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Surfing and Windsurfing in Florida
Although surfers can enjoy the entire Atlantic coast, the really prime spots are the 20-mile stretch of beach between Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, in the south east of the state, and in Central Florida the 35 mile stretch coastline from Sebastian Inlet to Cocoa Beach. Just north of Kennedy Space Center is Playalinda Beach, which is also noted for the quality of its surf.
The northern beaches with their powdery sand also have rideable surf. The surf here is normally two to three feet, but the northeasterly winds can bring much larger breakers in, although at the cost of lower temperatures! The areas of Daytona Beach, Fort George Island, Amelia Island and the coast between St Augustine and Flagler Beach are the popular surfing spots in the north.
Until recently many surf shops were unwilling, mainly for insurance reasons, to rent boards. However, there are increasing numbers of outlets who will now rent boards by the day, and you can even make prior reservations online with some suppliers. If you cannot find a local rental service then as an alternative many shops will sell you a board and then buy it back at the end of the day – less of course their ‘profit’.
Windsurfing is most popular along the southwest and southeast coasts. While you can put in on any beach or public boat launch, there are surprisingly few outlets that rent windsurfing equipment. So, if you fancy learning to windsurf, or indeed are already a seasoned windsurfer but cannot afford to ship your board over to Florida, then you will need to plan to spend at least some of your holiday in or near one of the areas where rentals are available.
“Sailboards Miami”, which claims to be the home of the ' Learn to Windsurf in Two Hours-Guaranteed! ' lesson, is located directly on Windsurfer Beach at Key Biscayne and provides rentals in addition to tuition.
Further north, on Merritt Island, Calema Windsurfing offer both private and group tuition throughout the year as well as board rental complete with rig from $55 for 3 hours or $75 per day.
If you are holidaying near Tampa then North Beach Windsurfing based at St Petersburg offer similar packages including weekly deals.
No matter what part of Florida you are staying in, if you plan a day out to Cocoa Beach then the one place you must visit is Ron Jons Surf Shop- probably the most famous surf shop in the US, if not the world. Cool music, classic cars and everything you could ever need to hit the waves is here. One shop that is a must for all (would-be) surfer dudes!
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