Surfing on Amelia Island

Surfing on Amelia Island
You will not find surf like this pictured here, on Amelia Island, but with all of our beautiful beaches, our surf has never been on any top 10 list of happening surf spots. Many find the surf here too small and inconsistent to be considered good surfing, but if they knew where to go I’ll bet you they would change their minds.

Going to the beach was a large part of life growing up on Amelia Island. Many lazy summer days were spent soaking up the sun, fishing, seining, swimming in the Atlantic and of course surfing. The contour of the shoreline on Amelia Island makes it difficult for waves to get larger than 2-3 feet in size, however there are certain places that this rule doesn’t apply. One of the all-time best spots for big surf has been main beach located at the foot of Atlantic Avenue. This makes for a very covenant day at the beach as there is plenty of parking, bathrooms, concession stands and picnic tables all located at this part of the beach. Main beach is also a great place to get an idea of what the tides and winds are doing and the state of the surf.

Next is the old pipeline. This area is located on South Fletcher and Jasmine Street. It is easily found because there is a caution light at this intersection. Years ago one of the local paper mills installed a pipeline that extended out into the ocean as a means of discharging used cooling water for their machines. The normal flow of current was interrupted by this structure causing one side of the pipeline to have a large sandbar and the other side to be very deep facilitating some very large surf. The original pipeline has been dismantled but there are still some parts of the structure located on the seafloor and the power of the waves in this part of the beach proves it.

If you venture south on Fletcher Avenue you will find 2 large condominium complexes and in the middle, shared by both, is a fishing pier. The “pier” as it’s known by locals, is by far the best surfing Amelia Island has to offer. Depending on the tides, big surf can be found pretty much anytime of the day. Caution should be exercised here as the surf and ocean currents become unpredictable near this structure. Pay close attention when choosing a wave and do not get too close to the pylons. All of these locations can be affected by the moon, tides and dredging projects, so when you’re scouting for that perfect part of beach and surf just remember you’ve got several options to choose from.

Leave a Comment