Surfing in Washington: The Best Washington Surf Spots, Tips and More!

surfer wearing alki beanie waxes a surfboard

So, you’re thinking of paddling out? We’ve got you covered: Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer looking for a few new spots, you’re in the right place.

Read on for all things surfing in Washington, including some of the best surf spots, shops, and more!

This post is in partnership with Eva Seelye from Wander in RAW. Wander in RAW is the adventurer’s go-to destination for all things outdoors. Eva’s goal is to provide the tools adventurers need so they can feel confident outdoors while respecting the land, each other, and contributing to the outdoors community in a positive and inclusive way. Browse her pages to find adventure guides, gear and photography tips, the coolest unique rentals around, and outdoor inspiration!

Eva Seelye of Wander in RAW adventure blog


Do people surf on the Washington coast?

100%. The Pacific Ocean offers some of the State’s best and most consistent waves!

Where are the biggest waves in Washington?

The biggest waves, period? We’re going to unofficially say Cape Disappointment, only because the spray from those storm swell hitting the rocky coastline is impressive!

Surf Safety

8 Checks for Safe Surfing:

  1. Surf with a friend - going in twos allows you to keep an eye on each other and call for the other in case of an emergency.
  2. Tell someone where you’re going - let someone know when and where you’re going out and when you expect to be back.
  3. Check weather and tides - check the local forecast for wind, swell, and tide before heading out.
  4. Understand surf etiquette and rights of way - be considerate of other surfers and swimmers!. Running into someone could result in serious injury. Give them space and never drop in on another surfer!
  5. Be aware of rip currents - if caught in a rip current, don't panic! Swim with it (not against it) and slowly perpendicular to it to conserve energy. 
  6. Know your limits - don’t challenge yourself too early and know your limits.
  7. Wear the right wetsuit - wetsuits give some added protection from scrapes on rocks or impacts from other surfboards and keep you warm at the same time. Evo has a great guide for choosing the best wetsuit for you.
  8. Always wear a leash - the last thing you want to do is to get separated from your board!

man wearing alki hat waxes a surf board

Surf Jargon

There are a few specific surf terms we’ll use throughout this post. Here’s what they mean!

Sets: Ocean waves that typically come in a series of seven.

Swell: A succession of waves that don’t crest (or break).

Point break: A wave that breaks off of a point, peninsula, or headland.

Beach break: Waves that break because of a gradual sandy slope.

Reef break: Waves that break over areas of reef. Because we’re in Washington, we’ll experience some rocky reef breaks.

Right-hand break (or right break): A wave that breaks to the surfer’s right.

Left-hand break (or left break): A wave that breaks to the surfer’s left.

Soft top or foam top: Boards that have foam on the top side, so if it hits you in the head it doesn’t hurt!

Hard top: Usually made of wood, polyurethane, or epoxy.

Inside: Refers to the white water, or the second wave breaks, closer to the beach.

Outside: Refers to the waves farthest out. They’re the first catchable waves.

How to Read a Surf Report

Check the surf report before you go! Waves range from flat to 12',–beginner to expert–depending on the season and day. Don't put yourself in a sketchy situation. Only surf what you're comfortable with.

Magicseaweed has a friendly user interface and the basic stats you need to decide if it’s a decent surf day!

They also have an app!

Okay, so what’s a good forecast? So happy you asked.

  • If you’re a beginner, I’d look for 2-3’ waves, but you’ll get a good feel for your ideal wave size soon enough!
  • The more seconds between sets the better.
  • Swell direction is an important piece of the puzzle–a good swell direction for a specific spot varies depending on the landscape. 
  • Slower wind speeds are ideal! You’ll start to understand how wind affects your surf the more you do it.
  • In Magicseaweed, green is good. If the direction is favorable to the surf spot you’re researching, the wind direction will be green.

Pro tip: When the wind blows from shore out to sea rather than from sea on to shore, this is called an offshore wind, and it’s favorable in a surf report!

Where to Find Surf Rentals and Lessons

Ocean Shores

North Coast Surf Shop

From wetsuits with the option to add booties, gloves, and a hood, and surfboards, bodyboards, and skimboards, and more, North Coast Surf Shop has everything you need to rent and paddle out and more. They also have sweet gear, swag, and suits for sale too. Plus, it’s a vibe.

Port Angeles

Northwest Board Room

Northwest Board Room just opened a beachfront surf hut in 2022–paddling out couldn’t be easier! They have surfboards, wetsuits, booties, and stand up paddleboards for rent. Call ahead! Hours and supply are limited. Lessons are also available.

North by Northwest Surf Shop

North by Northwest Surf Shop in Port Angeles will hook you up between May and September. Lessons are also available.


The Surf Shop

The Surf Shop is another surf spot with character–it has basic wetsuit and board rentals for a total of $30.

Loge Westport

Test out performance boards when you rent with LOGE! They have a few options to choose from, starting from $45/day excluding wetsuits ($18). Soft top/foam boards and intermediate hard top boards are also available.

Steepwater Surf Shop

Steepwater takes it a step further than the Surf Shop with an advanced rental option that gives you access to a variety of demo boards of all sizes. Rent the set (with wetsuits and booties) for about $51 a day.

They also have a beginner surfer’s package: for $39/day you get a basic soft top/foam board and a wetsuit with booties.


Urban Surf

Urban Surf is an awesome North Seattle surf shop. Boards are $45/day or less depending on the type you’d like.

Surf Ballard

Surf Ballard will rent you a board, wetsuit, booties, and gloves for $70/day, $100 for two days, or $130 for three. An awesome option if you’re driving out of Seattle and hitting a couple of different spots along the coast!

La Push

La Push Surfing Adventures

La Push Surfing Adventures offers lessons and rentals and even has its own surf camp called The Farm, primed for all things relaxation and peak nature vibes.. Call ahead to reserve your rentals or book a lesson!

The Best Surf Spots in Washington

La Push First Beach

surfer looking at waves

La Push, baby! First Beach has a sandy bay sprinkled with sea stacks and is a popular spot to paddle out in summer and fall. Note: It has moving sandbars and a steep beach drop-off, which together make the beach break a little unreliable any other time of the year. The good news is, they have a webcam that you can check before heading out to see if there’s a swell worth surfing.

Where to Stay in La Push:

  • Sol Duc Den-West: A little studio cabin just outside of Forks and on the outskirts of Olympic National Park with three beds and an outdoor fire pit. It’s the perfect basecamp!
  • Quileute Oceanside Resort: With two motel units, 33 oceanfront cabins, a campground, 10 camper cabins, and two full-service RV parks at the edge of the ocean, there are plenty of options and tons of surf to go around just a few steps from home!

Ocean Shores

This may just be one of the most popular beaches in the State, but you can still find an empty lineup! There’s so much beach to choose from! There are two popular locations at this Washington surf mainstay.  

North Jetty

The North Jetty is the most frequented of the two with a sandy bottom and a jetty.

Pro tip: Get out of the white water fast by catching the expressway–water flows back out to the ocean along the jetty quickly. 

There’s a relatively consistent beach break, best with light or east winds and a southwest swell. Caution: rip currents are expected and weather can change in an instant.

Damon Point

Damon Point is an awesome option if North Jetty’s waves are a little too big–it’s PERFECT for beginners or chill longboard sessions. It pops off in nearly any swell direction, but the ocean swell needs to be about 5’ for it to reach the bay. Unlike the North Jetty, Damon Point requires a 15-minute walk down to the beach break–worth it.

Where to Stay in Ocean Shores:

Crescent Beach

The privately owned Crescent Beach is a little-known surf camp next to Salt Creek Recreation Area. (Definitely check that out too if you have time!) Surfers get beach access, parking, complimentary wifi, and access to a gear rinse station, bathrooms, and hot quarter-operated showers for $8/day. It’s also where you’ll find Northwest Board Room for rentals!

Where to Stay in Crescent Beach:

  • Tent camping, RV sites, and two cabins are available. Check rates and availability here.
  • Whiskey Creek Cabins: 20 oceanfront cabins and a-frames–some almost resembling treehouses–sit at the ocean’s edge just a 17-minute drive from Twin Beach and a 15-minute drive from Crescent Beach.
  • Salt Creek Recreation Area
    • Right next door, Salt Creek Recreation Area offers beautiful camping options for those who plan in advance! Reservations are available February through October and book up fast. Reserve here ($10 reservation fee). All other months are first come first serve!

Read More: Why Salt Creek Recreation Area Should be on Your Must List!


Westport, Washington, is probably the most famous surf spot in Washington for its clean break frequency, variety of difficulties, consistency, and easy access. There are three main surf spots: The Groins, the Jetty, and the Cove at Half Moon Bay.

The Groins

The Groins can offer sizable left-hand point breaks if the swell is right. It’s located right at the entrance to Grays Harbor with up to 20-foot tidal changes, which means the Groins can see powerful currents in a matter of minutes, and the surfer must know exactly how to assess and react to that. Experts only.

If you’re a beginner, please do not attempt this spot.

The Jetty

With a reported 300 days of surfable waves, Rare are the days there isn’t a single wave at the jetty, and the sandy bottom and white water make it the perfect place to paddle out if you’re a beginner. 

It’s always crowded (by Washington standards, so the lineup isn’t bad but the parking is limited), and there’s a ton of whitewater to paddle through.

(Note the expressway is a rip current–advanced surfers use them to get to the outside break quickly, but it can be scary if they’re new to you. If you’re not confident, stay at least 50’ away from the Jetty to make sure you don’t get sucked in!)

The Cove at Half Moon Bay

Once a favorite surf spot, the sandy bottom shifted in recent years, producing a hefty and dangerous shore break. It’s still occasionally surfed, but leave this one to the experts. Maybe stick to the beach and admire the pros.

Know Before You Go:

  • Bathrooms, outdoor showers, and paid hot showers are available. 
  • A Discover Pass is required to park in Westhaven State Park.

Where to Stay in Westport:

  • LOGE Westport: With indoor and outdoor community kitchens, an indoor community room, outdoor fire pits, and a stage for outdoor concerts and movies during the summer months, this is the perfect spot to meet other surfers!
    You can get a latte or beer on site in their cafe, and rent boards and wetsuits too! Kayaks, bicycles, and stand up paddle boards are also available.
  • Westport Inn Cabins: Dorm-like cabins and private cabin options are available with a location that’s hard to beat. You can walk to all three surf spots from here! Amenities differ. Read before you book!

Hobuck/Neah Bay

Consistent surf year round? Sign us up. An exposed beach with a dependable beach break, Hobuck is best with offshore winds from the east and swells from the west. It’s located on the Makah Reservation and offers surfers a bit of variety with lefts and rights. Ideal. It’s also out there at the northernmost tip of the continental US, so the drive is long but the crowds are few. As with any ocean surf, keep an eye out for rip tides and enjoy beautiful breaks almost entirely to yourself.

Know Before You Go:

Visitors must purchase a recreation permit (valid for one calendar year) at Hobuck Beach Resort for $20 per vehicle.

Where to Stay in Hobuck:

  • Hobuck Beach Resort offers 10 RV sites, 26 cabins, and space for about 300 campers just a walk away from quality surf. Some cabins are even dog friendly! 


The quaint coastal town of Seabrook is just 25 minutes north of Ocean Shores with a sand spit that extends several dozen feet into the ocean, creating a nice, relatively calm beach break, perfect for those just starting out. Paddle out in the a.m. for the best conditions!

Where to Stay in Seabrook:

This curated community has plenty of trendy rentals just a short walk from the ocean. I’d recommend the Evergreen Cabin–nothing like a long hot tub sesh after a day in our chilly coastal waters!

Twin Beach

Beginners, this one’s for you!! This surf spot on the Strait of Juan de Fuca is best in the winter months (it occasionally gets too small–even flat–in the summer, with the occasional exception, of course). The east side of the river offers a less-surfed right that often has more energy and breaks faster, and the left is the go-to break and typically offers long rides.

Where to Stay by Twin Beach:

  • Emerald Valley Inn: From tent sites and guesthouses to glamping a-frames, this little refuge is the perfect place to get some R+R after a long day in the waves!
  • Whiskey Creek Cabins: 20 oceanfront cabins and a-frames–some almost resembling treehouses–sit at the Strait’s edge just  15 minutes from Crescent Beach.

Ruby Beach

Cedar Creek opens up into this beautiful, rocky cove with driftwood, sea stacks, and plenty of adventure to go around. It’s named for the little reddish rocks that could be mistaken for Ruby’s! If you’ve looked up photos of the Washington coast, you’ve likely stumbled across this beaut. 

Not much is known about this surf spot’s patterns, but if the report looks nice, it’s a beautiful place to paddle out. Currents can get a little squirrely(thanks sea stacks and rocks), but it’s a totally iconic PNW place to shred some waves if the conditions are right!

Bathrooms and parking available.

Where to Stay Around Ruby Beach:

  • Kalaloch Lodge has two lodging options–a lodge and cabins–and is the only coastal lodging in Olympic National Park. The main lodge is built out of lumber crafted from driftwood, or there are many ocean front cabins to choose from.  There’s also an on-site shop and restaurant. Plan ahead! They do book up fast. 

Rialto Beach

Rialto beach

Rialto Beach is an adventure hub with plenty to do year round. It’s just north of La Push in Olympic National Park, and it’s not only a popular spot to paddle out, but is also one of the only places in the State where you can camp right on the beach.

Hikers: Walk 1.5 miles down the beach for Washington’s Hole in the Wall, accessible at low tide.

Read More: How to Hike to Washington’s Hole in the Wall

Because it’s the ocean, there’s nearly always going to be a wave, but conditions can be unpredictable. Check the surf report before you go, as always!

Where to Stay Near Rialto Beach:

  • Quileute Oceanside Resort: With two oceanfront motel units, 33 oceanfront cabins, 10 camper cabins, a campground, and two full-service RV parks, the options are endless and the surf a plenty. 
  • Rialto beach camping is AWESOME! A wilderness camping permit is required since it’s in Olympic National Park. Snag one here!
  • Sol Duc Den-West: This little studio cabin is just outside of Forks on the outskirts of Olympic National Park. It has three beds and an outdoor fire pit. The perfect basecamp!

Elwha River

It takes a specific swell and wind direction for this surf spot to pop off, but when it does, the mouth of the Elwha River is one of the best places in Washington to get super long rides. With left and right beach breaks, a big, beautiful beach (with driftwood beach huts to relax in), and a local feel, this place is a serious vibe. 

Know Before You Go:

  • Park in the lot at the end of Elwha Dike Road and walk the remaining couple hundred feet out to the mouth of the river.

Where to Stay by the Elwha River:

  • Emerald Valley Inn: From tent sites and guesthouses to glamping a-frames, this little refuge is the perfect place to get some R+R after a long day in the waves!
  • Whiskey Creek Cabins: 20 oceanfront cabins and a-frames–some almost resembling treehouses–sit at the Strait’s edge just  15 minutes from Crescent Beach.

Waikiki Beach

surfer at cape disappointment

Nope, we’re not talking about Hawaii! We also have a Waikiki right here in Washington, and it happens to be a rad surf spot too! 

Located in Cape Disappointment State Park (which is anything but a disappointment), Waikiki Beach is driftwood-filled and can see some massive ocean swells. Photographers and storm watchers come here to catch wild shots of the waves crashing against the rocky cliffs, shooting an impressive amount of spray up hundreds of feet to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. It’s also a popular and super scenic spot to surf (maybe on the not so massive days).

If it’s not poppin’ off, Long Beach just next door is known for its sandy-bottom, consistent, and surfable break. 

Know Before You Go:

  • A Discover Pass is required to visit Waikiki, which is in Cape Disappointment State Park. 

Where to Stay in Long Beach:

  • Boardwalk Cottages: Private, cozy, cute, and just a few steps from the beach, the Boardwalk Cottages have a variety of one-, two-, and three-bedrooms available to rent.
  • Adrift Hotel: Oceanfront and beautifully decorated with a Pacific Northwest, lumberjack-chic vibe, this hotel also has an indoor pool, a delicious top floor restaurant overlooking the ocean, and occasional live music.

Fort Ebey

We’re off to Whidbey Island! Believe it or not, there’s a nice break in Fort Ebey State Park with very few crowds and a relatively consistent break. 

There are left and right point breaks over a rocky reef, and the sets can come in hot with the right conditions. There’s also parking and bathrooms available too!

Know Before You Go:

A Discover Pass is required since you’re in Fort Ebey State Park!

Where to Stay by Fort Ebey:

Fort Ebey has plenty of camping for those wanting to pitch a tent, bring the RV, or embrace van life.

  • Salty Von’s Waterfront Inn’s Strait views are fantastic. You’re also right downtown on the main street.
  • The Anchorage Inn B&B is a beautiful, Victorian-style, seven-room home with complimentary breakfast in Coupeville’s historic neighborhood.

Leave No Trace

Always remember to leave no trace - leave what you find, pack out what you pack in, prepare for every adventure, and respect the outdoors and each other every step of the way. Learn more about how to leave no trace here.

So, what are you waiting for? The water’s fine!

What to Pack

  • Surfboard if you have one
  • Wetsuit if you have one (with booties)
  • A swimsuit if you like to wear it under your wetsuit or peel your wetsuit halfway down for some post-surf hangs
  • A towel changing poncho to make slipping in and out of your wetsuit easier. Slow Tide has some super steezy options
  • Dry clothes to change into
  • A hat for sun protection when you’re not surfing. This is the corduroy hat featured in some of these photos!
  • Sunscreen
  • SPF chapstick. My lips tend to fry when out in the water
  • Snacks
  • Brews if you want!
  • Water. Cramping up in the water is no bueno
  • Discover pass
  • America the Beautiful pass
surfer wearing an alki hat