Easy Rollers

The best beaches for practicing your moves offer slow, gentle waves and a no-pressure atmosphere. Here are six of our faves.

Beginner Breaks

BABY STEPS: Start out on gentle, forgiving waves.    Photo: www.follysurfcam.com

Waikiki Beach
Honolulu, Hawaii
SURF REPORT: Warm and sunny, with consistent waves year-round (but best in summer). Try Canoes, an easy right break near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Scene: Touristy. But in the water, it's pure "aloha." Bonus: In winter, watch the pros go big at Pipeline, on the North Shore. Wax Run: Hans Hedemann Surf Rentals (www.hhsurf.com)

Cowell's Beach
Santa Cruz, California
SURF REPORT: Waist-high sets that break 200 yards from shore; nippy, 55-degree water (wetsuit required) in summer. Scene: Packed with locals, but the most welcoming spot in Santa Cruz. Bonus: Après-surf, play pinball at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Wax Run: Cowell's Beach Surf Shop (www.cowellssurfshop.com)

Corolla Beach
Corolla, North Carolina
SURF REPORT: Here on the northern end of the Outer Banks, you'll find warm water and mellow surf from spring to late summer. Scene: A relaxed hot spot for East Coasters from Maine to Miami. Bonus: Scuba diving at hundreds of offshore shipwrecks. Wax Run: Corolla Surf Shop (www.corollasurfshop.com)

San Onofrestate Beach
San Clemente, California
SURF REPORT: Long lines of whitewater for boogie boarding and longboarding. Find low, slow-breaking peaks at Dogpatch. Scene: A family-friendly mecca since the 1930s—with a few RVs and beer bellies. Bonus: Cameos by longboard legends like La Jolla native Joel Tudor. Wax Run: Rip Curl Surf Shop (www.ripcurl.com)

Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach, Florida
SURF REPORT: Picnic Tables, north of Patrick Air Force Base, churns out gentle rollers year-round. Scene: Novices from Tampa and Orlando; seasonal snowbirds.Bonus: Watch rockets launch at Cape Canaveral while practicing your own takeoffs. Wax Run: The Goods Surf & Skate (www.thegoodsshop.com)

Robert Moses State Park
Long Island, New York
SURF REPORT: The break near the Field 5 parking lot is newbie- perfect in summer. Scene: Gothamites escaping the heat (you're just 48 miles from Manhattan) and, in August, armies of (mostly) benign jellyfish. Bonus: Great angling for striped bass. Wax Run: Bunger Surf Shop (www.bungersurf.com)

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