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Where to Surf in Georgia: The Complete Surf Guide for the Peach State

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Most beaches along the Georgia coast aren’t normally thought of as surfing beaches.

Due to the close proximity of the continental shelf Georgia needs very particular swells and conditions in order to work properly.

However, when those conditions are right there are some fun waves to be surfed in Georgia.

They might be tough to find but let us run through some of the best spots in the Peach State.

What’s So Special About Surfing in Georgia?

Waves in Georgia

So Georgia’s coast is extremely close to the continental shelf, like 60 miles close.

The extreme dip in depth along the continental shelf will completely wreck swell energy and lead to mushy unsurfable waves by the time they reach the shore.

However, northeasterly wind swells during the fall and winter give the surf some promise.

Winter is pretty cold but probably the best time to catch decent waves. Summer’s are mostly flat but sometimes tropical storm systems will move through the Georgia coast and create some swell.

The Surf Culture in Georgia

Georgia hasn’t produced much talent over the years and localism isn’t a serious problem.

Due to the inconsistent surf along the coast most surfers have to be extremely patient and wait long periods of time for good waves.

Most surf breaks are public beaches with surfers of all abilities so don’t be too intimidated by surfers in Georgia.

Equipment Needed to Surf in Georgia

Summer’s are extremely hot and humid during the summer so take advantage of the opportunity to surf in trunks during this time.

Winter is another story, you’re going to want a thick wetsuit with a hood and booties.

Don't forget reef-safe sunscreen, too!

The 5 Best Surf Spots in Georgia

North Jetty

North Jetty is a jetty break located on Tybee Island which isn’t too far from Savannah. This break isn’t super consistent but since it’s a jetty it's one of the most reliable spots in the area.

In order for the North Jetty on Tybee Island to get going it needs a northeasterly swell but also works on a powerful windswell because some of those swells are getting wrecked by the continental shelf.

It is usually best during winter which also means the water will be pretty cold so plan accordingly.

Due to its poor quality it's a good spot for surfers of all abilities.

Jekyll Island

Another lackluster break, Jekyll Island has a long stretch of beach with a couple of surfable peaks to be surfed in the right conditions.

Due to its funky offshore sandbars it needs a pretty big swell in order to produce some quality surf.

Since the continental shelf is ruining ground swells the island usually needs a powerful northeasterly wind swell to be surfable.

When it does become surfable it isn’t anything special but typically gives Georgia surfers some fun waves.

Sea Island

Sea Island is a break located in Glynn County Georgia that is capable of producing some decent waves on the right day.

Some of Sea Island is privately owned so access to the beach might be tough in some areas. It’s mostly a beach break that needs a northeasterly windswell to produce surfable waves.

Depending on the conditions it can be a great wave for beginners or the best surfer you know.

It’s usually best during the winter so a thick wetsuit is recommended when waters get really cold. There is little to no localism at Sea Island so go test out the waves yourself.

Tybee Island Pier

On 16th street of Tybee Island is a great pier that offers some solid waves.

Tybee Island is probably the best spot in Georgia for surfing and offers a pretty wide array of surf along its coastline.

The pier works best on a southeast or easterly swell and although it’s not incredibly consistent, it still has surfable waves which can be hard to come by in Georgia.

It usually needs a higher tide in order to work properly. Like any pier it will likely be more crowded than other spots along the beach but in Georgia crowd standards meaning it's not too bad.

Locals shouldn't be a problem either so go and feel free to explore this new pier.

Sugar Shack

Also on Tybee Island, Sugar Shack is a subpar beach break but in the correct conditions it can get pretty fun. It gets its name from a restaurant located fairly close to the break, called Sugar Shack.

The break is technically a sandbar point break and it can get around the head high range when the right swell pushes through.

Like most of Georgia, because of that pesky old continental shelf it needs a windswell to pick up.

More particularly a northeasterly windswell which really doesn’t come along that often.

Crowds shouldn’t be much of a problem at all so have fun exploring this break.

What To Do In Georgia When the Waves Are Flat

Most days out of the year in Georgia will be somewhat unsurfable so it's important to know what to do on those days.

Georgia has quite a few natural landscapes that are very beautiful like Providence Canyon.

Providence Canyon is even nicknamed the “little grand canyon”. It’s also worth exploring some of Georgia’s urban cities like Atlanta or Savannah.

Atlanta is a great city with tons to do.

They have a couple of professional sports teams with some state of the art stadiums so it's definitely worth swinging by a Brave’s or Falcon’s game.

Savannah is pretty close to the coast and has some beautiful old southern architecture that’s worth a visit.

Georgia Surf Guide

While the waves are slow in Georgia, it is a great surf culture to experience. Check out these spots the next time you're in the Peach State!


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