About Mayport Poles

Just on the south side of the St. John's River, inside Hanna Park, is Jacksonville's signature surf spot, The Poles, a favorite due to its ability to turn a stormy north swell into clean, left-hand lines. While getting there from Jacksonville Beach is simply a matter of driving north on A1A, from Fernandina you have to take the Mayport Ferry across the St. John's River, which costs $5 per car. Once you cross, follow signs to A1A. When you get to Mayport Road, head north, toward Mayport Naval Base. Approximately two miles down the road, you'll see Katherine Abbey Hanna Park (904-249-4700). You will have to pay the park fee to enter. Once in the park, you'll see two parking areas filled with a million other surfers. Stash the car, follow the boardwalk to the beach and you're at The Poles. Actually, take a few steps to the north and you're on the Mayport Naval Base, and while nobody really bothered you for paddling a little north, things became a little different since 9/11.

Mayport is a long stretch of beach and breaks on all conditions; however, it's a favorite spot for north winds. The beach curves outward toward the Mayport Inlet's South Jetty, which is about a quarter-mile to the north and can turn a raging northeaster into a clean swell. It breaks best on low tide coming in. It holds a big surge, is usually thicker and more powerful than the other breaks and has very deep, makeable barrels. Furthermore, there's little localism or bad vibes, partly because there are just too many people to regulate and partly because there are usually just enough peaks to go around. Plus, the break can take care of itself on the good days, and you'll often see the beach lined with disgruntled novices who couldn't make it out. Fortunately, Mayport's a pretty cool spot to hang out, with showers, camping, bike trails, canoeing and more than its fair share of the local surfing populace.

Source: Mayport Poles Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

Beginner and up, depending on the swell.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Mind your p's and q's and you'll be good.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Heavy especially when it is good.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Really good shaped wave that affords a lot of wind protection. If it is good here, it'll be crowded.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Northeasters are drifty, pal, so expect to paddle.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Naval port and tons of ship traffic nearby, this place can get filthy.

Additional Information


The wave will drill you, people will you run you over, plus there's the occasional shark tooth found on the beach.


Easy, but costs a few bucks.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish



Best Season

Fall-Spring, Hurricane

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos