David Morgan

WordPress Theme Designer & Developer, Brand Builder, Surfer Dude

I was recently driving back to Florida after an awesome week in the mountains of North Georgia with my fiance. It’s a long drive, and checking out the billboards to pass the time is a good way to lose all faith in humanity. There’s an abundance of billboards for anti-abortion, adult superstores, “spas” with trucker parking, and my personal favorite, “Hell? …Oh, I forgot about that.” It’s like Jesus and the Devil are duking it out for advertising space. Closer to the Florida state line, Cocoa Beach starts to join in the fun. Their billboards litter the road side like cigarette butts in the sand at, well… Cocoa Beach.

For the ill informed, the billboards and advertising paint Cocoa Beach as a sophisticated, tropical paradise along the Space Coast of Florida. For those of us that grew up surfing those dirty waves, we know the truth — Cocoa Beach is trashy.

If you were to hold a black light over the state of Florida, Cocoa Beach would be a shining beacon of debauchery. It’s where all the bros and sluts of the southeast congregate to abandon their last shreds of dignity on Spring Break. It’s where every trailer park rose with a tramp stamp and deadbeat dad unite because they couldn’t afford a ticket to Vegas. It’s where the cockroaches of society gather to spread STD’s and sell meth to the bums sleeping at Jetty Park.

Did I go too far?

See, once upon a time, Cocoa Beach was my paradise. I’ve blown several Publix paychecks on the casino cruises that sail from those dark shores. I’ve walked into the wrong seedy motel off A1A and seen things my sheltered eyes were not prepared to behold. I’ve had a trigger happy cop pull his gun on my friends and I while searching our Camaro for weed — unsuccessfully. I’ve been woken up and solicited for drugs while napping in my Jeep Wrangler between surf sessions. I’ve jumped off the end of the pier during a hurricane to score some major swell. I know this town, well enough.

Clearly, I did my share of contributing to the trash of Cocoa Beach in my youth. Then I grew up and ventured beyond the shores of Central Florida. When I returned many years later to the place where I learned to surf, I expected to find the paradise I remembered. Instead, I found trash. I found bags of Lay’s potato chips and styrofoam cups floating in the water, cigarette butts and crumpled beer cans lining the shores, and the kind of people that thoughtlessly added to mess. Maybe I’m the one that changed, and it was my sugar-coated teenage memories that led to my utter disappointment of Cocoa Beach. Maybe the town truly did fall deeper into a perpetual haze of Spring Break parties. I don’t know.

sebastian-fishing

The gorgeous side of the Space Coast — Sebastian Inlet.

Sometimes I hear lore from the previous generation. Old Florida surfers like my Dad that remember the way it used to be. Ron Jon’s was no more than a little surf shack on the pier. Friendly folk would hold each other on the hoods of their cars to watch the space launches. Surfers would kindly share the waves and retrieve each others boards because surf leashes hadn’t been invented yet. The town was filled with astronauts preparing for their next mission.

Gone are those days of yesteryear’s. Things changed.

Mr. Ron Jon himself, hailed by some as the father of east coast surfing and others as a reclusive criminal sell-out, has transformed his iconic little surf shop into a gaudy monstrosity of a tourist trap. Ron Jon’s only saving grace is the fading memory of its past. On the other side of the road is something worse, the Cocoa Beach Surf Company (CBSC). A former disgruntled manager of Ron Jon’s constructed the competing “surf shop” right next door in a pissing match of true Cocoa Beach form.

CBSC-logo

Worst. Surf. Logo. Ever.

I don’t know those guys. I shouldn’t pass judgement. They’re probably nice, fun-loving surfers with some awesome stories. However, I will speak to my personal expertise and say that CBSC has the worst logo in surfing history. The name doesn’t exude much creativity either. Most of this article is a jab in good fun, a roast of a town I love, but c’mon!? Have you seen that logo!? No self respecting surfer wants that poor excuse for a stick figure on their car, let alone a t-shirt. It’s like the inspiration was to make the kokopelli guy retarded with a surfboard under his arm. I could design a better surf logo blindfolded. My unborn child could design a better logo. It needs help, man. Please consider a re-branding. If not for the sake of all mankind, at least for the dignity of the company.

As for the rocket launches, those have lost their charm as well. I remember hearing the sonic boom of the shuttles while playing outside as a kid. It was a magical feeling knowing Merica was exploring space. Now, most people would rather watch an episode of “Real Housewives” than see mankind travel beyond our own planet.

And the surfers, friendly faces are few and far between in those waters. The waves below the pier are littered with aggro groms trying to become the next Kelly Slater, and kooks with their blue soft-top Costco boards crashing into each other. On the pier fishermen compete to catch surfers, or mutated 3-eyed flounders in the polluted water below.

Honestly, Cocoa Beach isn’t all bad. I may have exaggerated a tad. I’ve clearly got some gripes with it, but it’s only because I love the place. It had all the right nurturing to become a charming little beach town with a rich history of surfing and astronauts, but somewhere along the way things went wrong. Despite all its faults, Cocoa Beach still holds a place in my heart. It’s like high school, most of it was an awful experience, but somehow I still look back on it with fond memories. I’m not asking for a different town, just a better version of the existing one. How about using some of that billboard money on town beautification? You’ve got potential old friend, if you only tried. Daytona Beach has enough trash to go around. Let them carry the torch.

69 Comments on “Cocoa Beach Is Trashy”

      • I totally understand where you are coming from. I agree with about everything you said especially Daytona Beach. Lol. I travel all over the state every week and grew up in cb and my son is growing up there. It’s a good place to live. But there are more than enough drinking and drug problems around. Just have to stay out of those circles. But will lose a couple of friends to drugs and alcohol along the way in cb. Truth hurts most of the time. Wouldn’t change how I grew up for anything.

    • Why would somebody talk trash about a place that they loved growing up & in the process slandering the f**k out of it.Guy sounds like a big douche!

  1. Really you do come off a bit like a prick that carries a lot of baggage and has an issue going down memory lane ,simply because your idea of what an iconic beach town should be today isn’t what you remember of yesterday.
    Things change and life goes on ..lighten up, enjoy, try to see the glass half full..Cocoa Beach is the same great little beach town it’s always been , It may have changed some..but then sounds like you did too !
    And locals know better then to EVER refer to it as “Cocoa”, so go smoke another one and relax..Dude!

    • Lol alright David Morgan first things first thank you for being truthful I have lived in this town for the entirety of my life never even been further north than savannah Georgia and I have to say you sir are right I have personally watched the decline of my beloved beach second to all you f***ing blind people in this town WE HAVE BECOME A TOURIST TRAP!!!!!!! There is no way in hell that the founders of this town wished for this outcome everywhere I go I am surrounded by incompetent foreigners that can’t speak a lick of English and repeatedly ask some moronic question LIKE “where is the pier” (1st time I was asked that question I was four blocks down ridge wood) lol and Muldoon really little harsh bro

  2. Speaking as someone that worked for that “disgruntled ” employee of RonJohns, he is a wonderful boss! Not everyone in Cocoa Beach is scum some of us love the beach and work hard to be close to it. So problem solved don’t go there no one probably wants you to. You sound like a ass.

    • I don’t have anything against him. I’ve never met him. As I said, he’s probably a cool dude. I do have something against that logo though. 😉

  3. Have you ever been anywhere else in FL? Are you that delusional? And how does the (not CB) bilboards along the expressways having anything to do with CB, besides the RJ signs? You sir, are a disgrace to this town & we would be MORE than happy for you to never “visit” again. Move along kook

    • I have, actually. I was born and raised in FL. I’ve been almost everywhere in the state, and hundreds of other beach towns in this country and others. Have you?

      • I’m trying not to take this article personally but your writing is just rude and offensive. Please go back to the tons of beaches that you say you’ve been to because we simply do not want you here. Don’t bash a town for things like billboards that they can’t even control. C’mon kook.

  4. I agree with most everything you have said. Cocoa Beach has some wonderful people living there, but the city just can’t get its act together.

  5. Clearly you visited long enough to take note of some landmarks, but you have no clue about the Cocoa Beach community. It’s a shame that you chose to post this review, and I hope that you find what you’re looking for in some other vacation spot…far, far away.

    • I was raised in Cocoa Beach, went to High School there, Graduated 2007. This place is beyond trash! Every house party I was at, the parents were partying just as hard as the 17 year old kids. I was afraid to even walk to the Circle K down the road because several times I was harassed by homeless people. There are countless adult video stores, I think there are about 4 Strip clubs on A1A from Cape Canaveral to Ron Jons. The people I went to high school with are pretty much doing the same thing as they were doing in HS, some I’ve even heard were in porn videos and Escorts. I’ll always love it too because it was my hometown but when you look past your fond memories, its just a dump.

      • I went there and graduated in 2007 as well ha. Parties were certainly an experience to say the least. I think Cocoa Beach is okay, it would be nice if they would’ve been able to keep that McDonald’s across the street 24/7 though”

      • Lol very true but circle k is in cracknaveral as for the porn yep i graduated in 01 and yes some girls went that route. But moat of my friend who moves away are doi g very well for them selves have good jobs and beautiful families. I’ll never forget going up north being considered the party animal when I was the most timid of party is back on in Cocoa Beach

  6. This is just stupid. Cocoa beach has been going through some huge changes recently, yet you fail to mention that. You’re a shitty local.

    • David is not a local. He lives elsewhere, can’t distinguish the difference between Cocoa and Cocoa Beach, and has no excuse for his behavior.

  7. From your self reported exploits; as a younger man living in Cocoa Beach, (mentioned in your writing) some of the Cocoa Beach trash now lives in Maui

    • No doubt. I’m always happy to meet fellow Floridians. No doubt their perspective of Cocoa Beach has changed after living in Maui as well.

  8. Sounds like you helped plant the seeds of “trash” by your exploits while living in Cocoa Beach. Your claims of walking drunk down A1A, being held by officers as they searched the car for drugs, and walking into a motel room to only see thing you shouldn’t have seen paint a picture that you are part of the “trash” problem. Good Luck where ever you live today.

  9. Funny article! Spot on. I lived in CB for ten years and recently moved up to north Georgia because of everything you summed up here. It’s just not the same as it used to be. It’s much more peaceful now to take a hike in the mountains rather than being bombarded with the regular tramp stamps and drunkenness on the beach at Coconuts. Seeing all of the CB and, even worse, Palm Bay billboards on the drive back down to FL is always amusing. Stay funny my friend.

  10. As somebody who also grew up in CB and has since “escaped”, its refreshing to see somebody share similar opinion as i! every time i come “home” to visit, it seems there are more and more strip clubs, adult video stores, and cash for gold pawn shops each time. I don’t remember the beaches ever being clean during my time growing up, so that is nothing new. However after visiting many other beaches of the world i wonder why it is that these other locations don’t seem to have cigarette butts and dirty diapers buried in their sands, and in 2016 (a time when the world is conscious of “being green” and protecting our natural environments) CB STILL can’t get their shit together. the crime rates for this area have done nothing but gone up (public record people, you can see this yourself) and mostly for domestic violence, drunk in public, and drug busts. I remember the hardest drug you’d see was the surfers smoking a blunt, and now you can find used needles/syringes littering the dunes near the boardwalks.

    Its sad to see how much both Cocoa Beach and Titusville have declined since the absence of NASA. The income class has significantly shifted and its evident. I will always love this little beach town, but with each trip i cut it out of my heart bit by bit with all these changes.

  11. You should really think about a rebuttle to this blog post. Maybe dig in and reconnect with the people and family’s that make this area awesome. This is your opinion but your opinion can hurt. Potential tourist looking to visit this area and happen upon your blog may just go somewhere else so hopefully they take the time to read the comments. Yes Cocoa Beach is a tourist area. Yes when it gets busy during spring break and summer people can get ignorant and litter. Yes I’m sure there are drug problems if you go looking for that trouble but where isn’t their. Let me tell you what we mostly have. We have a great community of friendly welcoming people and a lot of really cool things to do. You should have mentioned the dedicated people that walk the beach every morning picking up others trash or the dedicated team of people that walk the beaches and mark off turtle nesting sites. We have the most bang for your buck when planning a vacation. Where else in the world can you start in Orlando and have all the fun and excitement of big roller coasters and 1st class shows. Then have raw nature and the option to learn about the swamps by taking a scenic airboat tour. Next you can visit the lagoons and ocean to take a Eco tour and see a abundance of sea turtles, dolphins, manatees and endless birds and fish. Heck just open your eyes as you drive to Cocoa Beach from Orlando, on everyone one of those Ron Jon signs you will see hawks and eagles staged for a ambush and under these signs you will see turkeys and deer feeding on the new growth then look out into the swamp and you will see alligators and turtles. Keep heading to the beach and as you cross the Indian River lagoon and banana river lagoon you will see Dolphins and manatees playing along the shoreline and on every piling, sign or power pole you will see Ospreys, pelicans, commorants, anhingas, plus much more and most of these birds will have fish in their talons or diving and feeding because the waters are full of fish. Amongst all this wild life you have a first class Cruise Port with some of the largest cruise ships to ever take on the seas and Ya they are pretty impressive just to look at. Inside of Canaveral you can check out many things, observation tower, consept vehicles, Eco tours, fishing trips and local restraunts that are not huge chains but they are awesome. Infact one restaurant specializes in local caught lion fish to combat the invasive species and if you eat at these restaurants around 4:00 you will see the charter fishing boats return with good catches. Now you finally get to the beach and you get to enjoy watch 1st time surfers and seasoned legends enjoy the waves together. Sit still and watch the ghost crabs come out of there holes in the sand. Look out at the water and watch Pelicans dive, fish jump, Dolphins plan, sea turtles pop up, manta rays splash, the occasional whale breach if you get really lucky. Visit all the small shops and local boutiques. Then that evening watch to the North as Space X makes history by shooting a rocket into space releaseing 5 satellites and returning the main rocket right to the launch pad to be used again. Take a boat trip along the space coast. Enjoy the largest undeveloped coast line on the east coast or go explore one of largest free wild life sanctuary’s in the world. So if this is what you consider trashy then yes Cocoa Beach is trashy but I wouldn’t live anywhere else and when I go on vacation I’m always excited to return to paradise. To be honest is Cocoa Beach all sugar and spice? No it’s not but in my opinion it is about as close as you can get to perfect.

  12. You really don’t know much about this town accept you were right in the trash up in the north end of the town, stay away if you don’t like it and continue your angry march into the future jackass.,

  13. Do not worry about potential visitors….No one will make their decisions based on comments from this baffoon

  14. I’ve traveled around the globe, as does my family and born and raised here. Obviously you haven’t been to that many places. We don’t need you here. Most of us don’t consider the end of 520 Cocoa Beach even though it’s in the City and our town is not called Cocoa. Take care of those std’s since you apparently found one or a few. Don’t come back nobody wants to hear this insulting crap. Later.,

  15. Lol…those free loving long haired tree hugging vegetarians drove me out 30 years ago…..Now I live in Martinsburg WV the herion capital of the East coast, come on up and I promise you that you will return happily to paradise. I for one miss home very much.

  16. I literally laughed so hard, as to almost everything you said was so true. Really got me with the cocoa beach logo, “It’s like the inspiration was to make the kokopelli guy retarded with a surfboard under his arm.” I’m also from here and to the people that are defending it… totally fine, but have a sense of humor. Well done.

  17. For real man..it’s cocoa beach…cocoa is the ghetto ass town 12 miles west..I’ve never heard a person “from here” call the town cocoa..it’s either cocoa beach or cocoa because they are two different towns…and you keep calling it cocoa…it’s annoying. ..cocoa is way worse then cocoa beach.

  18. Lol i hate this place as much as the next guy but someone sounds a little butt hurt did a tranny from cocoa or down south get to him cus he sounds like they didn’t use lube. Kaitlyn jenner got to him. Ps cocoa and cocoa beach have three bridges between them for a reason.

  19. I just love reading these things all the time because i know how WELL it is cleaned i used to work for Keep Brevard Beautiful and how every morning and afternoon being there at 6:00 in the morning til noon to make sure every single thing is cleared and cleaned up and then having a work crew out there in the afternoon. when i worked out there on the beaches people every single day would tell us how they appreciate the hard work we did to clean it up. I’D LOOOOVE to see you come and clean the beaches even after any kind of holiday and see what it’s like working those long hours getting sunburned every other day instead you are another person hiding behind a screen with nothing better to do than bad mouth

    • I don’t think anyone said they don’t appreciate the efforts to keep the beach clean. We’ve all pitched in at some point. Yet somehow… there is always still trash.

  20. Nearly all the diapers, cigarette butts and trash that makes it to the beach is not left by the locals. It’s left by visitors with a “love” for the beach. I believe most of the criminal element is also imported.

  21. To all the people getting angry over this blog post i invite you to take the mature route and
    1) recognize the several times the writer stated his fondness for cocoa beach and recognizing he was being cynical
    2) Why ANYONE visiting your town would say these things (he didn’t make them up) regardless if he’s been visiting CB for years, or this is his first trip
    3) Take less offense and take more action. Join committees and form teams that work toward PREVENTING this kind of reputation. Get the excessive amounts of bars, strip clubs and adult stores under control. Create more for Youth and young adults to do that would keep them out of trouble (is traxx -formally jungle village- or whatever even a thing still?). RIght now all there is for impressionable young population to do is hang on the beach, or go to Merritt island. Mini golf, community centers, etc

    Calling somebody who got a bad impression of your town cruel names does nothing to solve the problem

  22. Learn your Cocoa/CB geography, kook. We would also accept your website’s banner to say: David Morgan DESIGNER DEVELOPER DOUCHE

  23. Pretty terrible article coming from a local guy. Pretentious and just plain wrong. Most of the “trash” comes from outside of Brevard and the locals always do their best to clean up, even the tweekers in cape and homeless under the pier have more pride in their home than this guy. Now it takes a lot for me to voice my opinion on any social forum especially to someone who I will more than likely never cross paths with, but this article struck a chord. I have family all over Brevard and my roots are in the sands of that beach….now of course I mean that figuratively, I am not a tree and therefore do not have roots. You just seem like the type of person that would need that cleared up. That is to say, you seem like a person that doesn’t really think. Sure we can all laugh at the CBSC sign, that might be you’re only somewhat funny observation. Other than that, you completely dropped the ball. The rampant drug problem affects all of central Florida with more prescription drugs written off by Miami doctors alone than the rest of the country in a years time. The fact that cocoa beach is a tourist spot is a testament to its beauty. People come because the weather is nice, the beach is warm and the atmosphere is inviting. We don’t have theme parks like Orlando but thanks to Disney dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the cape and the cruise line the tourists supply a majority of the money into locally owned businesses in the area. How do you think Mr. Ron Jon himself exploded into the nationally recognized brand it is today? The government has cut funding to NASA yet people go everyday to the space center to indulge in the rich history. In fact, the reason NASA selected the location just north of beautiful cocoa beach is because it is the most advantageous location in the entire country for launch conditions… Predictably beautiful and sunny with low wind and rain. My only hope in writing this is to second the motion of the gentlemen above who proposed you write another article. I think the areas where you find cocoa beach to pale in comparison to its old self come not as a result of the town, but as a parallel to the declining nature of this country. In the heart of this town lies the loving beach culture that you have somehow lost. I look forward to every opportunity I get to revisit the place I will always call home. I understand poking fun at the town to inspire some positive change but you did it horribly.

  24. I’m a transplant to Cocoa BEACH. I stay away from Coconuts in the Spring and Summer, but not because of the locals, but because of the party people, not even the regular tourists.

    The party people:
    1) leave trash on the beach
    2) they get drunk/stoned and then act like morons
    3) they appear to have literacy problems because they can’t seem to read and obey any signs,
    etc……

    The good news is that you can avoid them by choosing better places to hang out. Generally south of 520 is best. The city has started a beautification project in downtown Cocoa Beach. They are attracting better restaurants, and thus better clientele. Most of the people I know have lived here for most of their lives, and don’t party with their children.
    I love exaggeration in moderation. Your blog is a bit….rough. Maybe it will keep some of the party people away.

  25. All do respect. Quit referring Cocoa to Cocoa Beach. They are approximately 12 miles apart and are two different places. Have you been to both and driven around to see for yourself, Mr. Morgan?

  26. Maybe you should attend a seminar or watch a Netflix Documentary about what the meaning of what “Tongue and Cheek” means and pertains to. This article is the farthest thing from Tongue and Cheek, and it all seems like you had a bad shopping experience at CBSC one time, and instead of creating a negative review in Yelp. You decided to write a long, drawn out and repetitive article on a personal blog about an entire town. I don’t deny any of the things you say, but to say the majority of the town behaves like this is just bad judgement on your part. CB is a low key area to live for the wealthy, a slightly blue collar appeal to the middle class and a laid back party town for the lower class. There are thousands of small towns across the country that dawn this similiar setup for themselves, and to single out CB doesn’t make any sense to me. I dont know why your perspective has changed about Cocoa Beach, but i would welcome you to come back and take a second look around with somebody who actually still lives and works in the area you are denouncing.

    • Please Drew don’t invite him back. We don’t need anymore negativity towards our little town but at the end of the day, he is entitled to his opinion whether good or bad we don’t have to let one person ruin the reputation of the quaint beach town we all love regardless of the ugly things he pointed out that are not in our control.

  27. Can someone in Cocoa Beach please show me where the casino ships are? Because last I checked they sailed out of a different city. Or is this fuck-tard just lumping the whole Space Coast into his annihilation of Cocoa Beach?

  28. It’s a terrible logo. And I can tell you this, whoever said stay away from Coconuts in the summer is right. It was disgusting when we went to the beach behind Coconuts. There was trash everywhere and trashy people to boot. They weren’t there to swim, lay out, or even enjoy the sun with a few friends and chill, there were there to be obnoxious, drunk and gross. As a matter of fact a fight broke out. I was shocked too. Don’t be mad at David, he’s not the one who made Cocoa Beach like that. Truth is truth, it hurts.

  29. Damn, it’s kind of disappointing how many people got butt hurt over this article. They took some things waaaaayyy too personally. I’m a cocoa beach native and really enjoyed reading this, because I agree! I’m sure a lot of the people who disliked this articles don’t know/haven’t been in the town as long as the true natives have to fully agree with you.

  30. You are a dick weed . This place is fucking amazing and I can say that still after living here for my whole like. Fuck off you pompous ass wipe

  31. What is the expression? Any publicity is good publicity! I for one am just glad you took care of the Chocolate Fountain lady. Not sure if you will get that but…nuf said!

  32. Pingback: Is There Surf In The Gulf Of Mexico!? – David Morgan

  33. The dude that wrote this is a TRASHY!

    I just moved to Cocoa Beach and it it beautiful. The beach is open 24/7, alcohol is allowed (no glass), and you don’t need a fishing license.

    Just today while I was surfing, I watched the beach ranger pick up trash that someone had left behind.

    The beach is beautiful and well maintained. This dude obviously has a deeper reason to justify his hate towards my town–he just isn’t willing to post it publicly.

    If you want trashy, go to Orlando, or better yet: Pine Hills.

  34. David, You hit the nail right on the head. I lived in Cocoa Beach for 4 months, and I could not leave there fast enough. Having grown up in South Florida, I was used to seeing nice landscaping, and beautiful architecture along A1A. Cocoa beach natural beauty was destroyed with fast food restaurants, convenient stores, strip malls, tacky tourist shops. Overall, it’s just a very ugly place.

  35. It is trashy per my current visit. Today, at Lori Wilson Park, the beach was strewn with cigarette butts and washed up plastic. There was trash on the beach at 2nd too. Sorry to see that. Still a cute beach town but clean it up.

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