Easy Rollers

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

May 1, 2006
Outside Magazine
Beginner Breaks

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

Beginner Surf Spots

CLICK HERE for an exclusive guide to 20 of the best beginner breaks in North America, with the lowdown on the beach scene, local surf shops, and more.

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)