Galveston (G-Town) is the Northern most surf destination in Texas. It is very popular due to its close geographical distance from Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. The water in Galveston is extremely shallow, and the Continental Shelf extends for miles upon miles on the beaches of Galveston. Rarely do ground swells make it to Galveston, and a longboard will most likely be your surfboard of choice. On stronger swells the beach breaks along the jetties and piers generate size creating solid peaks. You can rip these waves on a shortboard or a longboard.
When venturing from 61st Street Pier along the Galveston Seawall you can find peaks from the pier to the Flagship Hotel. Rock Jetties (groins) hold sand in place creating sand bars, and the surf can range from small blown out junk, to long peeling waves reeling off the jetties. The jetties are the best location for barrels. If you are looking for a quick paddle out, the groins also generally have riptides that will take you out to the lineup.
The most consistent spot in Galveston is the Flagship Hotel Pier (the west side of the pier is better for surfing and is more crowded). You can find both right and left peaks off the T-Head of the pier. Few people surf East of the Flagship. The beach is always crowded, and despite what the surf is doing at the Flagship Hotel Pier, there is always an audience.
The Jetty on the 53rd Street produces surf, and the 37th Street Jetty (37 Dump Street) has a left that can provide some critical sections as well. If you head to the Saint Louis Hotel, the beach break becomes slower and turns to mush. The west side of the 61st Street Pier has a great outside break with a jetty on the inside bowl. The North side of the jetty produces better surf, and you will find more shortboarders in the lineup.
Heading Southwest from Galveston to Surfside Beach, you will find some waves near Pirate’s Beach, Bermuda Beach, and Jamaica Beach. After that there are miles of beach break towards the San Louis Pass, where the currents are extremely dangerous, and there are also sharks. So it is advised to stay clear.
Surfside Beach provides quality surf on the Texas Gulf Coast. It has deeper waters than Galveston, and very long jetties. The deep water is only 8 miles off shore in Surfside, vs. 35 miles in Galveston, and results in producing much more consistent surf.
The south side on Quintana is generally smaller and the waves have less shape between the fishing pier and the jetties. It stays clean when the wind is blowing from the Northeast to East, while Surfside during the same conditions would be blown out. Outside of the Quintana jetty is mysto-break, that breaks on an giant east swell as it comes across the channel wall and jetty. It can hold up to double over head waves, and these conditions, produce great barrels. It is a difficult paddle out and the lineup can be intimidating.
North of Surfside you will find the break “Assholes” (named after the surfers feelings towards the homeowners), and can provide consistent surf with waves that break nearly onshore. You can reach Assholes by a road that passes through the houses at the break.
Boilers is the next spot you will come across, and is located at the spot of the submerged Confederate Blockade Runner, the Acadia. The boiler stacks are exposed, and that is why it is named Boilers. The sand bar builds off of the buried ship, and can create a hollow wave depending on the buildup.
Matagorda is a remote Texas Surf destination, that has a series of surf spots near the Colorado river mouth at the end of highway 60. It has deep waters offshore, resulting in the waves packing more punch than other spots on the upper coast. It is an exposed beach, that breaks in shallow water. This is a great place to get heavy Texas surf, where you can get dragged and scrapped across the rigid bottom. The river mouth produces a good break, and you can also find surf along the north end of the angled pier. You can catch great waves there that get hollow on a decent swell.
North of the pier you will see miles of hard breaking waves, and depending on the sandbar you can find decent peaks. The beach break is heavier here than in Surfside or Galveston, and is hardly ever crowded. The Northwest winds blow offshore, and wind swell and groundswell make it to Matagorda. The best swells are groundswells that come in from the East. You will find mostly rights up and down the beach. Look out for riptides, currents, shallow water with rocks, jellyfish, and the occasional shark.
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