Surfing in Daytona Beach: Where to Go, Gear Needed, & More
Welcome to Daytona Beach, the most “Florida” town in Florida.
Florida stereotypes are born and thrive here.
From the Daytona 500, bike week, summer time and spring break, you’ll discover an atmosphere of every type of person you can think of… including surfers with the wild Florida spirit.
Surfing in Daytona Beach
What’s so special about surfing in Daytona Beach is that you can get some great waves all while being close to other novelty Florida waves less than an hour drive away.
Waves in Daytona Beach
Here, any swell direction can give you some fun waves, especially in the fall, even more so during hurricane season.
Waves are unpredictable most of the time, so don’t put all of your trust into the surf forecast apps.
Waves average around 2-3 feet most of the time, although sometimes it could be completely flat for a week or absolutely firing for a whole week straight.
Surf Culture in Daytona Beach
I wouldn’t say there is a big surf culture in Daytona Beach, there’s just… Daytona Beach culture.
You’re going to find all types of people surfing out there from the local rippers, families who rented foamies for the day, skim boarders, body surfers and all other possible types of people.
The reason I say this is because Dayton is such a vacation hotspot in Florida that a lot of local surfers are more connected to surf culture in other close surf towns like Flagler Beach and New Smyrna.
Gear Needed to Surf in Daytona Beach
Florida is a warm area of America, but since Daytona Beach is north Florida, you will unfortunately need some cold water gear in the late fall, winter, and early spring.
In the late fall, just around hurricane season or a little after, you will need a spring suit or wetsuit top.
In the winter, you usually only need a 3/2 full wetsuit although some winters can be colder than others and you may need to pair some booties for a month. In the spring, things start to warm up… fast.
By the end of March you could be wearing a spring suit. April to early May is the transition to board shorts and bikinis and it stays that way for a while!
The Best Surf Spots In Daytona Beach
#1 Main Street Pier south side:
Most bigger surf towns have their main, pier surf spot. Here in Daytona, there are two spots at the Main Street Pier- the north side and the south side.
On the south side, it can get really fast and peaky during a south swell on the sand bottom. Most of the time, the tide doesn’t matter a much, the swell will decide how good the waves will be.
The time of the year will decide whether it will be crowded at the pier or not.
During the summer and spring break or any other massive event in Daytona Beach, the beach and water traffic will be crazy. During the fall or the winter, you can get some crowd-free, really fun waves!
#2 Main Street Pier north side:
We talked about the south side of the Main Street Pier, but the north side is just as fun as the south.
One of the two primary spots to surf in Daytona Beach, the north side of the pier can hold some fun rights on a southeast swell.
This side of the pier is definitely the more popular side of the pier to surf, the locals have named the spot Pier Bowls.
This name came from the fact that when it’s firing, it’s firing big, peaky, heavy waves with barrels if you get lucky. Just like the south side of the pier, the time of the year will decide whether it will be crowded or not.
#3 Ormond Beach:
Just five miles north up the road from Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach is another popular spot for these Daytona local surfers to get away from the crowds.
I would say that Ormond Beach is like any other Florida sandy beach break.
It’ll work at any tide as long as there is the right amount of swell to compliment the tide.
Hit this beach on your north Florida surf trip, right after Flagler Beach and right before Daytona Beach.
#4 Ponce Inlet/New Smyrna Beach:
Drive a little more south, around 20-30 minutes, and you can surf the most famous surf spots in Florida- Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna. This is where most local Daytona Beach surfers will go surf, as you will find some absolutely epic waves here.
What To Do in Daytona Beach When Waves are Flat
Truly, you will never run out of options of things to do in Daytona Beach when the waves are flat. There is a reason this places draws crowds of thousands throughout the seasons. The Daytona Lagoon has a waterpark, go-karts, mini-golf and more.
Go kayaking, boating, fishing, exploring, and historic sight-seeing.
Catch the famous Daytona 500 race car event in February. There’s even a giant slingshot bungee right on the beach… like I said, you won’t run out of things to do here.
Daytona Beach Surfing
Get the ultimate Florida experience here in Daytona Beach with dozens of things to do around town and epic surf spots all within 1-hour distance from Ormond, Daytona, to New Smyrna.
You’re going to want to bring your friends and you’re going to have a great time!