Matanzas Inlet is located south of Saint Augustine. Beach driving is allowed in this area (tide permitting) which can be used to access the North side of the Inlet. There is a small parking area for the south side of Mantanzas Inlet which may be used for days when the beach is closed to driving. However the launch area can be small and is surrounded by large rocks. Only advanced riders should launch from this side. Matanzas Inlet is one of the only natural uncontrolled tidal inlets on the east coast of the United States. There are no jetties or other obstructions so the sand changes constantly with the tides. The tide runs at 3-4 knots on an outgoing tide.
This spot is best during an outgoing tide with an onshore wind due to the speed of the current running through the Inlet. The opposing forces create an “upwind elevator” and add extra power to a relatively light wind. The Inlet water flattens out on the inside during the outgoing tide with large waves on the outside. The rivermouth setup on the outside can create perfect pointbreak style waves and holds any size swell. This creates excellent flat water and wave riding in the same spot! Matanzas Inlet has it all.
PRECAUTIONS: Be careful of dropping your kite or losing your board in this spot during the outgoing tide. The swift moving current can quickly suck your board out to sea or move your kite upwind, making it impossible to relaunch while taking you with it. An incoming tide can create large chop and can cause you to lose power during an incoming wind. This makes the area hard to ride and the words “washing machine” come to mind. It may be best to ride north of Matanzas Inlet or set up a downwinder somewhere along the beach in this tide.
WIND DIRECTIONS: S, SE, E, NE, N