On April 8 and 9 the surf and skate community of Atlantic Beach, Florida came together once again to remember the life of a fallen friend, Matt Gray. The 9th Annual Matt Gray Memorial saw a record number of entrees in both the skate and surf event. As always, the event sought to raise money for college scholarships for surfers and skaters from the community.

Matt Gray 2016 - Surf-81

Friday night’s skate contest was a huge success with over 40 competitors ranging in age from 6 to 33. The highlight of the night was the 10 and under mini-grom event. A crowd of nearly 300 was on hand to watch the youngsters maneuver around the park with the look of total stoke on their individual faces. When the sun set and all the of the finals hit the park for the jam format runs, the energy of the event reached a new high. Matt definitely had a huge smile on his face as he looked down to hear punk music and see chucks of concrete fill the warm, Florida air.

Matt Gray 2016 - Surf-235

With the forecast calling for flat surf and strong west winds, Saturday morning surprised everyone with waist-to-stomach-high waves. All of the first rounds of the surf event were double beached in clean, side-offshore, contestable waves to ensure the finals took place in the best high tide conditions possible. By the time the last final exited the water the waves had totally diminished.

Matt Gray 2016 - Surf-223

Through our efforts over the weekend, which included amazing raffle items and tee shirt sales, the event raised $6,000. This year’s scholarship will go to the highest placing high school seniors who either surfed or skated in the event. Over $25,000 has been raised toward college scholarships in the event’s nine-year history. A huge thank you to Volcom, Electric, Sunrise Surf Shop, Autoline, Taco Lu, Surf Source and all the local restaurants for their support.

All surf photos courtesy of Jim Walker, all skate photos provided by Chris Jolly. See more skate photos from the event here and here for surf.

9th Annual Matt Gray Memorial Highlights from Sunrise Surf Shop on Vimeo.