Swell Ride: Surfing on the Oregon Coast
By Jenna Boyle Feehan
Published: 03/01/2012  Updated: 08/08/2019
Gary Hayes

Surfing is one of the most exhilarating ways to experience the Oregon coast, and its popularity is swelling.

Since ancient Polynesian times, the allure of ocean waves has moved people to fashion instruments for wave riding. There is something exceedingly compelling about merging with the force of the moving seas, and surfers will often describe their sport with wonder and mysticism in their eyes.

Even with water temperatures dipping into the low 40s, riding the Northwest swells is all the rage. Local surf shops provide advice on locations suited to skill level, and also offer workshops, lessons (highly recommended for first-timers!) and gear rental (wetsuits are requisite!).

If you prefer to be a spectator, the Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic competition near Pacific City, the Newport Gathering Longboard Classic in Newport and the winter Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic in Lincoln City are sure to prove sufficiently jaw dropping.

Check out popular Oregon surfing locations such as The Cove in Seaside, Indian Beach at Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach, Short Sands at Oswald West State Park near Manzanita, Otter Rock Beach near Lincoln City and the breakers at Pacific City. Whether you're watching or paddling out, the Pacific Northwest waves are guaranteed to get you stoked.
Swell Ride: Surfing on the Oregon Coast