St. Augustine, Florida, is more than just a fun, artsy college town. It's more than its impressive history as well (the oldest city in America.) St. Augustine's 26 miles of white sand beaches host a pantheon of pro and semi-pro surfers who flock to the town for its sharp-edged waves, soft sand and powerful swells.
St. Augustine's appeal lies in its unique breaks. Surfers head out to A-Street (at St. Augustine Beach) to enjoy a clearly defined peak. Vilano Beach, just to the northeast, has some punchy breaks, too--but watch out for the jet skis.
St. Augustine's beaches are home to an armful of annual surfing competitions. Among them are the Sun 'N' Surf Fourth of July Surf Contest (going into its 45th year as of 2010), the Turkey Classic, the Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic, the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Easterns, and a fun costume surf on Halloween.
Conditions are notoriously capricious, so surfers should come prepared with a variety of board lengths and styles (including cold-weather gear in winter). The bustling surf culture in St. Augustine has given rise to scores of great surf shops, so there's no shortage of equipment close at hand.
Though there's a fun (and populated) surfing destination close to it, be mindful to try to stay away from the St. Augustine municipal pier. The pier area is crowded with fishermen and swimmers, and it's part of the local etiquette to allow them their space.
Hurricane season (June through November) produces the lion's share of St. Augustine's surf-heaven swells. It's then, however, that you're most likely to encounter the strong rip currents that have taken surfers during the season's big storms.
Article Written By Annette O'Neil
Annette O'Neil graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in cinema, global communication and geology. A writer for more than a decade, O'Neil has written copy, content and editorial articles for hundreds of clients and publications, including Yoga Awakening Africa and Whole Life Times.