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Ponce Inlet
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Ponce Inlet is an excellent location on any wind direction from North to Southeast, in both flat water and waves, for intermediate to advanced riders.

You can launch from the north side of the inlet at Lighthouse Point Park or from the south side via Smyrna Dunes Park. Lighthouse Point Park provides good parking, a wind protected grassy area to rig, showers, soda machines, rest rooms, and shallow sandy beach to launch from. Smyrna Dunes Park has the same facilities, but it's a bit of a walk (1/2 mile) to the Inlet, on a wooden boardwalk, from the parking area. You can also get to the south side launch by driving on the beach from any of the New Smyrna beach ramps, but watch the high tide!

It's best to ride on an outgoing tide or when the tide is turning. An outgoing tide will add speed to an onshore wind (cross-current), making it seem windier on the water than when standing on the beach. Likewise, an incoming tide subtracts speed from onshore wind, making it effectively lighter on the water. The current can be very strong (3-5 knots) in places while the tides are flooding or ebbing, so be careful.

The north launch beach faces the south with the Lighthouse behind it and can be wind shadowed on north to northeast winds, so be prepared for light gusty winds until you get out of the wind shadow. When coming back to the beach you can usually carry enough speed to bring you all the way back to the beach through the shadow.

The south launch is a wide beach that juts out into the Inlet and gets wider as the tide drops. It gets clean wind from any direction.

Sail near the south jetty for sailing in waves on the inside of the inlet, or venture further out the inlet for larger waves. When there are strong onshore winds, the swells at the mouth of the inlet can be very large, and can wash you south of the inlet on a strong northeast wind. On winds with easterly components it's possible to stay well inside the jetties and in the flat water.
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Shops, Schools, Clubs, Events, Food, Lodging, More,
 Season: Year-Round 
 Water: flat to waves 
 Ability Level: Intermediate-Expert 
 Familiness: nice beach, facilities 
 Parking: plentiful, $3-$5 
 Launch: wide sandy beach 

To get to Lighthouse Point Park (north side of Inlet), take I-95 to Dunlawton Avenue (exit 256) in Port Orange. Go east on Dunlawton to A1A, go south on A1A, it dead ends at the entrance to the park. Park entrance fee is $3.00. To get to Smyrna Dunes Park (south side of Inlet), take I-95 to SR-44 in New Smyrna Beach. Go east on SR-44 over the Indian River. Go left on Peninsula. It dead ends at the entrance to the park. Park entrance fee is $3.00.

The sensor is well-placed but seems to read 2-4 knots low on westerly winds.


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