Every rose has its thorn.
The World Surf League is halfway through a three-year deal to host its most famous, insanely watched Final’s Day there on Lower Trestles cobbled stone and, no doubt, San Clemente officials are confident of their place in the pantheon. Yes, the Spanish Village by the Sea is often considered one of the best surf towns in America what with its Trestles (uppers, lowers, middles), Andinos, Colapintos, Bioloses etc. Oh, Huntington Beach, just up the 405, dubbed “Surf City, USA” might have something to say about that and, likely, Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii too there across the Pacific but San Clemente has Final’s Day and that speaks volumes.
Though apparently not volumes enough for, hours ago, San Clemente along with Huntington Beach, Haleiwa, Santa Cruz, Princetown, Coos Bay, Kill Devil Hills, various Newports were stunned as respected travel blog ParkSleepFly dubbed Kelly Slater’s Cocoa Beach, Florida the “best surf town in America.’
The world’s best surf spots have more than just reliable waves. To get the ultimate surf vibe, you need warm water, plenty of breaks, and a nice long beach. And it doesn’t hurt if there’s a fun surf posse out in the water, too.
The travel blog ParkSleepFly took this all into account — and more — while evaluating some of the best surf spots in the U.S. The site considered natural factors like the number of surf breaks, water temperature, and the length of coastline in addition to social factors like the number of Google searches and Instagram tags. And Florida’s Cocoa Beach came out on top with a score of 8.32 out of a possible 10.
The long-time surf town beat out other spots like Waikiki Beach in Hawaii and Huntington Beach, California. And it made the win look easy. In Cocoa Beach, which produced world-renowned surfer Kelly Slater, the average sea temperature is a balmy 80 degrees, and there are 78 surf breaks packed in almost 12 miles of coastline. The beach is also trending online, with more than 3,000 surfing-related Instagram hashtags and 5,800 Google searches.
But as any surfer knows, a good surf spot is about more than good breaks and a cool crew. To keep the stoke alive, you need to eat and sleep — and if you’re a newbie, chances are you’ll need a lesson. Here’s how to plan a surf break (see what we did there) in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
But have you surfed Cocoa Beach? I’ve been, once, and went to the giant Ron Jon surf shop and also the Kelly Slater statue. The waves were sub-knee high (Surfline 5 – 8ft) during my visit and I didn’t consider paddling. Had I known that it was trending on Instagram, though, I might have thought differently.
Pop a bottle of… something to celebrate.