About 1st St. Jetty

It is the best of surfing. It is the worst of surfing. 1st Street is where it all happens, like it or not. For more than 30 years, Virginia Beach surfers have been corralled into a one-block bumper course that boasts every walk of life. From clueless tourists to bumbling novices to sponsor-me hotshots to grumpy never-beens, this is the place. The rock jetty traps sand and forms what is usually the best, or only, setup in town. Everywhere else can be a lake and the jetty will usually muster a surfable wave. Make one mistake on a crowded day, and the scrutinizing locals will make you wish you'd never paddled out. V.B. surfers take heckling to an art form.

First Street is comparable to California's Doheny, a mushy right peeler that is often packed with beachgoers. The only difference is you don't have the option of Lowers or Salt Creek just down the road -- this is often the only show around. If there is a ripple at least as high as a jon boat wake, the gang is on it. Where once there existed a semblance of a pecking order, the lineup has deteriorated to total anarchy. The result: danger. Especially in the summer months, injuries from other people's boards are as common as tourist inquiries such as, "Do those suits really keep you warm?"

Being the focal point for both surf and surfers in town, it plays host to numerous competitions throughout the year. From the Eastern Surfing Association to the military to the local shop challenges to the riotous East Coast Surfing Championships, something is usually happening at 1st Street. The ECSC is the longest running event in the world, attracting hundreds of professional and amateur surfers from around the world. During the ECSC, everyone in Virginia Beach is a surfer. The whole town is surf crazy. Fortunately, it marks the end of summer, at which time the crowds thin and the jetty is, once again, made for surfers.

Source: 1st St. Jetty Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

Have the ability to dodge people or surf somewhere else.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

A far cry from the past but still some locals that would prefer you not be there.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

A circus.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

The most consistent spot in VB and it offers some southerly wind protection.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Normally not bad but hurricane swells and bigger southeast swells can make it a bit of work.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

The wonderful smell of diesel as the boats come out of the inlet would suggest not great.

Additional Information


It is a zoo when there are waves, especially in the summer.


Plenty of meters and parking lots where the Lighthouse Restaurant once was.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish, sup, kiteboard, bodysurfing, bodyboard, skimming



Best Season

Storm dependent: tropical cyclones in the late summer and fall with frontal activity and nor'easters in the late fall and winter.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos