feature photo courtesy of Tom Dugan/ESM
Most Florida surf spots are are just variations of your standard beach break- mostly distinguishable from one another by the fluctuations of swell, tide and wind. Some distinguish themselves from others due to subtle variations in bottom topography. Fewer still have achieved mythical status that often doesn’t hold up once the hype is separated from reality. Monster Hole is where reality and hype come together.
Surfing Monster Hole is not easy. The sand bar forms 1/3 of a mile offshore due to the tidal flow from Sebastian Inlet. Since there are seldom other surfers out it is hard to gauge the size or shape from the shore. The paddle out takes a solid 15 to 20 minutes and the peak is not really distinguishable until you are nearly out to the break. The length of the paddle give you ample time to reflect on the fact that you are paddling through a current that constantly funnels chow into the mouths of unseen predators lurking just beneath the murky water.
Once you make it to the line-up you may find that the take-off zone is shifting all over the place- the waves are not as good as you hoped- and you just wasted most of the morning when you could have surfed a half dozen other breaks that were firing as you sped down A1A.
Or, if the tide and wind and swell and planets are aligned you may find this-