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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Latitude: 38° 55.718' N
User rating (19)
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Crowds in the summer make access difficult. The Cove is at the southern end of Beach Avenue, but parking is a nightmare. A lot of locals pull carts on bikes. Also in summer you need a beach tag that the checkers will gladly sell you.
DistanceIn the city
WalkLong walk (>30 mn)
Easy to find?Easy to find
Public access?Public access
Special accessDon't know
Wave qualityRegional Classic
Normal lengthNormal (50 to 150m)
Good day lengthLong (150 to 300 m)
Good swell directionSouthEast
Good wind directionNorthEast
Swell sizeStarts working at Less than 1m / 3ft and holds up to 2m+ / 6ft+
Best tide positionAll tides
Best tide movementRising and falling tides
Week-end crowdUltra crowded
- Man-made danger (buoys etc..)
I think the best tip on how to surf the Cove well is to be there every day. The best tide and direction varies throughout the year. It goes through phases, yet also seems random. I have had many days when a reliable source said "no waves" but during a twenty minute period later that day I was catching chest high barrels off the jetty. If you plan to visit, just go and enjoy the scene, and then, if you happen to be there on a good day, look at it as gravy.
More specifically, a lot of times you need to line up real tight with the jetty, at the very tip, and to the south. It can get hairy, especially when there are a hundred little kids sitting inside.
Cape May has two small but good surf shops. South End is on the beach, about a ten-minute walk from the Cove, and Summer Sun is on the pedestrian mall in the center of town, about a fifteen minute walk.
The Cove, as a beach, is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. From the last jetty in Cape May, where the cove begins, it is about a 30 minute brisk walk to the lighthouse, and the entire stretch of beach (except for about 300 yards from the jetty) is a protected wildlife santuary. The general atmosphere is very pleasant. The locals are relatively cool, with the edge you'd expect on the few days of the year when its head high and really going off. Especially in the last two years, a lot of parents have been sending their kids off into the water with brand new boards and no lessons. Sometimes it is downright dangerous. Once I actually saw a kid drop in on a guy, and after a scary collision, his Mom, from her lounge chair, laughed and said, "Oh, did you see Bobby wipe out?" to her equally clueless husband. You can easily expect a couple hundred kids in the water during July and August. However, the kids go back to school just in time for the hurricane season, and the best time to surf anywhere in New Jersey is the fall. Nice weather weekends can still draw a large crowd through October.
The Cove is mostly about long boarding. I ride a 9'6" 75% of the time, and a 7' when its chest high and up. Of course, the kids will only ride short boards, which is why they end up bobbing around on the inside getting in the way. It's where I learned to surf a few years ago, so that always helps me keep the kid thing in perspective. A friend from a town up the road once referred to the Cove as Waikiki. He must have meant the long, knee high waves. (The town where he surfs has a lot of hotels with fake palm trees, so maybe his is just jealous of Cape May's natural beauty.) The third picture probably says more about this spot than anything I can put into words.
By Anonymous , 15-11-2009
- The Cove Restaurant accross the street from the Cove Beach is a good place for breakfast or lunch.
By Moonie , 19-11-2005
- on the right swell with atleast waist surf you can take off from in frount of the rocks and make it down through three sections to the beach on a long board, about 30 yards. although its ridable all year, its takes a large swell to ride any thing other than a long board or wide fish.
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