Do people even surf in Texas? Where are Texas Waves?
I hear this all the time. Or jokes about how there are no waves or surf in the Gulf. It’s true, most days the Gulf has waves that are much weaker than the big ocean waves in Hawaii. The Gulf’s waves are always weakened by the Caribbean islands.
But Texas has a lot of surfers. Chris says it has more days with surfable waves than many of the popular surf spots on the East coast because of the Gulf current patterns. Texas surf is burly, with short powerful waves that can be difficult to paddle out through. But they are waves! The trick is to know when the waves are coming through.
We always check wave predictions before planning surf trips. First we go to Magic Seaweed during the week to check the forecast. Then on the actual surf day we check the local beach cams like gtownsurf, and go to the NOAA site to check the waves at the buoys. The closer we get to the actual beach, the more we rely on the buoys or our own eyes.
If the surf is 1-2 feet, you will be looking at the kind of wave people are talking about when they say Texas has no surf. These can be fun longboard days, where you can practice walking on the board or doing longboard tricks. The waves aren’t as exciting as the big wave days, but it’s much more pleasant to paddle around in, and usually the sun is out. I love small wave days.
If the surf is 4-7 feet, you are likely going to have a paddle a little harder, but the waves will be tall enough to go over your head once you are out there. I like to look for the time when the waves are 7-8 seconds apart. These waves last longer and are cleaner. When the waves are closer to 5 seconds apart, there’s likely to be a lot of chop, and I don’t have much time to sit out past the breaker. I have to jump on a wave as soon as I get out, or else I’ll get bowled over. When the waves are like this, they may look more like dishwashing water than corduroy, and with waves that double up or a strong current it may be difficult to keep the board balanced right in order to stand up on the board.
As Chris would say, get out, stand up and get stoked! What are you waiting for? Live a little.