taking state Highway 35 to Business 35 in Aransas Pass, and then continuing to Highway 361. You can cross the pass directly on the car ferries that connect Port Aransas with the Aransas Pass (the mainland). There is no charge to take the ferries, and the service runs 24 hours a day.

Where to Surf

On the North end of Port Aransas are the Port Aransas Jetties. The jetties are there to protect the Port Aransas Ship Channel, where cargo ships and chemical tankers navigate through to the Port of Corpus Christi. Across the channel is St. Joe’s (San Jose) Island, an uninhabited isle that runs from Port Aransas north to Matagorda Island. On big South swells, St. Joe’s can be a good place to score clean walls that break on the sandbars on the Northside of the jetty.

Sometimes the waves are sloppy and mushy, but the jetty offers protection from the strong southerly winds and will help you find surf that is sheltered from the blown-out conditions at other Texas surf spots. Access to the island is difficult. If you have a boat or a sea kayak, then you will have decent options to cross the channel. There is also a passenger ferry from Port Aransas to the island, this ferry does not run consistently, however, so make sure that you check the schedule. The last resort would be to paddle across the channel. The channel will make for a challenging paddle and is narrow enough that ships may be hazardous for surfers trying to paddle across the channel. To be safe, if a ship is headed in towards the channel, or is getting ready to approach the turn outbound for sea, don’t be near the buoy while it is passing.

The next established break south of Horace Caldwell Pier is the Fish Pass Jetties but hasn’t really worked in the last couple of years. Once you leave Port Aransas southbound, you will find very little along the highway — just high dunes toward the Gulf and low marshes and flats toward the Intracoastal Waterway. There are a few housing developments, but not much else for about eight miles. You can find Fish Pass by driving south along the beach about two miles from Gulf Beach Access Road 2, or by paying the park entry fee and entering Mustang Island State Park. The jetties mark a pass that has since closed. Popular among longboarders in the Corpus Christi area, the Fish Pass jetties provide protection from heavy north or south winds, resulting in waves similar to those at St. Joe’s Island — workable, sometimes long, but mushy waves — on either side; however, the section between the jetties can sometimes get hollow and dumping. The overall vibe there tends to be very laid-back, and visitors will find locals to be helpful and friendly.

The border between the city of Port Aransas and the city of Corpus Christi is situated south of Fish Pass, just north of the J.P. Luby Surf Park.

Some other consistent surf spots to visit nearby are Bob Hall Pier, Packery Channel, and Fish Pass. These surf spots are all along Mustang Island heading South on the beach to Corpus Christi. It is usually easy to find uncrowded Texas surf breaks along the coast here, but when a good swell is hitting the word travels quickly, and there can easily be several hundred Texas surfers out at any Texas surf spot.

Surfing Galveston

Galveston (G-Town) is the Northernmost surf destination in Texas. It is very popular due to its close geographical distance from Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. The water in Galveston is extremely shallow, and the Continental Shelf extends for miles upon miles on the beaches of Galveston. Rarely do ground swells make it to Galveston, and a longboard will most likely be your surfboard of choice. On stronger swells, the beach breaks along the jetties and piers generate size creating solid peaks. You can rip these waves on a shortboard or a longboard.

When venturing from 61st Street Pier along the Galveston Seawall you can find peaks from the pier to the Flagship Hotel. Rock Jetties (groins) hold sand in place creating sand bars, and the surf can range from small blown out junk, to long peeling waves reeling off the jetties. The jetties are the best location for barrels. If you are looking for a quick paddle out, the groins also generally have riptides that will take you out to the lineup.

The most consistent spot in Galveston is the Flagship Hotel Pier (the west side of the pier is better for surfing and is more crowded). You can find both right and left peaks off the T-Head of the pier. Few people surf East of the Flagship. The beach is always crowded, and despite what the surf is doing at the Flagship Hotel Pier, there is always an audience.

The Jetty on the 53rd Street produces surf, and the 37th Street Jetty (37 Dump Street) has a left that can provide some critical sections as well. If you head to the Saint Louis Hotel, the beach break becomes slower and turns to mush.

The west side of the 61st Street Pier has a great outside break with a jetty on the inside bowl. The Northside of the jetty produces better surf, and you will find more shortboarders in the lineup.

Heading Southwest from Galveston to Surfside Beach, you will find some waves near Pirate’s Beach, Bermuda Beach, and Jamaica Beach. After that, there are miles of beach break towards the San Louis Pass, where the currents are extremely dangerous, and there are also sharks. So it is advised to stay clear.

Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach provides quality surf on the Texas Gulf Coast. It has deeper waters than Galveston and very long jetties. The deepwater is only 8 miles offshore in Surfside, vs. 35 miles in Galveston, and results in producing much more consistent surf.

Surfside Beac TexasThe south side on Quintana is generally smaller and the waves have less shape between the fishing pier and the jetties. It stays clean when the wind is blowing from the Northeast to East, while Surfside during the same conditions would be blown out. Outside of the Quintana jetty is mysto-break, which breaks on a giant east swell as it comes across the channel wall and jetty. It can hold up to double overhead waves, and these conditions, produce great barrels. It is a difficult paddle out and the lineup can be intimidating.

North of Surfside you will find the break “Assholes” (named after the surfer’s feelings towards the homeowners), and can provide consistent surf with waves that break nearly onshore. You can reach Assholes by a road that passes through the houses at the break.

Boilers are the next spot you will come across and is located at the spot of the submerged Confederate Blockade Runner, the Acadia. The boiler stacks are exposed, and that is why it is named Boilers. The sand bar builds off of the buried ship and can create a hollow wave depending on the buildup.

Matagorda

Matagorda is a remote Texas Surf destination, that has a series of surf spots near the Colorado river mouth at the end of Highway 60. It has deep waters offshore, resulting in the waves packing more punch than other spots on the upper coast. It is an exposed beach, that breaks in shallow water. This is a great place to get heavy Texas surf, where you can get dragged and scraped across the rigid bottom. The river mouth produces a good break, and you can also find surf along the north end of the angled pier. You can catch great waves there that get hollow on a decent swell.

North of the pier you will see miles of hard breaking waves, and depending on the sandbar you can find decent peaks. The beach break is heavier here than in Surfside or Galveston and is hardly ever crowded. The Northwest winds blow offshore, and wind swell and groundswell make it to Matagorda. The best swells are groundswells that come in from the East. You will find mostly rights up and down the beach. Look out for riptides, currents, shallow water with rocks, jellyfish, and the occasional shark.

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