North Carolina Surf Spot Guides & Reports

Find surf spots in North Carolina. Learn about the best conditions for different spots, find information about the types of waves, and compare surf reports in the region.

North Carolina Surf Guide

North Carolina’s Outer Banks may just be the East Coast’s crown jewel for surf. Outside of OBX, you can find some decent surf throughout North Carolina’s south-facing coast as well.

The Outer Banks is positioned to receive energy from storms from all directions, and while Hurricane season is the star, you can find decent waves here year round.

The rest of North Carolina and its other outer islands can see some relatively decent surf year-round as well.

Just like other places along the Atlantic coast, you can find yourself surfing waves that range from very crowded to not a soul in sight.

Wave types vary, but you’ll find mostly shifting sandbars, inlets, piers, and beachbreak.

Seasons for Surf in North Carolina

  • Fall: Fall is the best season for surf in North Carolina. Temperate water and air along with a mix of decent and consistent swell provides some of the best waves – hollow and barreling – of the year.

  • Winter: Winter can see some extremely cold weather and harsh conditions on the Outer Banks. There’s waves to be had if you can brave the elements. Winter elsewhere throughout the state is a little better protected and a little warmer, but is usually facing the wrong way for winter swells.

  • Spring: Like the rest of the region, spring weather and water temperature is sporadic. Surf is fairly consistent for certain parts of the state.

  • Summer: While most of the East coast goes totally flat for the summer, North Carolina can draw in some surf. If you can stand the humidity, heat, crowds, and surfing restrictions, you can score.

North Carolina Average Monthly Water Temps

You’ll definitely need some cold water gear when the waves are good, but you can get away with boardshorts or something light in the summer and early fall in North Carolina.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. Water Temp (°F) 51° 49° 53° 63° 71° 75°77° 78° 78° 71° 62° 56°
Low 45° 44° 46° 58° 66° 72°71° 73° 74° 66° 58° 52°
High 58° 58° 62° 72° 78° 81°83° 83° 83° 79° 69° 62°