About Ruggles

"How do I get to Ruggles?" That's the first question asked upon entering Rhode Island. By handling the biggest hurricane surf on the East Coast, Ruggles has risen to mythical stature. Unfortunately, it's a rare bird. But even if it isn't triple-overhead, it's a beautiful place. Ruggles sits amid some of the most extravagant displays of money anywhere: the Newport Mansions built at the dawn of the 20th century by names like Astor and Rockefeller. From the beautiful stone Cliff Walk between the architectural wonders and the ocean, you get a view of it all.

The beach at Ruggles, or more correctly, the cliff, faces east into the Rhode Island Sound. On solid south-to-southeast swells, particularly hurricane swells, ledging right-handers march around the corner and right into the natural arena. The wave itself isn't hollow but instead allows plenty of room for carving. A semi-gun, and sometimes even a full-fledged gun, is needed on serious swells, which is to say the only swells when Ruggles is really working anyway. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because you're on the East Coast, that this is a doable wave - if you don't have large-to-big wave experience, you're better off sitting in the grandstands and watching the show.

Source: Ruggles Surf Guide

Ability Level


Beg Int Adv

Advanced to pro

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Moderate to heavy.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Heavy in summer/fall, lighter in winter.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Can get really good on the right swell, but not a consistent spot.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Depends on the swell but be ready for a lot of paddling.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Pretty clean overall.

Additional Information




Street parking within walking distance.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish



Best Season

September through March

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos