Boarding off Siesta Key – Surf, Paddle, Kite & more

If you are new to the southwest coast of Florida, you might be picturing large waves and ample potential for surfing. While this does describe the situation on the Atlantic side of the peninsula, the warm Gulf waters are typically calm in the Sarasota region, with a few exceptions. If you are coming to Siesta Key and were hoping to have a great surfing experience, here are some possibilities to keep in mind:


Many people in this area enjoy paddleboarding, sometimes called stand-up paddleboarding, as a fun alternative to surfing. This is a great cross-training sport, so if you are hoping to build up your muscles and get your heart pumping, paddleboarding is a great way to do it! On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a fun activity in the sunshine and fresh sea air with a lot of potential to get wet, the sport offers those characteristics as well.

 What you’ll need for paddleboarding is a board, a paddle and a personal flotation device (such as a life jacket). Siesta Key doesn’t get very cold; even in the winter, it rarely dips much below 64 degrees or so, but you might consider wearing a rash guard all year long to protect you from the sun. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also a must. The object of the sport is to get yourself into a standing position on the board and to propel yourself around with the paddle. Be prepared to get very wet!

 Travel Slightly South

While most of the coast is quiet and calm, you can join other surfers at North Jetty Beach in nearby Venice, which is located south of Siesta Key on the southernmost tip of Casey Key. Just take one of the bridges back to the mainland and head south on Tamiami Trail until you see the signs leading to Nokomis Beach on Casey Key. Drive out to the island and take a left to continue south toward North Jetty Beach. Here, the jetties located not far from the island create a swell that can cause some pretty impressive waves. Lifeguards are present during the day, and you can also enjoy amenities such a volleyball, horseshoes and a spectacular sunset.

 Getting Your Gear

 If you’ve arrived to Sarasota without surfing or paddleboarding gear, don’t worry; there are plenty of places that you can visit to stock up on essentials. On Ocean Boulevard, for example, there’s CaliFlorida Surf and Skate Shop and Windflight Surf Shop. Further south on Midnight Pass, you can stop at Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club to pick up what you need for a fun day on the water.

Whether you’re visiting Siesta Key or you live here seasonally or year-round, there’s always plenty to do on and off the water. Still looking for your dream home? Give me a call to talk about the properties available on Siesta Key and the other gorgeous Sarasota barrier islands, as well as in the downtown area. You deserve to live in paradise, and I would love to help you achieve this dream!