When you think of the typical surf state, Texas may not be on the top of your list, and understandably so.
Texas is often overshadowed by states like California, New York, or Maine, but it still has a vast selection of waves to choose from, and no we aren’t talking about just from the wave pool.
The surf in Texas is pretty inconsistent and small on most occasions, but if you are patient and diligent at looking up incoming swells, you might just score!
In this article we will look at some different breaks throughout the coasts of Texas and why they are worth a visit from you.
What’s So Special About Surfing in Texas?
Waves in Texas
You can find some of the best waves in Texas during the spring season.
During this time, you can catch the end of the winter swells and start to experience the beginning of the summer swells.
If you are looking to visit, you’ll have the best chance at scoring during this time!
With that being said, Texas is pretty small and mushy for the majority of the year.
That doesn’t mean the waves aren’t surfable, it just means you may have to work a little harder.
However, if you stick it out until the summer and fall hurricane swells, the waves may give you a run for your money.
The Surf Culture in Texas
Surfing in Texas is just that, special! Since the culture of Texas isn’t created solely around surfing, you get to experience a whole new environment.
In the coastal cities imagine this: western town meets surf city.
Two things that seem to not mix well, combine to create an entertaining and welcoming place.
Equipment Needed When Surfing in Texas
Throughout the year, the water temperature here ranges all the way from 59-87 degrees.
With that being said, be prepared with a full suit during the wintertime, and just stick to your boardies in the summer.
Don't forget reef-safe sunscreen too — the Texas sun can create dangerous sunburns.
The Best Surf Spots in Texas
Galveston Shipping Channel
The Galveston Shipping Channel isn’t the most traditional way to catch a wave, but it can result in some of the longest and cleanest rides you will experience in Texas.
Instead of reacting to the wind and swell patterns, the waves here are formed by super tankers that pass through this channel.
To experience this for yourself, you need to reach out to the company Tanker Surf Charters.
They will bring you out to this Channel on a busy day when waves will constantly be coming in.
While this may be one of your more expensive surf sessions, it is arguably one of the most reliable places in Texas.
While taking a trip to Corpus Christi, you won't be held to testing out just one wave.
Within this area, there are a variety of different breaks including Packery Channel Jetties, Bob Hall Pier, and North Padre Seawall.
One of the most reliable out of the three is Bob Hall Pier.
This wave is an exposed beach break that works best under a Southeast swell and western winds.
Since this wave is a beach break, you can find people going both left and right, so it’s fun for everyone!
Plus, the tide has little effect on the conditions here, so that's one less thing you need to check before paddling out.
Post Aransas is another exposed beach that is known to be inconsistent, but when it is working it draws in a crowd.
You can find the most luck here during a winter hurricane swell when the wind is coming from the northwest.
If all of these conditions align, a large swell can bring in clean, overhead barrels that will test the abilities of some more experienced surfers.
However, this break can be surfed by all sorts of skill levels during the rest of the year when the waves are a bit softer.
South Padre Island
Like many of the other breaks in Texas, South padre Island turns on during hurricane swells.
Waves get pushed up from the center of the Gulf of Mexico and make their way over to the coast of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Two notable breaks within the stretch of South Padre Island are Boca Chica and Isla Blanca.
Both these spots are exposed beach breaks but work best under different swell directions.
Bosa Chica is best during a Northeast swell, while Isla Blanca peaks during an East-Southeast swell.
However, crowds do tend to form at these breaks, because this beach is one of the most popular in the state.
Just taking a look at its name, it’s no surprise that Surfside Beach can bring in some surfable waves.
During small swells when everywhere else is flat, you can come here and most likely have a better chance at scoring some waves.
One reason for this is the depth of the water.
Since the water is deeper, it allows an oncoming swell to come and go without changing much of its size.
While this doesn’t necessarily sound like a great thing, it prevents swells from shrinking the size of waves by dragging the shallow water out, and leaving the beach completely flat.
Waco Surf Pool
Arrive at the Waco Surf Pool and you’ll see green chest-high waves rifling 30-60 yards through an expansive pool.
Organized in three-wave sets, each wave comes 70 seconds apart at this wave pool surfing venue. With 120 to 160 waves per hour, it’s guaranteed that you’ll score plenty of waves.
The wave sizes and peaks include:
Freak Peak Wedge: 2 waves that collide from either end of the lagoon creating the perfect air ramp
Waco Wedge: Slab barrel wave
Peel: A fast, hollow, and peeling wave perfect for longboarding.
What To Do In Texas When the Waves Are Flat
If you find yourself in one of Texas’ coastal cities but can't find any surf, don’t worry, there’s so much more you can do.
Sticking to watersports, stand up paddleboarding could be an alternative option for you. Since you technically don’t need any waves for this activity, get out there whenever you’d like.
Plus, there are tons of attractions that fill the Texas Gulf Coast. Some being the Space Center Houston, USS Lexington Museum, Port Bolivar Ferry, and the Texas State Aquarium.
Don't forget to check out the Texas Surf Museum!
Surfing in Texas
Although when I think of surfing, Texas doesn’t immediately come to my mind, it is pretty clear it’s worth a visit.
Texas has 367 miles of coastline to work with, and you may just find your new favorite surf spot while searching there.
So, with the help of this guide, pick a few places to visit and test out if you ever find yourself on the coast of Texas!