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Surfing in the Rockaways, NYC

57hours Icon season


All year around, peak season is September through April

57hours Icon nearest-city

Nearest city

Rockaway Beach is just a short subway ride from New York City

57hours Icon duration


1 – 2 hours

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Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Surf like a true New Yorker on the Rockaway Beach

The Rockaways is the go-to spot for city surfers, especially first-timers. Its forgiving waist-high waves help beginners focus on fundamentals, while still offering more experienced surfers a chance to develop their skills. Long stretches of beach house a diverse community, and there’s always space for one more to join. In the end, everyone’s chasing the same goal: to stand up and have a fun ride. It takes practice, but most get there in their first session. In the Rockaways, you’re another New Yorker — just with more sand in your curls and crevices.

Most Popular Itineraries

Learn to Surf With a Private Lesson

$120 per person · 1 hour

If you’re looking for special attention and an experience catered entirely to you, private lessons are the perfect way to get to know Rockaway Beach. Regardless of your expertise level, you’ll get the chance to brush up on your skills and learn some new ones with this one on one instruction.

Group Surf Lesson

$90 per person · 2 hours

Surfing is all about being a part of the community, so bring your own! Small groups make sure everyone gets plenty of attention, with instruction tailored to individual skill levels. Joining alone? You’ll be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience, and you’ll likely walk away with a new tribe of friends.

Semi-Private Surf Lesson

$100 per person · 1.5 hours

There’s no doubt about it, shredding the waves is more fun with a partner. This option is perfect for couples or friends, but regardless of whom you hit the water with, your skill levels don’t need to match. An experienced instructor will ensure you both have fun while tailoring the day to suit your individual needs.

Things you need to know

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

Why should I go surfing?

Surfing is more than a sport. When you’re out on the water, you’re a part of the ocean itself. Watch a professional surfer shred, and you can barely tell where the surfer ends and the wave begins. With the right instruction, you can get there, too. Our guides will teach you to be one with nature and have you dancing on the water in no time.

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

  • An experienced local guide with extensive surfing knowledge
  • Two-hour surf lesson
  • Surfboard
  • Wetsuit

You can continue to use all borrowed gear like surfboards and wetsuits after the lesson for an additional rental fee. Let us know in the booking process, and we’ll make sure you’re set up with the gear you need. Your instructor will call you after the booking to arrange the details.

If you have your own equipment, you are free to use it during lessons.

What should I bring to the beach?

Swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, water, snacks and good vibes — we’ll take care of the rest.

What if I’ve never surfed before?

Surf lessons are recommended for anyone new to surfing.

Waves are smaller at Rockaway Beach, making it an ideal setting for first-timers. A surf instructor will teach you how to be safe, have fun and work toward standing up on your board. It’s all worth all a bit of practice, we promise!

How many lessons until I learn to surf?

Lessons are completely catered to your goals and experience level.

If this is your first time, an experienced instructor will show you the ropes and teach you how to catch waves safely. It’s harder than in the movies, but you’ll get there. Some students will be able to stand up on their first try, while others will require a few more lessons to do the same. There are many factors at play, your fitness level and stamina, surf conditions, winds and tides. One thing’s for sure, we’ll be with you every step of the way, and you’ll have fun doing it.

What's a typical lesson itinerary?

A typical two-hour beginner lesson involves two components: familiarizing yourself with your board on the beach, and then practicing what you’ve just learned in the ocean.

Advanced lessons will be catered to your goals and objectives, and your instructor will discuss with you the techniques you’d like to cover.

How good of a swimmer do I need to be?

No one expects you to swim like you’re in the Olympics, but you need to be able to keep your head above water and know how to tread.

You’ll feel much more comfortable in the ocean if you’re sure you can swim at least two lengths of a pool. Keep in mind that surfing is physically straining, like any sport, so you should prepare beforehand with stretching and light cardio. This way, you’ll be better equipped to handle what the ocean throws, and in a better position to ride the waves with ease.

For kids who are not very good swimmers, we recommend a one-on-one private lesson. They will be kept in shallow water with the constant and complete attention of an expert surf instructor.

What should I do if I wear contact lenses?

Disposable contact lenses are the best option for surfing. Otherwise, you can wear an old pair and close your eyes tightly when underwater. Either way, consider wearing swimming goggles to avoid losing your contacts.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

If your party has kids younger than five years old, contact us before booking. Otherwise, you’re good to go!

What about group sizes and pricing?

We have three options:

  • Private lesson with your surf instructor for $115
  • Semi-private lesson: up to 3 people per instructor for $100 per person
  • Group lesson: Up to 10 people for $90 per person.

Most common group lesson size is 4-5 people per instructor, but lessons can be arranged for groups of any size. Perfect opportunity to go surfing with friends and family.

If joining alone, you’ll be placed with peers with similar experience.

What about bad weather?

Surf instructors are prepared for almost anything Mother Nature can throw and them, and you’ll find yourself surfing in most weather conditions.

If any significant threats to your safety begin to appear, such as thunderstorms or unmanageable waves, your instructor will not hesitate to reschedule your adventure for a more favorable day. Our own 57hours team can confirm that’s rarely the case, though. If you’re really eager, you can get lessons rain or shine, but we have to admit, the beach and sun go hand in hand together, so check the weather forecast!

Cancelation policy

All policies regarding cancellation, rescheduling and trip insurance will be clearly laid out by your guide prior to booking your adventure. Contact us if you’d like more information on a specific adventure.

Getting there

To reach the Rockaways by subway, take the A-Train towards Far Rockaway. From here, you’re within a comfortable walking distance from the beach.

If traveling by car, take the Prospect Expressway to Shore/Belt Parkway East. At Exit 11S, take Flatbush Ave south over the Marine Parkway Bridge to Shorefront Parkway. There is free street parking throughout the area.

Be sure to arrive about 15 minutes early so you can check-in, put on a wetsuit, and start your lesson on time.

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