Updated: Oct 9
I'm sure you have heard the two most popular discussion topics about New Smyrna Beach… epic waves and sharks.
Shark sightings aside, the waves in New Smyrna Beach are the best you will find in Florida!
This surf locale is famous for the long beaches full of fun sandbars that hold swell better than any other place in Florida.
Many surf competitions are held here due to the consistency and reliability of the spot.
The town of New Smyrna is beautiful as well!
With good food, people, and views, this place is a no-brainer to experience at least once in your life.
Surfing in New Smyrna Beach
Waves in New Smyrna
Waves here in New Smyrna Beach tend to get very fun, even on unexpected days.
This beach is one of the most consistently breaking spots on the East Coast of Florida, bringing people from all over to experience the hype.
It gets very crowded here with fast-paced waves, so having an intermediate to advanced skill level is probably the best option.
This spot works with just about any tide and swell direction.
The cool thing is that you can drive onto this flat-sanded beach and look for a sandbar you find appealing.
Come surf here in the fall, you are bound to have some epic sessions, especially during hurricane season!
New Smyrna Beach Surf Culture
New Smyrna Beach surf culture is a little all over the place.
Some surfers are very welcoming and nice, but then some old salts or locals are very territorial about the waves. Be nice and respectful and you will be just fine!
This wave is a hotspot for professional surfers as well. You may spot Lisa Anderson, Kelly Slater, Evan Geiselman and other pros somewhere out there.
Gear Needed to Surf in New Smyrna Beach
Florida is a warm area of America, but since New Smyrna 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!
PS — if you want to avoid parking altogether, consider an e-bike.
Top 3 Best Surf Spots in New Smyrna Beach
Smyrna Dunes Park
On the farthest north end of New Smyrna Beach, you will find Smyrna Dunes Park which is located near the Jetty at the Ponce De Leon Inlet.
The closest beach access to drive onto the beach from is a few minutes down the road on Tide St. Here you are able to pay and drive up the beach until you reach the jetty.
There are a few sandbars near the jetty as well if you don’t want to deal with the large local crowd there, but overall, the sandbars and jetty at the park are the most crowded spots to surf in New Smyrna Beach.
You’ll find a peaky, fast paced beach break wave with a little bit of a paddle out. Worth it!
Bethune Beach Park
Bethune Beach Park is a less surf-crowded option at New Smyrna Beach. This park has a boardwalk and fishing dock along with beautiful scenery.
The spot is also a beach break and is just as consistent as others further up New Smyrna where the crowds are located.
I like to come down there when surfing with friends especially because we like to explore all the way down Turtlemound Rd. where there are all kinds of different accesses and nature views.
I saved my personal favorite for last! Ponce Inlet is located on the north side of the Ponce De Leon inlet and is considered just as famous and popular as the main New Smyrna Beach breaks.
This novelty wave can be a little intimidating at first, but be nice and respectful, and you are bound to have an epic session.
The inlet to the right of the spot, paired with a SE or E swell can cause perfect rights to flow through although it is a beach break all the way up the beach. Having more surfing experience is smart before paddling out here.
Bonus- you can also drive on the beach, so pack your snacks and drinks and stake it out all day long, but don’t forget your sunscreen!
What To Do In New Smyrna Beach When the Waves are Flat
The New Smyrna Beach area offers beautiful sights and exciting things to do when the waves are flat.
From kayak tours, electric bike rentals, bar crawls, and more, you have many options to have some fun!
If you are looking for places to explore, check out the Smyrna Dunes Park scenery, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, and the Indian River Lagoon Park.
My favorite thing to do for fun in New Smyrna is buying access to drive onto the beach and rolling down the windows, blasting music, and then hanging out for a beautiful beach day!
Surfing in New Smyrna: The Bottom Line
Overall, the town and beaches of New Smyrna are exciting and fun!
Yes, the rumors about the sharks are true, but those are the locals, so respect them and give them space and they shouldn’t bother you!
Go shark tooth hunting as well, you may find some sick ones out there.