Frigid New England winters are not what comes to mind when one pictures surfing, yet the region hosts a thriving surf community. World-class waves can be enjoyed among thin crowds within a culture of some of the most dedicated surfers willing to sport thick neoprene and surf even in harsh winter conditions. We wish to expose MIT students to this culture by introducing beginners to the sport during the warm summer months and organizing advanced trips when the winter swells hit. We offer a range of activities on and off campus revolving around surfing with the aim to foster a healthy and environmentally-aware community.
As you become a surfer, you quickly realize there is much more to it than the time spent in the water. Therefore, we also organize activities ranging from balance training sessions, to science of board design, to becoming an amateur meteorologist. In addition, we aim to instill a sense of responsibility in caring for the community and for the beaches and oceans that provide us with this unrivaled experience.
MITOC has several 8ft soft-top surfboards available for rental.
To rent surfboards on your own:
- Be a MITOC member
- Have completed a boathouse training/work session annually
- E-mail the surf chair to check for board availability and fill out a surfing float plan form. You must establish that you will be able to use the gear safely.
- After your trip, a brief report to the surf chair would be appreciated about any issues with the boards as well as any comments of interest about your experience
For more detailed information about renting surfboards, see the boathouse rental page.
You must be able to swim to rent a surfboard. Be aware that North Atlantic water is cold and conditions can change quickly, so be experienced and prepared.
MITOC has a small selection of wetsuits, boots, and surf gloves available for rent. Please see the gear rental information page for details.
- Surf trips ranging from beginner to advanced (see below for more details)
- Stand-up paddle boarding (trips and locally)
- Classroom-based sessions on surfing topics (see links provided below) including:
- Etiquette/safety, history, wave forecasting/science, board design, eco-friendly materials and practices
- Land-based training sessions:
- Surf technique, yoga, strength training, balance (Indo Boards, SwellTech Boards, and skateboarding)
- Community improvement:
- MITOC-led events (beach clean-ups & more)
- In coordination with various foundations (get in touch with them or MITOC to get involved):
- Surfrider Foundation - dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network
- AmpSurf - inspire and rehabilitate people with disabilities and their families through adaptive surfing
- Share the Stoke - support young people globally in having their dreams of surfing come true
- Surfers for Autism - unlock the potential of people with developmental delays, unite communities through volunteerism
Beginner – Get Stoked
We want to introduce you to surfing in a way that you will feel comfortable and start a lifelong love affair with a hobby that will consume you. Focus is on education to facilitate a safe introduction and progression to gain a comfort level in the ocean in moderate sized waves. We plan trips to surrounding beaches where lessons are provided by either professional instructors or one of our surf leaders. If new to surfing, we require that you attend a session on surf etiquette and safety before going on a trip led by a surf leader. Trips happen in the late spring to early fall.
Intermediate – Stay Stoked
For surfers with some experience, we offer trips lead by MITOC surf leaders. We also provide board rentals to allow continued progression at your own pace. Continue to train on land and sharpen your forecasting skills in coordination with our spot guide to find new places that work in various conditions. Make sure you are ready for each place, as some breaks contain risky conditions. Start thinking about hurricane season and winter surfing. Keep pushing, but know your limits.
Advanced – Share the Stoke
Ready for hurricane season? Stoked to get into the water but don’t have the funds to invest $500+ into a performance surfboard and another $300+ into a winter wetsuit, boots, gloves, etc? We are working on creating an inventory of rental equipment for all of the above to have you covered when the winter swells hit. Furthermore, we plan advanced trips to some of the higher performance spots when the conditions allow for it.
Once you are comfortable enough in the water, give back to the surf and MITOC communities and become a surfing leader.