new smyrna beach has the dubious distinction of being the shark attack capitol of the world. the ocean off new smyrna beach is the habitat of black tip, spinner, and bull sharks. normally bites are caused by young sharks and are rarely fatal. most of the attacks are to surfers near the ponce inlet. if you are concerned about shark attack swim at new smyrna's south beaches. millions of people swim at florida's beaches each year and shark attacks average about 50 people a year. you have a better chance of getting into a car wreak in new smyrna than being bitten by a shark. if you are interested in shark fishing the beach just south of ponce inlet is a good spot.
you need sunscreen ALL of the time. i took a 90-minute walk on the beach one afternoon during the second week in april and got sunburned (i wasn't wearing sunscreen and regretted it for the next couple of days!).