South Florida is known for its beautiful beaches. From trendy South Beach to the laid-back Hollywood Boardwalk to the dive bars on Fort Lauderdale’s A1A, there’s a beach spot to cater to whichever of your personalities you feel like channeling that day. If you happen to be feeling like the kind of person who wants to lie back, sip on a daiquiri, and enjoy the crowd while you get your tan on, I suggest doing it at Fort Lauderdale Beach. This continuous two-mile stretch of sand is home to one of the widest varieties of people species, making it prime habitat for observation. Here are ten specimens you're guaranteed to spot during your next people-watching session on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
10. The Canadian
These folks are generally the easiest to spot, by the not-so-subtle red glow of their full-body sunburns. If you’re having trouble visually locating them, just listen for the scraping sound of their Jesus sandals on the sandy concrete as they walk carelessly into oncoming traffic, because they’re lost. They are especially noticeable during the winter months of December and January, as they are the only people who can be found frolicking in the waves. Apparently 65-degree water on your crotch is considered a good time in Canada.
9. The Tropical Hood Rat
He’s the only guy at the beach not wearing an actual bathing suit. Instead, he's rocking oversized jorts, Adidas slip-ons, and a white tank-top that's most likely slung over his shoulder. He and his boys don’t appear to be lost, and they don’t seem to feel out of place either, even though they’re dressed like characters from Grand Theft Auto. He’s there to enjoy the sun and the sand just like everybody else, so as long as you’re OK with catching a whiff of his Black & Mild every so often, laying your towel down next to him usually isn’t a day-ruiner.
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8. Dirty Grandpa
He’s always alone, walking down the beach just above the break of the waves on the shore, with his head down so he doesn’t step on sharp sea shells with his fragile bare feet. He looks like a big, tan, leathery ballsack as he makes his way horizontally through your line of sight with nothing but a navy-blue thong and some gray chest hairs covering him. He’s nice and generally nonconfrontational. Be careful, though, not to strike up conversation with the European Dirty Grandpa, as this breed is quite confrontational and will insist on taking photos with you so he has an excuse to casually rub his oily, leather arms on yours while your best friend takes way too long snapping the pic.
7. The Cougar
Slightly younger and only slightly more clothed than the Dirty Grandpa is the Beach Cougar. She’s the middle-aged woman in a Victoria’s Secret bikini top and thong who never seems to actually sit down on her towel. She has kids, but they aren’t with her; they’re running around unattended in the wave break playing a game called “Let’s try to drown each other." She has too much tanning oil on, and no matter where you look, her bare ass cheeks always seem to be in your line of sight. She gets points for confidence, though.
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6. The Basics
If you grew up down here, you are 100 percent guilty of being a basic beach bro/girl at some point during your high school career. Usually between the ages of 16 to 22, the basics can all be found down near the water. The boys are taking turns attempting to skim-board, and the girls are trying to snap the perfect Instagram photo they can caption with #LiveLaughLove. Typically, after sneakily drinking a few of the Bud Lights they smuggled onto the beach in their styrofoam cooler and inconspicuous red Solo cup, the girl with the belly-button ring and the boy with the badly done calf tattoo will start to flirt it up. They’ll exchange phone numbers and probably make out later that night at a house party in Coral Springs.
5. The Campers
They arrive at the beach at the butt crack of dawn to set up what usually looks like some kind of birthday party. They have tents and chairs and radios and six coolers and a full plate of wings. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, I suggest not placing your Tommy Bahama chair within 30 feet, because campers came to turn up.
4. The Addict
He’s in winter clothes all year long, and your encounter with him is hit or miss. Some days, he’s really sweet when he saunters up to ask you for spare change, but other times he’ll end up kicking sand in your face after you explain how you don’t have any cash. Flakka is getting expensive, so he’s understandably upset when you tell him you’ve got nothing for him in your Michael Kors bag.
3. That Guy With the Snake
You know who I’m talking about. And if you don’t, just walk away when he asks you if you want to hold it and take a picture because he’s going to try to charge you $10 after you do, and it gets awkward.
2. The DILF and MILF
They’ve got awesome bods, and you can’t help but whisper “goals” to yourself when you see them playing with their adorable toddler in the sand. You think the kid is supercute until you have to wait 20 minutes for them to finish rinsing him off in the showers. They see you waiting but still take their sweet time rinsing every inch of little Tommy’s body and bag of sand-castle toys. Real cool, guys.
1. Rollerblade Guy
His shorts are cut above the knee so he has better freedom of movement as he glides down the sidewalk. He seems fun-loving and adventurous, and you kind of want to talk to him but don’t. Because this punk bitch is not going to yield to pedestrians on his ride, and you will nearly get run over if you get too close. His outfit says he came out for a good time, but he’s in the zone and is looking for nothing but a good sweat, so steer clear.