Although South Walton’s Gulf waters are often as smooth as glass, on many days of the year, the waves are ideal for surfing (particularly when there’s a tropical storm brewing somewhere down in the tropics).

Professionals and amateur surfers alike patiently bide their time, waiting for red flag beach conditions or a tropical surge that might create the perfect moment. When surf conditions are right, business calls suddenly go un-returned, and some offices abruptly close in the middle of the day. Facebook chatter pauses until nightfall, when tired surfers finally come home, with tales of epic proportions.

For surfing enthusiasts and wannabes, there are several great surf shops in the area, including Bombora Sun and Surf in Rosemary Beach and Ono Surf Shop in Seaside. There are also a few excellent surf programs in the area, including Camp RYNO: