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Welcome aboard, Brent.
Which part of the coast will you be surf fishing? Do you already have gear? The reason I ask is that the Hatteras area generally has more vigorous surf and requires heavier gear than most places. I've watched eight-ounce weights roll right back up on the shore out there.

Having said that, the basic rig for the surf is the two-hook bottom rig. Generally the first baits to start with are shrimp and cut baitfish. If you've got a sand rake, sand fleas work great too. Number one rule of course is to get your line in the water -- you're guaranteed not to catch anything if you don't do that!! :D
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