Best time to visit Florida

Surfing in Florida 2024-2025

Not so popular with pro surfers, Florida could nevertheless be attractive for beginners

Best time: early August–mid-April

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Florida's Atlantic coastline can't compete with the West coast or Hawaii as a surfing destination. Even though there are a few good quality surf spots, the swells are rather inconsistent. If you are a beginner it is a good place to learn, as there are plenty of great beaches and easy beach breaks. The sun is shining and the water stays quite warm all year round.

Florida's typical surfing season runs from early August through winter and well into mid-spring. The main swell season is winter, from November to March. The swells originate from North Atlantic low pressures, generating waves up to three meters. Summer ocean, from May to July, is usually flat, with occasional swells in the early morning. Carribean cyclone season starts in August and brings some huge waves up to three meters.

Check out some of the best surf spots in Florida including Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna Inlet, Flagler Beach, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Sebastian Inlet, Venice Beach, Perdido Key, Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City Beach.

Practical info

Where are the best surf spots in Florida?

Florida has a variety of beaches that offer great surfing, including places such as Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna Inlet, and Sebastian Inlet. Other notable spots include Venice Beach, Perdido Key, and Fort Walton Beach, which also offer excellent surf conditions. Wave heights at these locations are a major attraction, along with their beautiful beaches, making them quite popular with surfers and vacationers alike. Show more

When is the best time to go surfing in Florida?

Florida's peak surfing season is in winter, from November through March. During this period, wave heights often exceed three meters in response to low pressures in the North Atlantic. Summertime is generally less favorable, with occasional swells early in the morning from May to July. Hurricane season in August marks the start of the biggest waves generated by Caribbean cyclones that can last through October, providing surfers with excitement. Show more

Which season offers the biggest waves in Florida?

The winter season provides the largest waves in Florida, ranging up to three meters in height. North Atlantic low pressures create these waves, which last from November through March. During the rest of the year, the Caribbean cyclone season beginning in August generates waves that can reach the same heights. Summer months of May through July are generally flat, with early morning swells occasionally observed depending on weather conditions. Show more

What is the average temperature of the water in Florida?

Florida's water temperatures remain warm, with averages ranging from 20°C to 29°C throughout the year. The most comfortable time to surf is the winter season when the temperatures remain mild, and the waves at their peak height. Water temperatures peak in August and September, reaching up to 29°C. Surfers can generally surf without wetsuits all year long, and most surfers tend to avoid the summer heat by taking advantage of the winter season's favorable water temperatures. Show more

Which Florida cities have the most popular surfing beaches?

Several Florida cities have popular surfing beaches, such as Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota, St.Augustine, and Panama City Beach. Among these cities, Jacksonville and Pensacola stand out as offering some of the best surf spots in the area with waves ranging across all skill levels. Beginner-friendly beach breaks serve a lot of first-timers, whereas more experienced surfers can opt for the more challenging reef breaks. Orlando may not offer much, but the rest of these cities provide many options to suit all styles of surfing. Show more

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