Inside the Surf

Inside the Surf: Why Portsmouth’s McGill Brothers Choose to Ride New Hampshire Waves

New Hampshire natives Ryan and Tyler McGill of Summer Sessions have surfed the world. From atop their boards these brothers have seen brilliant sandy beaches of Bali, Puerto Rico and Indonesia, just to name a few. So why do they come back to the New Hampshire seacoast to surf every summer? We caught up with them to find out.

Rumor has it you started surfing around age 10 in Rye, New Hampshire. Did you have lessons or teach yourselves?

We both started standing on bodyboards at a younger age before my mom started to teach us on surfboards. Then when we couldn't stop talking about surfing, she had a good friend paddle out with us for more. Our competitive level exists in a healthy brotherly rivalry and some charity surf contests. But we don’t take it too seriously it’s all about fun!

What did you love most about growing up on the New Hampshire coast?

Not many places in the world that you can surf, skate and snowboard all in the same day.

You surf all around the world, why do you return to New Hampshire to surf every summer?

You can’t beat the summertime around here! Scoring waves with friends at your local breaks helps you appreciate what a beautiful place we live in.

What makes a good candidate for surfing? Do you mostly have groups of friends coming to try it out at Summer Sessions, or do you see families too?

Anyone who is willing to try something new and fun. We have kids surf camp, adult night, ladies night, along with private and group lessons.

What are some of the best spots to surf in New Hampshire and when?

Jenness Beach in Rye and The Wall in Hampton. Great for all levels of surf and good for hanging out.

What’s your favorite New Hampshire spot for a post-surfing snack or meal?

That’s easy, if I wanna be near the beach, get healthy food and a coffee I go to the Sandpiper Cafe, which is part of Summer Sessions Surf Shop. Or the Juicebox for my juice and smoothie fix.

New Hampshire has a spectacular coastline, historic Portsmouth downtown for food, music and night festivities and great state parks!