Updated: Oct 5
Whether it's from a hurricane swell in the fall or a cold front in the winter, Palm Beach is a location in South Florida that can see big, offshore swells — if you know where to go.
In this Palm Beach surf guide, we'll break down not only where to go, but also where to park, what to expect with marine life and crowds, and more.
Palm Beach Surf Guide
When Does Palm Beach See the Best Waves?
Palm Beach, Florida, can see anywhere between waist to overhead waves during the months of August through May.
In the Fall, hurricanes that spin offshore in the Atlantic can bless the golden Palm Beach coastline with swell.
Some of its most famous waves came from Hurricane Sandy, which turned the tranquil Palm Beach waters into a double overhead surfer's dream.
In the Winter, cold fronts can light up the coast, creating picturesque offshore mornings filled with blue water barrels.
Palm Beach Surf Spots
There are several places to surf in Palm Beach.
An iconic location, Reef Road is located just as it sounds — off Palm Beach's Reef Road. This fast-breaking beach break is notorious for firing during Hurricane swells.
The nearby Palm Beach jetty creates the perfect setting to shoot photos of the Reef Road lineup.
Located in front of the iconic Breakers hotel, this beach break can barrel when the swell is big enough.
While the sand can shift from time to time in Florida, the Breakers has remained a go-to location to surf.
If you're looking for surf in Palm Beach, you'll likely end up at Flagpole.
Just south of the Breakers, this location is the main beach access in Palm Beach. It features a large arena to scout waves at.
Because it's a beach break, there can be several waves scattered throughout the area, and you can choose the least crowded one.
Where to Park When Surfing Palm Beach
Palm Beach is known as one of the trickiest places to park when going out for a surf.
Public Parking in Palm Beach
Public places like Flagpole are the easiest, given that they feature public parking. As long as you pay to park, you should have no issue.
Free Parking in Palm Beach
In other cases, there a few free 2-hour parking spaces if you can find them.
Risk It For a Ticket
For other waves on Palm Beach, such as Reef Road, luck is your best friend. There is no street parking, and police patrol the glitzy and expensive neighborhoods, which can result in traffic tickets.
Gear Needed for Surfing in Palm Beach
During the Fall, you can surf in boardshorts, and when dawn patrolling, you can use a top. During the winter, wetsuits are recommended.
Palm Beach Surfing Crowd
Surfing some of the well-known spots in Palm Beach, such as the Breakers, can be crowded, especially during a much-hyped hurricane swell.
But during less anticipated cold front swells, you can score waves with only a few guys out — sometimes alone.
Given Palm Beach's beach break nature, if a location is too crowded, feel free to scout for waves further down the beach.
The Bottom Line: Palm Beach Surf Guide
While fickle along with parking challenges, surfing in Palm Beach can result in blue water barrels and epic hurricane swells — if you know where to go.
The next time your surfing Palm Beach, use this guide to help you score the wave of the day.