Annnd we’re back.
For the second time in a month the Space Coast Board Riders scalped the rest of the state to put themselves way out ahead in the battle for the first-ever Florida Cup. And this time–on their home turf at Paradise Park in Melbourne Beach–it wasn’t ever close. In windblown 2- to- 3 foot north swell runners, the Space Coast started strong in the Under 14 division–nearly doubling the other three clubs’ total tally–and never looked back. At day’s end, the Space Coast won five of seven divisions; their only losses coming in the 30s (to Jacksonville) and the 40s (to Saint Augustine).
Of course, beating the Space Coast was always going to be a tough ask for the other three clubs. Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and Saint Augustine are pulling talent from just one town, while the Space Coast is bringing surfers from Cocoa Beach to Sebastian into the fold. And talk about a talented stretch of coastline. From Todd Holland to Phillip Waters to Adam Wickwire to Connie Arias, the Space Coast roster reads like a who’s who of Florida surfing over the past five or so decades.
“The Florida Board Riders is changing surfing in this area very quickly,” says Space Coast coach CT Taylor. “The older surfers are surfing more and actually working out, the surfers in their prime have another avenue to showcase their skills, and the younger surfers are getting what they’ve needed–a big dose of the history of our sport along with solid mentorship.”
The Florida Board Riders is about more than just competition. It’s also about inner-club meets, beach clean ups, charitable drives, movie nights, and so much more. It’s about bringing Florida surfers and their families together. And while it’s a loose atmosphere on the sand, every surfer and club is still out for blood in the water. Whether you’re a retired CT’er, an up-and-coming grom, or somewhere in between, when the jersey goes on, the fire comes out, and it’s always fun to watch which surfers crumble (and which surfers crush it), with the pressure of their communities squarely on their shoulders.
“The growth and the amount of stoke the Florida Board Riders has experienced and provided is insane,” says founder Dane Jeffery’s. “It’s crazy, every event gives me chicken skin when I see the generations of talent competing and the people this event brings together. Watching Todd Holland and David Spear tag up, hearing the local stories from the legend Hunter Joslin, and catching Tom Dugan in the bushes getting the shot from a unique angle was epic!”
And the best part? The Florida Board Riders is only just getting started.