While you’re bound to attend plenty of surf competitions over the course of the summer, the Waterman’s Challenge Surf Competition may have the most variety of events.
Originally, the Waterman’s Challenge was a fundraiser to drum up financial support for the Cocoa Beach Surf Museum. Since then, however, it has developed into one of the most varied and diverse local surf contests in all of Florida. For the 2013 event at the Palms Resort oceanfront, there were over 30 divisions with all ages and talent levels featured. That includes first time surf competition participants.
In 2010, East Coast surfing legend, Skip Savage, founded the inaugural “Skip Savage 1st Timers” division, which is open to any and all ages, so long as those competing have never participated in a surf contest before. Sean O’Hare, the founder of the Cocoa Beach Surf Museum, spoke with Florida Today about the 1st Timers division, saying, “this event, unique to the Waterman’s Challenge, was started in 2010 to allow surfers new to the sport an opportunity to enter their first contest.”
In addition to the “Skip Savage 1st Timers” division, there is also the “Rodeo” competition, which is one of the most enjoyable for spectators and surfers alike. The contest features three different board types, with 30 minute heats of 10 minutes on each board.
This time of year isn’t usually the best for killer waves, but what matters is enjoying what surfing has to offer while providing financial support to the local surf museum. For the people at this year’s Waterman’s Challenge, the surfing, people, and cause are the real reasons they participate and enjoy the festivities.