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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    under the pier

    How much better or worse is the surf in FL compare to Va beach

    I am aware Florida is long state with a ton of coast line and waves can very from block to block , But i am really considering moving down around New Smyrna Inlet i hear its super consistent but that does not mean it gets Obx good and with the water being so much warmer it must be fairly crowed all year around . any body every live down in that part of the worl/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
    Quote Originally Posted by billabongmoney View Post
    I am aware Florida is long state with a ton of coast line and waves can very from block to block , But i am really considering moving down around New Smyrna Inlet i hear its super consistent but that does not mean it gets Obx good and with the water being so much warmer it must be fairly crowed all year around . any body every live down in that part of the worl/
    never lived there, but studied the swell data in both places (considering a VB move). Central FL is the most consistent spot on the whole east coast (as far as ridable waves each year), while the Banks are very close in consistency but much more powerful. Most guys on here who I have had this conversation said that central FL has a lot of gutless surf that registers as ridable, so a 3 foot mushburger is the average wave style down there... But VB is not quite as punchy as OC MD or OBX, so as far as the wave type, they will be similar...

    But dude, housing on the central FL coast is super cheap. The water is warm. You can surf comfortably all year. So, I would see no reason not to head down there from VB if you ahve good reason to. Just the day-to-day living would increase based on weather etc... not to mention water temps.

    Just get some flood/cane insurance and go for it. Im sure some locals down there could give you much better info, but that is all i can say. Ive only been to Cocoa beach once.

  3. #3
    New Smymera is the most consistent break on the east coast. Pretty much always rideable due to the inlet and jetties, it is commly referred to as a more california break, but many pros such as the gieselmans prefer smymera on a regular basis than..lets say t street because on average its better. It did produce many rippers ( such as gorkin for crying out loud, gieselman bros, nils, and many other rippers).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Lewes, DE
    I lived in Melbourne for a short period.

    New Smyrna inlet picks up any trace of long period swell, so hence the consistency.
    But, there aren't as many hollow waves in Florida as compared to the Mid Atlantic. Sebastian Inlet and Spanish House are only an hour a way or so from New Smyrna, and they offer a little more power.

    More crowded down there, as you would expect, but outside of the dead of summer, the weather is nice.

    I think I like the surf in Northern Florida the best.. I like the St Augustine area a lot, and Jax Beach seems nice as well. I would agree that central Florida is the most consistent.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Monmouth Beach, NJ
    I prefer Northern Florida as well. Plenty of uncrowded surf off the beaten path, great weather, a more "natural" feel to the place... pine trees over palm trees... and just out of the bull's eye for most major hurricanes. A bit more sharky than most of the state, but that's just the way it is. It does not have the consistency of the Space Coast region, but close, and it seems to pack a little more punch, but that varies from break to break. Maybe it's because it's not such a swell magnet stretch of coast, so it might take a little more energy to create surf... so when a swell shows up, it just naturally has more pop. But that's just my guess...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    brevard county - love the place. Surf (reefs and beachbreaks) can be really good but on average the waves are longer but way less powerful than up north. At first it is kind of hard to surf; in MD you tend drop in then pump to make section, down there you need to cut back to stay with the peak. With that being said, there are tons of surfable days and the good swells absolutely kick ass. Can go flat for a while just like other east coast spots but if you are willing to travel 2 hrs north or south you can usually find a wave. Anywhere around Brevard county is good - melbourne, satellite beach, sebastian inlet, cocoa, playalinda (north of cape canaveral) plus you have palm beach county during winter months (which gets these refraction swells that are absolutely phenomenal). Crowds can be an issue but you learn where/when to go to beat em.

    Blending in down there takes a while. Everyone surfs so you'll get along with them but there are craploads of vagrants/homeless/general weirdos. In some spots petty crime is bad - don't leave your surfboards in car/truck or unlucked garage cuz they will disapear. Not trying to dissuade you but if you move there my info will help with the adjustment. Ecomomy is fairly depressed but if you have a good job you can live very well (real nice house within block of beach in good neighborhood in sat. beach is maybe $180K). If you buy a home, plan on including roughly $10K/yr for home owners insurance (hurricanes).

    good luck

  7. #7
    I grew up in Jacksonville, went to school there, and worked there up until last year when I moved to VB. I surfed Jax and St Augustine, and made the occasional trip to Central Florida whenever I had a free weekend. I think as far as waves go, it's the same, typical east coast beachbreak.

    But swells are more frequent because you can enjoy both the SE and NE swells, and a bigger swell window. And I noticed that wind swells last a couple more days than it does here in VB. Nowhere in Florida do you get that weird sloshy wave thing that happens when the tide fills in/ goes out here in VB. Also, you can always avoid the crowds because there arent any surfin restrictions. Every street along the beach has may 10-20 public parking spaces (at least in North Florida). Some breaks are also located within public parks.

    Water is definitely warmer. I know in Jax you don't get water below 48 F. Anywhere south of Palm Beach County you'll never need a wetsuit. And maybe that's where the difference is. A thigh high day in the middle of winter looks more appetizing when you only need a 3/2 to go surfing, as opposed to being decked out.

    Housing is like what others have stated, applies more to Central up to North Florida. Current employment situation is probably better in that area as well.

    Not to knock VB. I love it here, and my wife and I needed a change of scenery. She's never lived outside of FL, and I thought she needed to experience living somewhere else, away from family. I love it here in the summer/fall.

  8. #8
    i'm starting to get very bummed now. in both 2007 and 2008 i almost moved to florida. first time in 07 i tried to buy the house in ormond beach that was my uncles when he died. it was my grandparents house, and they had it built in 58, and i summered there, and it was he, and my dads summer house growing up. his son wouldn't sell it to me, and told me we should just move on. i offered him $15k more, and he wouldn't have had to pay a realtor commission, ormond was never the biggest surfing place, but sunglow pier in daytona was always a hot spot. ormond had a few breaks especially beginner breaks for me when i was learning how to surf when i went for the summers as a teenager.

    in 08 i was going to move down to jacksonville with the girl i was with at the time. she was already living down there for a year, but she came up north which was supposed to be a visit for the whole summer. i went down there in april for two weeks. flew down, and rode back up with her in may. she left me for someone else, and wound up staying in jersey permanently last i knew. we had made plans for me to move there that september, and get our own place. never happened. my whole family lives in the st petersburg area, but no surf in the gulf.

    i'm happy where i'm at now in life. have my own business, engaged to a much better girl who i would have never met had i moved to florida and can surf when i want, but thats only when there is surf. i used to think people who said florida was the best waves on the east coast were crazy. looking at the reports for north, and central florida, and the forecasts daily this winter it seems they at least have rideable clean swells three or four days a week. even if it's only one foot. still better than the mid atlantic right now thats for sure. if hawaii doesn't work out when i'm ready to retire i could always retire, and settle in northern or central atlantic coast florida i figure. i would probably make out better, because it's much cheaper.
    Last edited by eatswell; Feb 13, 2011 at 06:42 AM.

  9. #9
    i grew up surfing florida then moved to the northeast and whenever i go back i'm always surprised how weak it seems. the wider continental shelf really does sap the energy and not a lot of offshore wind cooperation either.. i can't speak for va beach but just looking at the maps it seems to do better during storm season than florida. ymmv..

    (as far as the northeast, it really is true that 'florida's got the oranges but jerzy's got the juice!' )

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Virginia Beach / OBX


    Honestly if you move somewhere to surf more you would be better off in New Symrna. Not because the waves are better is just typically always rideable , something to play on anyway you can surf 5 days out of the week, better swells you hav eotions an hour north or south but your lifestyle in a warmer climate will be better. I will say its way different surf community down there than up here. The surf community is pretty redneck, where fishing is almsot or more important to those guys than surfing. I moved form Chesapeake to North Florida (Fernandina Beach) years ago when in high school and was shocked at how redneck half the surfers were down there. Good people but ust way different thatn i thought the community would be. Your quality of life for a srufer will be much better, your outside in the warm weather 10 months out of the year instead of 5 months out of the year. That right there makes is more fun. Satelitte Beach is an awesome surf town, but new symrna offers more rideability daily. Keep an eye on the reports daily in staelitte and symrna for a month or two see how many days are rideable and then realize the middle of winter the water is like 55*