Oregon Cold Weather Surfing

The Oregon coast is pounded by waves that come rolling down the Gulf of Alaska gathering energy until they break along Oregon’s pristine coastline. Northern Oregon’s uneven coastline creates reliable impressive waves all year long. As the coves, reefs, headlands, and curved beaches face different directions, excellent waves can be found whether the wind is blowing from the north, south or west. With a 363 long coastline, Oregon has one of the longest unbroken beaches in the world. From Seaside to Pacific City, surfers will find laid back coastal towns and gorgeous uncrowded surf. Unless you own your own plane, your only options to get to the coast are to drive up 101 through California and Southern Oregon, or fly into Portland or Eugene and rent a car or take a shuttle to Newport or Lincoln City. You can also drive from Bend or Corvallis, Oregon.

At Seaside, Oregon aquatic ninjas, hard-core surfers will be out when dawn breaks to catch waves before dawn. But no matter the time of day, the competition for the best waves is low as Oregon waves are part of the secret cold equivalent of Malibu.

In the summer, beginners through advanced surfers can find the waves to match their needs. Beaches such as Short Sands, Seaside Beach at Oswald West State Park and Indian Beach at Ecola State Park will have waves ranging form baby swells to larger more challenging waves. At Short Sands the large curved beach progresses from one end with smaller waves to the other end with larger more intermediate waves. Expert surfers can find the nuclear waves, but they will have to follow weather conditions and surfing alerts to get to the best peaks.


Winter surfing in Oregon, is not for the faint of heart. This is the time of year advanced surfers descend to battle some of the biggest waves in the world. Home to the Nelscott Big Reef Classic, Lincoln City hosts one of the most famous big wave competitions. Extreme surfing athletes are on notice from October to March. When the 30 to 60 foot waves roll in due to a storm deep in the ocean, the word goes out that the competition will begin in 3 days. The surfers are judged on different aspects of their ride.

With heart-stopping scenery and the uncrowded beaches, it is easy to see why hardy surfers that choose the Oregon coast. As you are sitting on the ocean looking back at the kites rising in the air and the bald eagles skimming over the ocean, it is both an exhilarating and Zen moment.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply