By Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong
Nearly 250 years ago, explorer Captain James Cook sailed into the Hawaiian islands and witnessed the natives gliding across the waves. Two and a half centuries later, surfing has become a worldwide athletic sensation. If you want to ride the waves on the Space Coast in Florida, you need to know where to find the surfing hotspots.
Hobgood should know what he's talking about. He was the Association of Surfer Professionals Rookie of the Year and a World Surf League World Champion.
Sebastian Inlet State Park is located on State Road A1A, 15 miles south of Melbourne Beach at 9700 South Highway A.1.A. Multiple surfing competitions have been held at Sebastian Inlet and Surfing magazine named Sebastian in 2002 as one of 15 Waves that Fuel Surfing's Future."
According to Florida State Parks, "Over three miles of Atlantic beach offer some of the best surfing on the East Coast. One of the most consistent surf breaks in Florida is Sebastian Inlet's first peak, located next to the north jetty. Another hot surf spot is Monster Hole (not a hole, but a shoal!)-located about a third of a mile off the beach, on the south side of Sebastian Inlet. The contour of the ocean floor rises up and when the surf is big, the waves form long lines, giving a long ride."
For more information, visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Sebastian-Inlet
You can view Sebastian Inlet for yourself on the Sebastian Inlet Webcam at http://www.sebastianinletcam.com/
According to Surfguru.com, "Spanish House at the southern tip of Melbourne Beach is best on low tide with scattered peaks and south west winds! Will hold swell up to 6 ft before closing out. Right and lefts with fast sections and tube rides."
VisitSpaceCoast.com says, "Located at the first parking area and beach access north of Sebastian Inlet, the Spanish House earns a spot on the top ten list of great places to surf on Florida's Space Coast. Spanish House has been a popular surfing spot since the heydays of early east coast surfing, and is named after its structure which guards the waves. Because of a shallow inside bar, which gives the break some push, the Spanish House offers more of a challenge than the waves further up the coast."
Directions: Drive south of Bonsteel Park and the entrance to Long Point Park. On the right you will eventually see a dirt lot with a bulletin board. Cross A1A and follow the trail to the beach.
For more information, visit http://www.visitspacecoast.com/listings/spanish-house/237/
The Indialantic Boardwalk is at the end of the State Route 192 just west of Melbourne near Shagg’s Surf Shop.
TheSurfingSite.com says that Indialantic is good for beginner through advanced surfers but "Can get crowded and fairly competitive, but there’s plenty of beach, so don’t be afraid to go grab your own peaks."
For more information, visit http://www.visitspacecoast.com/listings/indialantic-boardwalk-and-park/135/
Satellite Beach is the home of world-class surfer C.J. Hobgood.
MagicSeaWeed.com says, "Satellite Beach consists of broken coquina shelf and sand. One of these reefs can produce long, well-defined and hollow lefts when a decent groundswell hits. RCs, on the north corner of the Ramada Inn, is the locals’ favorite and has been ridden up to 20ft. Takes all swells but prefers a N/NE at mid tide. There are other reefs up and down the beach, but RCs has the goods. Only the most experienced surfers can get out when it’s really big because there is so much water moving. Shallow, rocky, big rips, and locals, plus a complete lack of parking in the immediate vicinity. There are a few clandestine parking spots, but you’ll need inside information and a bit of luck to avoid being towed."
You can see MagicSeaWeed's Satellite Beach Surf Report and Forecast at http://magicseaweed.com/Satellite-Beach-Surf-Report/548/
Canova Beach is located at the easternmost end of Eau Galle Causeway. Surfers sometimes use the dirt parking lot just north of the main paved entrance where less swimmers are.
Canova Beach offers best surfing in Indian Harbor Beach.
The Brevard County website says, "This 9.1-acre community beach park includes a small pavilion, grill, picnic shelter, benches along crossover, restrooms, drinking fountain and outside showers."
For more information, visit http://www.brevardcounty.us/ParksRecreation/South/Canova
Cocoa Beach is home to World Champion surfer Kelley Slater and the iconic Ron Jon's surf shop and the Ron Jon Surf School.
Cocoa Beach is only 45 minutes from Orlando International Airport and less than an hour from the Orlando theme parks.
According to VisitSpaceCoast.com, "Cocoa Beach is the East Coast surfing capital with its world champion surfers, renown surfing competitions, world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop and Florida Surf Museum, and Cocoa Beach Surf Company. Cocoa Beach is the perfect spot to learn how to surf with its easy-going surf and its many surfing schools, including the most popular, Ron Jon Surf School. Are you a daredevil? Take up kite surfing or parasailing with certified trainers an equipment rental on every corner! Cocoa Beach is home to Kelly Slater, 11-time ASP World Tour Champion and considered one of the greatest surfers of all time. Take your picture next to his bronze statue where State Road A1A splits into one-way north and one-way south."
You should be able to catch a wave at either the pier or at the end of any of the 20 numbered streets.
For more information, visit http://www.cocoabeach.com/
Playalinda Beach at the Canaveral National Seashore
Located in Titusville, the Canaveral National Seashore is filled with natural beauty but few visitors.
It is located at the easternmost end of Route 402. To get to the beach, you must drive 6 miles after checking in at the ranger station and paying your entrance fee.
SpaceCoastHiddenGems.com says, “A little more out of the way and therefore fewer surfers, Playalinda Beach offers a natural area quite unlike other surfer favorites. Many in the know will trek to Playalinda for sometimes larger and less crowded waves - and for the beautiful quiet beach and natural surroundings it offers.”
You probably will not want to go as far as Parking Lot 13. That is the traditional nude beach and the parking spots are few and far between.
For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/cana/planyourvisit/outdooractivities.htm
Surfing Santas in Cocoa Beach has become a local and international tradition that everyone should support and enjoy. Dress up as your favorite Santa, elf or reindeer and surf for charity.
“We support the Florida Surf Museum and the Grind for Life Cancer Fund. We have a friend involved in the Grind for Life as a cancer survivor and felt like that was a great benefit,” founder George Trosset told us.
For more information on Surfing Santas, visit http://surfingsantas.org
Florida Surf Museum
The Florida Surf Museum Cocoa Beach preserves and documents all aspects of the unique history and culture of East Coast surfing. The Florida Surf Museum produces exhibits exploring the history and evolution of surfing – the people, places, boards, culture and more.
For more information, visit http://www.floridasurfmuseum.org/
Article and photos by Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong.
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