The Canaveral Pier is the most iconic surf spot in Florida. Built in 1962, right when the surfing craze hit Florida, it immediately became a focal point for east coast surfing. The structure concentrates sand around it, which amplifies and grooms the often meager swell, contributing to Cocoa Beach’s reputation as the “Small Wave Capital of the World”.
In 1962 Ron Dimenna opened RonJon Surf Shop on the pier, then a few years later Dick Catri replaced it with Shagg’s Surf Shop. In 1965 Paul Jarrett, an aerospace engineer, took over management of the pier and promoted it as a surfing destination. Over the years countless contests have been held there. The Easter Surf Festival, first organized by the Cocoa Beach Jaycees in 1965 and later run by Dick Catri and John Griffin, ran for 52 years. The National Kidney Foundation’s Rich Salick Surf Festival, which began in 1976, has become the largest charitable surfing event in the world.
Now known as the Cocoa Beach Pier, the waves continue to attract a daily crew of regulars, surf schools, tourists and colorful characters. They provide entertainment for spectators watching the action while sipping a beer or eating a burger at one of the eateries on the pier.
Canaveral Pier Photo Gallery