When most surfers think of places with good surf; Hawaii, California, Central America, Indonesia, and Australia, among others, probably come to mind. They’re the places that are shown off in magazines with their beautiful landscapes and glassy waves. What many don’t know is that Florida has some of the most consistent surf out there.
It may not be pretty, but it’s surfable.
Surf spots litter the 580 miles of Florida’s East Coast and while one spot may not be working, drive a couple miles to another spot, and you just may score some pristine waves. Here are five great surf spots in Central Florida.
1. New Smyrna Beach Inlet: The Shark Bite Capital of the World
The inlet is a prime surf spot at New Smyrna Beach. You can drive on the beach, which is kind of unheard of nowadays, and quick current flowing in and out of the inlet produces some fairly decent waves. Catch a north swell on an incoming tide with offshore winds and you’ll be certain to score some fun split peaks.
Just watch out for the real locals. New Smyrna Beach got the name of The Shark Bite Capital World for an obvious reason. Just be aware of the real locals and don’t let them deter you from a fun surf session, or two.
2. Ponce Inlet
A quick paddle north across the inlet and you’ll be surfing at Ponce Inlet. Ponce is part of Daytona Beach and you can also drive on the beach here. Unlike New Smyrna’s short and rocky jetty, Ponce’s jetty is three times the length.
Regular footers will love the right point break that forms up right along the jetty. A little further north is where you’ll find some split peaks where goofy footers can find a slabby left or two.
Don’t paddle across the inlet, it’s dangerous and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal. Just take A1A north and you’ll be there in 30-45 minutes.
3. The Ghetto Pier
Drive north for five minutes and you’ll run into the Daytona Beach Pier, otherwise known as The Ghetto Pier. It got its name for a reason, but there are a couple cool restaurants and carnival rides to check out while you’re there.
In a surf culture that’s saddened with shortboarders, this break is paradise for longboarders. It’s primarily a right break and occasionally you can find a left on a split peak. This wave peels for a long time, is fairly slow, and stacks up well making it the prime wave in Central Florida for longboarders to hang ten.
4. Cocoa Beach Pier
Drive down I95 South for about an hour, follow some signs to Cocoa Beach and you’ll be right back to surfing. One of the best, yet busiest, surf spots in Cocoa is the Cocoa Beach Pier. This pier is nicer than The Ghetto Pier in Daytona, and waves line up on the north and south sides of the pier.
No driving on the beach here; you’re looking at paying about $5 for the day to park in the parking lot, but when the waves are firing it’s well worth the small price. One of the perks of this surf spot is that the waves break fairly deep, so you don’t have to worry about dodging a tourist swimming in the water.
5. Sebastian Inlet
Further south along I95 is Sebastian Inlet. Another rocky jetty and there’s two sides, but realistically the north side’s the best. Right along the jetty is where slabby rights form.
Don’t believe us that this is a good place to surf? This is the spot where 11 time World Champ, Kelly Slater, grew up learning the ins and outs of the sport.