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Surfing on Topsail Island

Surfing, fishing, shopping, and golf are all reasons people visit Topsail Island. However, Topsail Island is one of the top destinations in the country for surfing. During the summer months, the Topsail Island population grows by 55,000 additional people, including home renters, hotel guests, and other individuals who are visiting the island. Many of these people are visiting Topsail Island for the surfing experience. Let`s take a look at why people choose Topsail Island so that they can enjoy surfing.

Surfing has many benefits, including cardiovascular fitness, building up your strength and endurance, helping to relieve stress, and letting you connect with nature. In addition, surfing is a great group activity, helping you socialize while learning a new activity. 

The surfing demographics of Topsail Island

Topsail Island is a 26-mile stretch of barrier island that is known for its steady surf. Surfs will be driven by ground swells, which are undulations in the ocean produced by distant events in the ocean, such as a storm, and wind swells, which are waves produced by winds that are close to shore. Many local surfing experts will tell you that you will find swell anywhere along the island. If a wind is wrong for surfing on one end of the island, you will likely find the right type of wind on the other end of the island. Surfing experts across the island will always tell you that the best swell is on Surf City Pier.

The best places to surf on Topsail Island

The most consistent waves on Topsail Island are always going to be found at the piers. Topsail Beach Pier and Atlantic Pier offer some of the most consistent waves on the island. The Surf City Pier is also a great spot, but will get crowded towards the end of the year. People who are left handed can head to The Point, around where Bogue Sound meets the ocean. The angle of the beach break here gives lefties an advantage.It is also one of the least-crowded areas on the island to surf. 

Here are some of the other popular surfing spots that are a bit further away from the action, but have good, rideable waves:

  • Onslow Beach

  • Camp Lejeune

  • C Street

  • Crystal Pier

  • Masonboro Island

  • Bogue Pier

  • Carolina Beach

When is the best time of year to surf at Topsail Island?

Contrary to popular belief, the summer months are not always the best time to surf on Topsail Island. Even though the offseason may be a little bit colder, rideable waves are often better during these times of year:

  • February and March are great times during the late winter and early spring to surf, with 13% of the waves being rideable.

  • Late August and Early September around the Labor Day holiday are great for surfing, with around 23% of the waves being rideable.

  • October and November are also good times of year for surfing, with about 14% to 15% of the waves being rideable. 

What equipment do you need to surf on Topsail Island? 

For beginners, surfing is not a complicatedly difficult sport. Most of the equipment that you need to get started can be purchased from a local surf shop or rented. Here are some of the supplies that you will need to get started: 

  • A surfboard: There are many great brands, such as the Odysea Log, which are available from a local surf shop.

  • Fins to provide stability, performance, stability, and drive.

  • Surf wax or traction pads to help you stay stable on the board.

  • A wetsuit or a drysuit is a neoprene garment that will help you stay comfortable in the water, no matter the temperature. 

There are several equipment rental services on Topsail Island if you need to get equipment for surfing. One of the best rental services on the island is 50 South Surf Shop. Rentals are affordable and start for an affordable price at $5. For a good surfboard rental, you should expect to spend between $25 and $50 per day per board. 

Surfing schools and instruction available on Topsail Island

If you are new to surfing, you should consider a reputable surfing school or instructor during your time on Topsail Island. You can learn how to handle yourself safely, how to avoid hazards, and the most efficient ways to maneuver and handle your board. Surfing instruction is also customizable, helping people in your group learn the basics of surfing. Most importantly, beginning surfers can help instill confidence quickly, which will make the experience fun and memorable. Some of the top surfing schools and instruction include:

  • Surf City Surf School, which provides group lessons, individual instruction, and rentals.

  • Topsail Surf Adventures offers adventures, instruction, and rentals for you to get your group or yourself out on the water.

  • Wave Catchers Surf Camp offers a surf camp as well as private lessons for all ages. 

A relaxing alternative to surfing

Paddle boarding is also a great way to enjoy the waves and the scenery around Topsail Island. Paddle boarding involves using a paddle to direct yourself through the water, whereas with surfing, you depend upon the motion of the water and your body. Paddle boarding can be a great way to get into surfing. Paddle boarding has a much shorter learning curve, and will let you catch and ride small waves. Paddle boarding is often a great springboard if you want to take up surfing in the future. 

Where should you stay if you want to be close to the surfing scene?

If you want to be centrally located near the surfing action, you should probably book a vacation rental in Surf City, Topsail Beach, or North Topsail Beach. This will make getting to the pier relatively quick if surfing will be a part of your vacation. 


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