9 Things About Key West Surfing That Every Surfer Should Know

9 Things About Key West Surfing That Every Surfer Should Know

Key West Surfing

Key West, which sits at the southernmost tip of the United States mainland, is a beginning surfer’s dream due to its consistently shallow waves. With warm waters and consistent, steady swells, the island offers a variety of surf spots that are perfect for beginners and intermediates alike.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just starting out, Key West is a great destination for anyone looking to catch some waves. Here, we will explore the best surf spots in Key West, provide tips on what to bring and wear, and recommend the best surf schools and events in the area.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just looking to try something new, this article will provide everything you need to know to make the most of your surfing trip to Key West.

Nine Tips On Surfing In Key West

1) Surfing In Key West Is Best For Beginners

The state of Florida is home to a diverse collection of beaches, each with its own unique character. When it comes to surfing, visitors to the Sunshine State can choose from awe-inspiring waves near the panhandle and Florida’s east coast at Miami Beach to waves that barely make a ripple along the west coast and along the Florida Keys.

However, despite being a fantastic location for watersports, Key West is not the surfing capital of Florida, and the sport is approached in a different manner in this area. Because the marine geography and coral reefs that surround the island do not typically produce large waves, experienced surfers may not find much in the Key West surf environment to entertain them.

On the other hand, inexperienced surfers who prefer more manageable conditions and smaller waves to learn the sport may find that the beaches of Key West are an ideal place to get their start.

2) Surfing Conditions Vary

The surfing conditions in Key West, Florida, can vary depending on the season and weather patterns. In general, the best time to surf in Key West is during the fall and winter months when the Atlantic Ocean is more active and generates larger swells.

The waves are typically less steep and smaller during the summer months. In general, the surf conditions on the Atlantic side of the island are superior to those on the Gulf side. As a result, surfers flock to the Atlantic side of the island to ride waves at places like Higgs Beach and South Beach.

Since the water temperature in Key West is consistently warm, remaining in the low 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (about 22–28 °C) throughout the year, a wetsuit is not typically required for swimming or other activities that take place in the water there.

Additionally, it is essential to be aware of the potential dangers that may be present around these beaches, such as strong currents and boat traffic.

3) The Waves Are Smaller

The island is located at the southernmost point of the continental United States, and the warm waters and consistent swells make it a popular spot for novice surfers. The waves tend to be smaller in Key West and suitable for beginner to intermediate surfers. Seasoned surfers looking for big waves won’t find them in Key West.

However, if there is a tropical storm in the Atlantic or the Gulf, even ones that do not pass near the island have the potential to create large swells temporarily due to stronger winds pushing them ashore.

4) Key West’s Best Surf Spots

Despite the fact that surfing is not as popular in Key West as it is in other parts of Florida and the world, and Florida surfing publications don’t often mention Key West, the island still has many good surf spots for beginners and intermediate surfers of all skill levels. Among the most frequented places are:

  • South Beach
  • Smathers Beach
  • Higgs Beach Pier
  • Eastern Dry Rocks

5) There Are Surf Schools In Key West

Key West does have surfing schools that offer lessons for people of all ages and skill levels. You won’t need to worry about bringing your own board to some of the schools because they provide the necessary equipment.

These schools have instructors who are qualified and experienced, and they will provide you with the appropriate instruction as well as the guidelines for proper safety. They will instruct you on the fundamentals of surfing, including how to paddle, pop up, and read the waves, as well as surf etiquette and safety.

It is always a good idea to check reviews or ask locals for recommendations in order to select the best school that meets both your requirements and your financial constraints.

6) There Are Surfing Events In Key West

Key West has several surfing events throughout the year. These events typically take place during the fall and winter months, when the waves are larger and more consistent. Local surf schools and surf shops are responsible for the organization of some of the events, while other competitions are part of larger events that take place in the surrounding areas.

It is important to check the schedule of events and plan accordingly, as the timing and location of these events can change from year to year. Additionally, it is recommended to check with local surf shops or surf schools in order to obtain additional information regarding upcoming surfing events and competitions.

7) Windsurfing Is Big In Key West

Because of its temperate waters and reliable wind conditions, Key West is a well-known destination for windsurfing enthusiasts. A board with a sail attached to it is used in the sport of windsurfing, which requires the rider to be propelled by the wind while standing on the board. This activity combines aspects of sailing and surfing together.

The months of spring and fall in Key West are ideal for windsurfing because the winds are more reliable during these seasons and the water is at its warmest during these times. The Atlantic coast of the island is where the vast majority of windsurfers choose to go, as it gives some of the best surfing winds in the area along the many beaches.

Because of the consistent wind and the relatively flat terrain, these locations are ideal for windsurfers of all skill levels, from beginners to intermediates. Windsurfing schools in Key West offer lessons and equipment rental for people of all skill levels. Some of them offer private or group lessons, as well as certification courses.

8) Go Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is a water sport where a rider is pulled behind a motorboat while standing on a board, similar to water skiing. Key West is not typically considered a wakeboarding destination because of the relatively calm waters and lack of large bodies of water. However, it is indeed a good place to learn for those just getting into this variation of the sport of surfing.

The main spot for wakeboarding in Key West is a man-made lake named Key West Cable Park, located on Stock Island, which is a small island just east of Key West. The Cable Park is a great option for both beginners and experienced wakeboarders. They offer a full-size cable wakeboarding system, which is a cable that pulls the rider around the lake, allowing them to practice and progress at their own pace. The park also offers rentals, lessons, coaching, and events.

9) Not A Single Wave? No Problem! Give E-Foil A Shot!

Riding a hydrofoil board while being propelled by an electric motor is the objective of the relatively new and developing water sport known as E-Foil, which is also referred to as electric foil boarding. The rider of the hydrofoil board will be lifted out of the water by the board’s design, which will enable them to fly above the water’s surface at high speeds.

E-Foiling is still a new sport in Key West, but its popularity is growing as a direct result of the relative calmness of the waters in the area. It is possible to bring your own E-Foil to Key West and ride in the designated areas if you are an experienced wave rider. However, it is imperative that you adhere to the local regulations and laws regarding motorized watercraft.

Surf’s Up!

In a nutshell, Key West is a fantastic destination for surfers. With warm waters and consistent swells, the island offers a variety of surf spots that are perfect for beginners and intermediates.

From Higgs Beach to the Southernmost Point, the consistent waves of the Atlantic side of the island contribute to some of the best surfing spots in the area. Key West may not be the surfing capital of Florida, but it offers a range of surf schools and events, making it a great place to learn to surf or improve your skills. With experienced instructors, the schools provide proper instruction and safety guidelines, as well as equipment rental.

And with an abundance of surf events throughout the year, there’s always something happening for surfers to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just looking to try something new, Key West is a great place to catch some waves. With its unique water conditions, the island is a paradise that should not be missed. Book a tour with Key West Boat Trips E-Foil Rides if you want to learn new skills from knowledgeable guides who also provide equipment rental.

Ready for your next adventure?