NYC is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of catching some waves, but think again.

Certain things come to mind when you think of New York–traffic, skyscrapers, bustling streets, and a concrete jungle, to name a few. But surfing? NYC is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of catching some waves, but the truth is that some of the Big Apple’s state beaches–especially places like Far Rockaway–are perfect spots for novice and experienced surfers alike.

According to surf enthusiasts in and around New York, the city’s burgeoning surf culture is starting to take off. With beaches like Far Rockaway easily accessible by public transportation, the idea of NYC as a hot surf spot is gaining steam. It may not be California or Hawaii, but there’s really no reason why New York residents and visitors shouldn’t be excited about the prospect of riding some swells.

Interested in surfing the city? Here’s what you need to know:

Gear Up

Before catching the train to your nearest NYC surf spot, you’ll want to make sure you have the right gear and equipment. And that starts with a surfboard. It may seem obvious, but choosing the right surfboard for you is an essential component – and there’s no such thing as a one size fits all board. Finding a board that matches your body and skill level can be tricky for first timers, but the general rule is that the more inexperienced you are, the longer the board you want. Any of the surf shops near DUMBO or close to Far Rockaway would be happy to help you find a longboard that suits your needs.

Additionally, you’ll need some essential gear to protect against the sun and the dreaded rash that afflicts newcomers. A good wetsuit (in colder weather) or rashguard (for the summer months) is a must, as are things like wax to keep you from slipping off your board and a leg rope or leash to keep your board nearby when you fall.

Check the Surf Report

Huge waves or nonexistent ones–you won’t want to gear up and head out to the beach on a day when the surf isn’t suitable for you. Take a peek online or check out webcam feeds to see what the state of the waves is before heading out.

Learn the Essentials

If you’ve never surfed before, a lesson or two from the pros may be the perfect way to help you find your footing. Our favorite is New York Surf School in Rockaway, offering group and private lessons to kids and adults. There are a number of other surf schools and shops in and around Rockaway that offer private and group lessons as well.Yelp is a great resource for finding one that suits your needs.

Where to Go

Catch the subway to the Rockaways, or the train from Penn Station. In approximately and hour from the city you will be at fantastic surf – much easier than a flight to Maui.