1. ROCKAWAY: "Some of New York's best surf is only 50 min away on the A train. The only problem is that people know about it, so even at first light at 5 a.m., there are more than 20 guys on a good surf. If you can manage the crowd, it's an amazing spot. Summertime gets crazy crowded too, but you can stroll down to Fort Tilden and seclude yourself away from the masses."
8601 Shore Front Parkway (at Beach 9th Street); 718-318-4000
2. LONG BEACH: "It's extremely easy to get to if you don't have a car. Just jump on the LIRR and you get dropped off 2 blocks from the beach. THere are tons of places to surf, so you can always find a spot that's not too crowded."
West Park Avenue (from Maple Boulevard to Brookline Avenue); 516-431-3890
3. LIDO: "This [beach] is a little bit hidden from Long Beach, and still close to the city. It's an open beach with few people there, and when there's surf its really fun!"
Lido Boulevard (from Bath Street to Mineola Avenue)