Considered the wakeboarding capital of the world, Florida has so many fantastic wakeboarding spots to check out. The Sunshine State contains nearly three million acres of lakes, plus all of the insanely beautiful coastline around the peninsula.
Honestly, there isn’t another place in the United States, or the world for that matter, where you can find better wakeboarding. If you live in Florida or are planning a trip soon, you can’t hope for more ideal conditions to practice your tailspin.
In this piece, I’ve done the hard work of figuring out where to wakeboard in Florida for you. Below, you’ll find the best spots throughout the state, along with some tips to keep in mind. Keep reading to get your next wakeboarding trip started!
Where to Wakeboard in Florida
Wakeboarding Spots Near Orlando
Orlando holds a special place in the wakeboarding pantheon. Various lakes around the city have the perfect conditions for hitting the water from sunrise to sunset, January to December. In fact, most of the pros live here permanently or for a significant part of the year.
Although there are many different spots to choose from, here are the best places to wakeboard if you’re in Orlando.
If there are any gods of wakeboarding, they’re the ones who made Lake Pickett. Tucked away inside marshes and mangroves, Lake Pickett has developed a reputation with wakeboarders as one of the best spots in the state.
What makes Lake Pickett truly special are its ideal conditions, perfect for wakeboarding year-round. The surrounding vegetation protects the surface from windy days, and the water is deeper than almost any other lake in the region. In other words, you’re less likely to wipe out, and when you do, you can usually pop back up with no problem.
Rock up with your boat to the Lake Pickett Public Boat Launch to hit the water in the morning. While it’s still relatively unknown, Lake Pickett is slowly developing and picking up in popularity. Get out there soon before there are too many kooks on the water to fully enjoy it!
Also known as The Hood, Clear Lake is home to several pro wakeboarders who constantly head out onto these waters. In fact, more pro wakeboarders have lived on or around Clear Lake than anywhere else in Florida, possibly the whole country.
Pristine conditions make Clear Lake a wakeboarder’s paradise, with tranquil waters, limited wind, great weather year-round, and no cops to mess with your buzz. The Hood is still one of the only wakeboarding spots where you can get away with building a ramp on the water, making it the perfect place to try out your next big trick.
However, Clear Lake still has a private boat launch, making it more difficult to wakeboard here if you’re not a local. The best way to get an opportunity to ride Clear Lake is to make friends with the people who live there and head out with them when you get the chance.
Compared to many of the other lakes around Orlando, Lake Conway is absolutely massive. If you come out during the week, you might get lucky enough to be the only boat in sight. Its shorelines make for some of the best wakeboarding around, protecting you from wind that can affect the inner lake.
However, Lake Conway is a well-known party spot over weekends. Since it’s constantly summertime in Florida, there is no off-season or on-season to think about. Hundreds of people flock here to barbeque and hit the water for tubing and boating, so be careful not to hit others when you try to wakeboard.
There are a few different launches to choose from on Lake Conway. However, you need to show up early regardless to ensure you beat the crowds. One of the less busy launches is the Perkins Boat Ramp which leads straight out to some of the best wakeboarding spots on the lake.
Another home to several pro wakeboarders, Lake Jessamine offers a spectacular array of scenery and ideal riding conditions. The shorelines are surrounded by tall trees, which help block any wind from disturbing the water’s surface. Combine that with the lake’s unique shape, and you have the winning formula for perfect wakeboarding.
However, you need to think about how many boats are on the water before you head out onto Lake Jessamine. Since the lake is smaller than others in the Orlando area, more than four boats on a calm day will hurt your ability to wakeboard.
There’s a public boat launch that anyone can use to get onto Lake Jessamine. Get here early in the morning to beat anyone else who wants to hit these waters.
Other Wakeboarding Spots Around Florida
Orlando isn’t the only place to wakeboard in Florida. Here are a few of the top spots to wakeboard throughout the state. While it might be a trek to get to some, trust me when I say that it’s worth it.
Located midway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Hollywood Lakes has developed an impressive reputation for wakeboarding and watersports in general. Although this area tends to have a lot of boat traffic in the main channel, turning off into the lake areas is where the real action starts.
The surface of the water here is great for wakeboarding, remaining calm through most of the year on good days. However, it does tend to get choppy when the wind picks up, so choose a day with ideal conditions before you make a trip to Hollywood Lakes.
The thing that makes this wakeboarding spot so special that it feels exclusive when it really isn’t. Along the shoreline, you’ll see many huge homes and estates that give the impression that you’re riding on private waters. Don’t be tricked, though. Hollywood Lakes is completely open to the public, meaning you should get here early to catch a ride undisturbed.
If you’re looking to switch between straightaway and circular wakeboarding, then you need to go to Lake Osborne. The narrow lake is deceptively big, with two distinct parts to choose from. While you probably won’t be the only ones on the water, there is enough variety to make the trip worth it.
Those of you who love a good, long ride in a straight line should head over to the southern side of Lake Osborne. Here, the water is peaceful enough to wakeboard for hundreds of feet at a time. The northern side, on the other hand, is perfect for circular wakeboarding. Just make sure there aren’t too many boats around you, or the wake will ruin your run!
Launch from the John Prince Park Public Boat Ramp in Lake Worth early in the morning to get a full day’s worth of wakeboarding in before the crowds even think to show up.
Honorable Mention: Blue Lake
This next wakeboarding spot is difficult to recommend, not because it isn’t good for wakeboarding, but because it’s near impossible to access.
Famously featured in Defy: The Danny Harf Project, Blue Lake is legendary among wakeboarding and watersport enthusiasts. Its crystal clear blue waters are absolutely stunning, and the surrounding trees and shorelines almost make the trip worth it on their own.
Here, there’s almost no chance for wind while you’re out on the water. Once you’re riding, you’ll quickly realize that you can keep going for what seems like forever. Whether you’re into straightaways or circular riding, Blue Lake is big enough to do both.
However, Blue Lake is extremely elusive to any prospective wakeboarder, and even the pros, for that matter. Its location is a closely guarded secret only given up to the most legendary of wakeboarding icons. That doesn’t mean you have to be a pro, but it does mean that you have to respect the local area and network with wakeboarders who live around Sebring.
If you get the chance to wakeboard Blue Lake, you absolutely must. Let me repeat: if someone entrusts you with this location, you must go! Wakeboarding here will make you the target of jealousy and envy from other wakeboarders, securing your place on a small list of incredibly lucky people.
Start Wakeboarding the Great State of Florida Today!
By now, you should have a better idea of where to wakeboard in Florida. Whether you’re in Orlando or another part of Florida, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some might be harder to access than others, but that’s part of the fun, right?