Historical Photo of Canaveral Pier with the pier extending into the distance. At the top, a large red and white sign reads: Canaveral Pier. On the left, a smaller black and white sign reads: COCOA GOOD VIBRATIONS BEACH. On the right is a Ron Jon Surfing Shop sign.

Canaveral Pier (Cocoa Beach Pier)

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


  • I worked at the Canaveral Pier in 1970 as a wee lad of 17. Jeff was the manager and Shirley ran the grill. I painted, cleaned, scrubbed, took out the trash, flipped burgers, did whatever they told me to do. Learned how to surf that summer as well. My first time away from home and what a great summer it was.

    Mike Field12 May, 2017
  • I went to a school,called Hydrospace Technical Institute(it was part of F.I.T.) in 1970 located just across Atlantic Blvd across from the pier. When the surf was up there was no one in class.

    Dave21 March, 2019
  • Anyone remember throwing darts at Corky’s photo?

    Denny Weyer25 November, 2019
  • I am looking for a copy of Competition Surf magazine approx 1966 or 1977 featuring Hurricane Surf at Coco beach FL
    In September or October.Published December or January
    I am in the two page picture and the copy I have had for years was stolen during a garage sale.
    If you have any idea where I can get another copy please Contact me
    Tom Towns
    Thanks. Tom Towns

    Tom Towns9 January, 2020
    • Hello Tom- Competion Surf magazines are very hard to find. I think we have one or two. Next time I am in our archives I will look. It would be an interesting story to find.

      John Hughes12 January, 2020
  • That’s 1966 or 1967 sorry

    Tom Towns9 January, 2020
  • Would it be okay if I used one of these photos for an article in my surf magazine? I would put your website and the photographer as a source. Please let me know, thanks!

    Ambria-Justyne27 April, 2020
  • The guys in the “cocoa good vibrations beach” photo are: left to right, Ray Anderson, Phil Haulk, Martin Koivu, and Joe Rose. All pier locals, Goofin around on a flat day.

    Ray Anderson4 May, 2020
  • Hey, it think I know those four guys in that photo Ray! ???

    Carol Rose4 May, 2020
  • I was there in the mid seventies….I drove a green 68 firebird…Rick and I would hang out on the pier on flat days and jam..well he’d play guitar and I bongos! What a great time it was… remember watching some professional fights out in the bar on some small tv behind the bar and playing pool where the balls rolled where they wanted. Lots of pretty young girls and when the surf was up,we’d head down to the Inlet! Yea…How great it was to be free!!!

    steve4 November, 2020

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