Tales of South Beach-Road Trips by Uncle Bill

Uncle Bill grew up in Miami and began surfing south beach and points north in the early 60s. He shares his tales with us for your enjoyment.




I still have a 1968 Bing David Nuuhiwa 9’-6” nose rider (If I must brag a little, I became quite proficient at riding it). I also have the receipt for the Bing, Bought it at Buck’s Surf Shop in Deerfield Beach, FL. special order design for $250.00. Being so large, it was well suited to the sophisticated wind chop that we called surf in Miami. Miami’s best days were in the cooler months when we could enjoy some nicely formed swells (3 to 4 ft max) with off shore cold front winds. We always surfed at South Beach Pier area between the Pier and the Jetties.




I fondly recall going up the coast starting at 4:00 AM with a sugar high and caffeine breakfast at Krispy Kream with a group of 4 buddies. Realizing it was flat most of the time in Miami, we safaried many times seeking a larger wave. We started at the Deerfield Pier, if too small, we went up to “The Freighter” in Riveria Beach, then on up to Ft. Pierce Jetties, which usually had a nice ride up until  noon. If we had extra gas money or other funds for a long weekend, we would continue up the coast…..shark pit……radar station…..officers club (Patrick AFB)……culminating at Canaveral Pier and a stroll through The Original Ron Jon (ed. surf shop) which was just a large storefront shop at the time. 4 boards stacked on top of a 1964 Corvair Monza with 4, 6 ft, 150lb guys inside was a real hoot to see……wish I had some pics of that.

When going on the journey to Canaveral (which was a major trip for guys from Miami) and we also need to remember I-95 was only half done then, we used US-1 and in places old 441 and then of course A1A. Many times when the surf was good in Canaveral we tried to spend the night, but most of the old motel owners along A1A would not rent to 4 teenage surfers (who were thought of as pot smoking high school drop outs). We finally found a nice senior man and wife couple who owned a motel named The Silver Sands. If my memory serves me correctly this was in the beach side where A1A splits for a mile or two (editor’s note- it is still there). The wife said she would take a big chance with us and rent us a room for the night as her grand son was a surfer and he was a nice kid. We kept the place spotless and they thanked us and we returned to that motel for quite a few years after.

I only make it to Cocoa Beach or Canaveral once a year or so, and I always take a stroll through the current Ron Jon (which takes an hour now) and sit on the sand at the Pier and watch the young skinny ass surfers of today…….I have many fond memoris and  day dreams.


  • BILL ?? Whitman ?

    Greg Pino23 August, 2019
  • Listening to Springsteen and reading your memories bring back my memories of Manasquan Beach and all of Lavallette and seaside and the wonderful break at Belmar can’t think of any specific day except the biggest day I’ve ever been out in with a German guy I work with in the bakery Fearless I was terrified we got in never really caught a wave but can’t can’t ever remember being this scared on a board has that day in September in 68 great stories great memories, member of the historic surface door and I’m looking forward to seeing some Cocoa Beach action this coming week actually couple weeks pray for surf

    Manasquan Bob17 September, 2019

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