as above. For beach breaks a rising tide if the beach is not real steep is usually better. For points and jetties this is also true, but can be quite variable.
One quick way to get some info is to log onto Surfline and check out what the info about the breaks says. If you are surfing near Ft. Lauderdale it's easy to find recommended tides. But honestly you just need to learn by doing, for the breaks you will be surfing most.
Also check the folks at uswaveski.com I know some surf at Ft. Lauderdale and would have local knowlege.
First Need Purifier
PFD's (Life Jackets)
Rescue / Throw Bags
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