Surfing St. Augustine: The Ultimate Beach & Surf Guide
What could be better than a small town with a lot of surf spots and sandbars all within 30 minutes or closer?
Saint Augustine is one of the grooviest surf towns in north Florida where you can find amazing food, beautiful beaches, and friendly people.
What makes Saint Augustine one of the best places to surf in Florida is the fact that one of the surf spots is usually breaking when the others are not… if you are willing to look for it!
From beach breaks to jetties and inlets, each beach and surf spot has a charm that is bound to catch your eye and make it hard for you not to play favorites.
Surfing in St. Augustine
Waves in St. Augustine
East Coast waves are tricky and are not as consistent as other places in the country like the west coast or Hawaii.
In Saint Augustine, the average weekly wave height is around 2.5 feet.
Some weeks may go flat but then other weeks there may be an unexpected swell of solid 4-5 foot waves.
Forecast apps are tricky when it comes to the east coast because it is very unpredictable, so never count on them being 100% correct.
Many surfers in Saint Augustine tend to wake up early and check the surf cameras, the more dedicated ones drive to the beach or drive around town looking for a wave.
The dedicated surfers often get a surprise session all by themselves while others sleep or stay home. Count on the Fall season to be epic! Hurricane season brings amazing waves and all-day-every-day surf sessions.
Surf Culture in St. Augustine
Surf culture in Saint Augustine is great. I would even say it is one of the best communities I have experienced in Florida.
Most of the local surf shops have been around for years including The Surf Station and Pit Surf Shop.
Everyone is very friendly in the line up as well, although you do get those grumpy old salts every once and a while just like you would anywhere else!
The community comes together to throw many surf competitions and celebrations and they support each other endlessly.
With Saint Augustine being such a small town, if you stick around for a while, you are bound to see a friendly face out in the line up or town who’s going to say hi and connect you to others.
It’s hard to be a stranger here!
Gear Needed to Surf in St. Augustine
Florida is a warm area of America, but since Saint Augustine 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 3 Best Surf Spots in St. Augustine
Every surf town has their main break, most include a pier.
The St. John’s County Ocean & Fishing Pier is the most popular, and definitely the most crowded, spot for all kinds of surfers.
The pier, located at Saint Augustine Beach, is able to be surfed on both the north and south side, both are beach breaks.
Although most people prefer to surf on the sound side beach, the north side can get fun if you are careful with yourself and your board at high tide to avoid the rocky sea wall.
When I worked at one of the local surf shops, I couldn’t keep track of how many unfortunate boards’ lives were taken by the north side of the pier. The boards’ owners would always talk about how fun it was when it happened though!
There’s two free surf cameras for the north and south side of the pier on Surf Station’s website.
A local, old go-to spot, A Street is another beach break on Saint Augustine Beach that has been around for decades and guess what… you can drive right up to the waves!
This spot has access to drive onto the beach, so bring your 4 wheel drive car and post up for the day with snacks, drinks, and shade while you surf!
A street is popular because straight off of the beach is a local surf shop if you need any equipment, Pit Surf Shop, and yummy after-surf smoothies, Stir-It-Up.
A Street is a beach break that is fun at both high and low tide, depending on how much swell there is. My favorite time to surf this spot and any other spots on Saint Augustine Beach would be right in between mid-tide and high tide.
If the tide is too low, sometimes the waves will break too shallow and close out.
Another plus to this spot is that there is a surf camera to check if you’re feeling lazy.
In general, A Street is a safe choice to check when looking for waves or going to surf in town!
Looking for a fast-paced, short boarding wave?
The Vilano Jetty is where you should look.
Located on the other side of the Saint Augustine Inlet, north of Saint Augustine Beach, is a fun wave right next to a rocky jetty blocking the waves from the inlet.
With a nice swell, you can get some barrel time here.
Waves aren’t working here?
Keep driving up A1A and you are bound to find a fun sand bar not far from the jetty!
There is even an annual skimboarding competition hosted at this location.
If you are visiting, there are many choices of affordable accommodation here at Vilano Beach.
Things to Do in Saint Augustine Besides Surfing
Waves are flat and you are looking for something fun to do? Saint Augustine is called “The Oldest City”.
There are historic landmarks including the Castillo de San Marco fort, The Oldest House, The Fountain of Youth, and trolley tours to show you around.
If you’re brave enough, check out the ghost tours too.
Check out The Alligator Farm! The name is misleading, there are all kinds of species of alligators, crocodiles, birds, snakes, and other animals.
It is an affordable option for a solo trip or the whole family.
Downtown Saint Augustine has some of the best food you could possibly want.
Whatever you are craving, there is an option downtown to satisfy that craving. Girls’/guys’ trip and looking for nightlight?
Check out the downtown bars including The White Lion and No Name Bar and the boulevard bars including Odd Birds and the British Pub.
Want to explore?
Anastasia State Park provides camping, beach access, and trails. Washington Oaks State Park is not too far as well!
St. Augustine Surf Guide
Saint Augustine is a beautiful, small city with a great surf community and wave selection that goes beyond what you have read.
Come explore the town and find the surf spot that you’ll add to your “favorites”!
This place is a hidden gem that you will fall in love with and keep coming back to.