Surfing In Texas

Dunes In Between Port A and Corpus Christi

The Port Aransas (Port A) and Corpus Christi area is know as the Coastal Bend of Texas. It pulls in some of the best surf in Texas, and this is also one of the windiest places on the coast. The border between the city of Port Aransas and the city of Corpus Christi is situated south of Fish Pass, just north of the J.P. Luby Surf Park. Many of the breaks have heavy currents and riptides. The locals in the area are very friendly and this area is very friendly to tourists (Bob Hall Pier gets a little localized).

Port Aransas (Port A), Texas is a small coastal resort town (that is growing) about 40 minutes from downtown Corpus Christi. It is home to the University of Texas Marine Studies Institute, along with an assortment of surf shops, restaurants, and fishing charters. Port A may be known for its fishing and beaches primarily, but when the conditions are right, the surf spots in Port A can produce great surf for Texas surfers. There are many local surf spots around Port Aransas, but the one spot you can almost always find surf at is Horace Caldwell Pier.

Surfing In Texas

Springtime at Horace Caldwell Pier

Horace Caldwell Pier is in the heart of Port Aransas, near all the restaurants and shops, just down Beach Road. It is free to park on the beach (between Markers 52-58), but you must buy an annual permit for $12 if you wish to park or camp on the beach. The permits can be bought at any gas station or store on the island. You can drive on the beach up and down the coast here, and generally you do not need a four wheel drive vehicle to drive on the beach.

There are a ton of surf shops in Port Aransas, where you can rent surfboards, buy gear, get surfing lessons, try SUP boards, and get anything else you may need for the beach in Port A.  A couple of our favorite surf shops are Board House, Port A. Surf Company, and Third Coast Surf Shop. Most shops will have updates on Port A. surf reports and conditions as well.

There are also a lot of great options for surf schools in Port Aransas. Texas Surf Camps and the Expedition School are several surf camps that are held during the summer for kids and adults who want to learn how to surf in Texas. They both are great companies to help teach your children or family and friends to learn how to surf in Texas.


Surfing In Texas

The Ferry at Aransas Pass is Free and Operates 24/7

How To Get There

There are several ways to get to Port Aransas, one way is taking state Highway 35 to Business 35 in Aransas Pass, and then continuing to Highway 361. You can cross the pass directly on the car ferries that connect Port Aransas with the Aransas Pass (the mainland). There is no charge to take the ferries, and service runs 24 hours a day.

Where to Surf

On the North end of Port Aransas are the Port Aransas Jetties. The jetties are there to protect the Port Aransas Ship Channel, where cargo ships and chemical tankers navigate through to the Port of Corpus Christi. Across the channel is St. Joe’s (San Jose) Island, an uninhabited isle that runs from Port Aransas north to Matagorda Island. On big South swells, St. Joe’s can be a good place to score clean walls that break on the sandbars on the North side of the jetty.

Sometimes the waves are sloppy and mushy, but the jetty offers protection from the strong southerly winds, and will help you find surf that is sheltered from the blown out conditions at other Texas surf spots. Access to the island is difficult. If you have a boat or a sea kayak, then you will have decent options to cross the channel. There is also passenger ferry from Port Aransas to the island, this ferry does not run consistently however, so make sure that you check the schedule. A last resort would be to paddle across the channel. The channel will make for a challenging paddle, and is narrow enough that ships may be hazardous for surfers trying to paddle across the channel. To be safe, if a ship is headed in towards the channel, or is getting ready to approach the turn outbound for sea, don’t be near the buoy while it is passing.

Surfing In Texas

Lifeguard on Duty at Horace Caldwell Pier

The next established break south of Horace Caldwell Pier is the Fish Pass Jetties, but hasn’t really worked in the last couple years. Once you leave Port Aransas southbound, you will find very little along the highway — just high dunes toward the Gulf and low marshes and flats toward the Intracoastal Waterway. There are a few housing developments, but not much else for about eight miles. You can find Fish Pass by driving south along the beach about two miles from Gulf Beach Access Road 2, or by paying the park entry fee and entering Mustang Island State Park. The jetties mark a pass that has since closed. Popular among longboarders in the Corpus Christi area, the Fish Pass jetties provide protection from heavy north or south winds, resulting in waves similar to those at St. Joe’s Island — workable, sometimes long, but mushy waves — on either side; however, the section between the jetties can sometimes get hollow and dumping. The overall vibe there tends to be very laid-back, and visitors will find locals to be helpful and friendly.

Surfing In Texas Fish Pass

Fish Pass

The border between the city of Port Aransas and the city of Corpus Christi is situated south of Fish Pass, just north of the J.P. Luby Surf Park. Make sure you check out our Corpus Christi surf guide to find out more about the area.

Port A Webcam Click Here.

Some other consistent surf spots to visit nearby are Bob Hall Pier, Packery Channel, and Fish Pass. These surf spots are all along Mustang Island heading South on the beach to Corpus Christi. It is usually easy to find uncrowded Texas surf breaks along the coast here, but when a good swell is hitting the word travels quickly, and there can easily be several hundred Texas surfers out at any Texas surf spot.

Find your local surf spot in Port Aransas TX:

View Surfing in Texas Beach Guide in a larger map