When people think of surfing, they might imagine the golden sands of California or the big waves of Hawaii. In Florida, the waves depend on the weather and what side of the coast the waves are on. The surf scene in Sarasota might seem smaller but the community is really connected and into hitting the waves with as much intensity as anyone anywhere in the world. Lido Beach, in Lido Key, is one of the best spots to surf near Sarasota.
Surfing Culture In Sarasota
Surf culture in Sarasota means focusing on when waves are good. Planning ahead helps catch the best waves. Swells depend on where they come from and how much storm activity is brewing at any given time to produce the right swells to keep surfers atop their boards. There are less than 100 hardcore people who might surf the area but visitors come from all over to check out the scene and meet the locals. When a tropical storm or hurricane comes in, people like to dive in and surf but its only recommended if they understand the water and risk involved.
Know Before You Go Surfing in Sarasota
The jetty on the south end of public beach catches people surfing quite a bit. The waves can vary from shoulder-high to waist-high with rides ranging around 100 yards. The secret is to catch the wave at an angle and ride in that way. With a local group of friends to check out the scene, it can create a real close-knit community. Some other things to know:
- Bring a rash guard but prepare to wear a wetsuit in winter due to cold front waves
- Have boots, hood and gloves ready for colder temps
- Have solid equipment in good shape to attack waves
Sarasota Surf Reports
Check out wave and water reports before heading out. When tropical waves come through, the waves get moving and surfers tend to have more fun riding along. Mornings can provide a great opportunity to surf some waves with locals and visitors. Sunset depends on the weather but can provide beautiful views out on the board.
Equipment & Amenities
To surf Sarasota, it helps to know where to find equipment and amenities. Turtle Beach offers a shelter and pavilion with access to restrooms and a rinse station. Very helpful after a swim and paddle out. Siesta Beach offers more amenities like showers to clean up. Check out some great places to get some paddle gear:
- CaliFlorida Surf and Skate Shop with rentals of skateboards, surfboards, skimboards, and paddleboards
- Compound Boardshop offers surfing, skating, and other activities in and around Sarasota. Also hosts camps, contests, and clinics to teach others to surf and be safe