SURFING ON SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
South Padre Island
is known for having some the most consistent surf along the Texas coast. Wave heights will generally be in the 3-5 foot range but can get as big as 10 foot + on a good, solid hurricane or cold front swell.
The Isla Blanca jetties is the most frequented spot for surfers to
gather on South Padre Island. On a good day, the waves can get lined up
and hollow and run as long as 100+ yards.
There are other spots to surf further north of the jetties that can produce much better quality of waves depending on the size, swell direction, tide, wind, etc. It is best to do your research ahead of time and right before you paddle out to ensure that you get the best waves that day! Checking other spots will also help ensure that you learn more about the surfing conditions at different locations. The more you know, the better!
A 35 mile drive north will lead you to the Port Mansfield jetties. This is also a popular spot since waves can be usually uncrowded and very good. Sharks are a common sighting in P.M.
There are many resources that can be used now-a-days to help better predict when and where the surf will be good.
Check out the infopadre.com surf report & resource page for more details.
SEASONAL SURF INFORMATION
Spring Surf: March, April, and May
Surf in the Spring time is pretty consistent with wave heights ranging
in the 3-5 foot + due to
the strong E or SE winds that generally blow over the middle of the Gulf
of Mexico and head directly to the Texas coast. Water temperatures
will be between 63 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit during this time of year.
Crowds are generally not too bad during this time of year.
Summer Surf: June, July, and August
Summers can be pretty flat for long periods of time with a few swells
here and there. We generally wait for any tropical activity brewing in
the Gulf of Mexico to bring us some good surf. The quality of surf will
greatly depend on the location and movement of the storm in the Gulf of
Mexico. If it is too close, swells can be big, but wind conditions may
not be as favorable for quality surf. Beaches are generally very
crowded during this time of year, especially on the weekends. Traffic
can be backed up on the causeway leading to South Padre Island and can
cause a 1-2 hour delay to get to the beach from Port Isabel. Water
temperatures will be between 70 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit during this time
Fall Surf: September, October, and November
This is also generally known as a more consistent time of year to surf.
September is the peak of the hurricane season and can almost guarantee
us at least one good swell every year.
Cold fronts will generally produce solid 4-6 foot surf with NW
(offshore) winds in the early mornings during the beginning and middle
of the winter. This will continue as long as the air over the water is
warmer than the air over land. Once the water cools off enough, we will
generally have predominant NE (onshore) winds.
Watch out for sharks during September and October. There are lots of bait fish swimming around closer to the beach attracting larger fish and sharks. Sightings are very common during this time.
Winter Surf: December, January, and February
Surfing in the winter can be quite an experience. Cold fronts are the
main source of swell during the winter and can produce NW (offshore)
winds in the early morning to mid-morning. This is generally during the
early to mid-winter and is due to the fact that the water temperature
will still be warmer than the air temperature during this time. As the
water temperature decreases, NE (onshore) winds will be more
predominant. Water temperatures can be in the low 50's to low 60's for
about 1-2 months then will gradually increase starting in March.
Surfing the north side of SPI on january 10, 2012