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Surfing Adventures Along The Florida Space Coast

The area has produced some of the best known surfers in the world, including the "Babe Ruth" of surfing, eight time world champion, Kelly Slater and the surfing twin phenoms, C.J. and Damien Hobgood.  The area is perfect for beginners and those looking for a learn-to-surf holiday because of the generally small to medium waves and consistently warm temperatures, averaging 73 degrees, which usually make use of a wetsuit completely unnecessary.  In much the same way as majestic ski resorts offer ski schools for beginners to intermediate skiers, there are several surf schools on the Space Coast offered by resorts, tour operators and independent experts to prepare guests for a journey into the water.  The Cocoa beach Surf Company Surf School, managed by nationally ranked longboard competitor Debbie Walker and husband Jimmie, offers vacation packages in conjunction with the Four Points Sheraton in the same complex.  The Wiki Tiki Surf School offers special vacation packages with the Holiday Inn Oceanfront in Cocoa Beach, Ron Jon surf Shop offers its own school, as well as many others.  For gals not so keen on learning alongside the guys, Surfet Surf Shack offers girls-only instruction based from their downtown Cocoa Beach surf retail shop.  For those looking for more independent instruction, Jim MacLaren, author of the book, Learn to Surf, offers classes in Cape Canaveral.  MacLaren, who has been surfing the area for several decades, notes that while parents would never consider letting small children out in the giant West Coast waves, the Space Coast's "kinder, gentler" waves make it safe here to start teaching kids as young as 3 or 4 years old.  In much the same way that you wouldn't just hop a ski lift with no idea how to get back down the mountain, expert surf instruction is crucial to a safe and enjoyable experience for beginners.  Whether you are a grom (beginner) or a seasoned pro. the area offers plentiful choices and is home to more than 100 of the best surf spots on the East coast.  Between Sebastian Inlet and Cape Canaveral there are a wide variety of waves and surf experiences to be had.  Websites such as offer up to the minute surf reports and webcams to help you choose the perfect spot to catch some waves during your trip.  For those looking for a quiet commune with the sea, or just a private place to test out the new skills after Surf School, there are many areas along the 72 miles of beach where you can find near isolation.  Better waves, and bigger crowds, can be found at places like Sebastian Inlet State Park and at areas alongside Patrick Air Force Base which offer some great drop-in opportunities.  for those looking to take part in a camp or watch pro-surfers do their thing, Sebastian Inlet State Park hosts at least one surfing competition, camp, or event each month of the year.  Billabong and Hurley are among the brand-name camp experiences offered at the park and one of the biggest events is the O'Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro presented by Ron Jon surf Shop.  The 4-star World Qualifying Series competition is the preeminent professional surfing contest on the  East Coast of the United States and is one of the top professional tournaments in North America.  The event draws 250 of the world's best competitors.  Other great surf competitions in the area include the National Kidney Foundation (NKD) Labor Day Surfing Festival and the annual Ron Jon Easter Surfing Festival.  the Easter Surf Fest is actually the second longest running surfing event of the East Coast, entering its 44th year in 2008 and NKD surf event is the largest of its kind in the world to benefit charity.  At the forefront of all East Coast surfing, the Space Coast has been and is home to many Hall of Famers whose contributions are honored at the one and only East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and Museum in the Ron Jon Surf Shop rental complex.  The museum is curated by Sean O'Hare, the son of Hall of Fame surfer Pat O'Hare,  It features multi-media exhibits on early surfers who shaped the unique surf culture and lifestyle that make the Space Coast the home of champions and soul surfers alike.

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