Destin, Florida is a city in the gulf side of Florida that looks like it belongs somewhere else in the world. The waters are a crystal clear emerald color that, in some cases, resembles a place like the Bahamas or the Florida Keys.
There is a tropical and welcoming vibe in Destin that attracts a lot of tourism as a vacation spot which makes this destination perfect for surfers when there are waves and they are also looking for a place with much more to do and experience.
East of Pensacola, Destin has some surf spots that can get pretty epic with just the right swell. Something that makes surfing here unique is the surprising fact that Destin can hold a lot of swell and has some “big wave” spots.
When massive swell comes to the gulf, surfers from all over flock to Destin. You will see famous surfers take on the waves here when it’s epic.
Surfing in Destin
The waves here are very flakey but can get fun with just the right amount of swell.
During the summer it is usually, mostly, flat.
The best time of the year to surf is either during hurricane season which is in the fall or during the winter when big NE storms roll through and provide some serious surf.
Most of the time, the spots here will break best with a SE, S, or SW swell paired with NW, N, or NE winds.
Those are the ideal conditions, but some spots can still be fun even when the conditions aren’t lining up.
Surf Community in Destin
The surf community in Destin, and all of the gulf of Florida, runs deep. The people who surf here are all very nice and welcoming to those who are respectful out in the line up.
There are generational connections through surfing families and friends.
A lot of the Destin surf community either lives near the beach at Destin or a little drive down to Fort Walton Beach where most of the city is located.
Gear Needed to Surf in Destin
Although Destin is in the gulf, you will need some cold water gear. The highest temperatures of the year are usually in July and they average around 85 degrees fahrenheit.
The coldest temperatures of the year are usually in February and they average around 64 degrees.
You will be able to wear board shorts and bikinis and maybe pair them with a wetsuit top or spring suit for most of the year, which isn’t too bad, but during the winters you may need a full wetsuit around 3/2mm or even a 4/3mm during colder winters.
Pack some booties if you go to surf in the peak of the winter as well, just in case you need some extra comfort.
The Top Surf Spots in Destin
The NCO Club surf spot is probably the most consistent and more popular surf break in Destin.
When nowhere else is breaking, NCO Club might have a wave.
This is the old reliable which you might be able to find a wave at during the flat summers.
All levels of surfers are welcomed here as long as you are kind and respectful out in the water. All types of boards are welcomed here as well.
As previously stated, every spot in here has the same ideal conditions that help them get good which will be a SE, S, or SW swell paired with NW, N, or NE winds.
NCO Club breaks best at a lower tide that is pushing high.
The East Jetty is one of those “big wave” spots that goes off during bigger swells and epic NEsters.
The best conditions are the same as every other spot, but this break needs a lot of swell to get as good as the legends make it out to be.
During hurricane season, a big storm may generate enough swell there for it to get good, but most of the time, during the spring and summer, it’s flat.
When it’s bigger, it’s best if only intermediate to advanced surfers go out.
The Pumphouse is another spot that breaks well when the waves get bigger.
It forms super far out which helps with longer rides and then breaks shallow on hard sand.
It gets extremely crowded here so be respectful of other surfers out there because the locals won’t like it when someone is causing trouble or being unsafe.
With that being said, it’s best if only advanced surfers head out here when the waves get good because the crowd can get more heavy and the locals and other gulfers are all on it.
Things To Do In Destin When Waves Are Flat
Destin is very beautiful and there are a lot of nature-filled activities to do here including boating, fishing, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, paragliding, and visiting the state parks like Henderson Beach or James Lee.
There are fun things to do in town as well like Gator Beach Alligator Park, Big Kahuna Water Park, Destin Harbor Boardwalk, and great food and shopping
Destin Beach Surfing
Here you will find beautiful, tropical, views with waves that can get pretty epic with just the right swell.
There’s also so much more to do here in Destin, Florida besides surfing that will leave you wanting to return again one day.