The Santa Cause- Record Setting Surfing Santa’s Unite To Raise Money, Spirits and Christmas Cheer!

December 29, 2017 • Big News !

 

Story and photos by Tom Dugan

December 24th, 2017, Cocoa Beach Fla. saw the biggest gathering of Santas ever. There were men, women, kids, dogs, grandmas and grandpas all dressed up in renditions of Jolly Saint Nick, from straight forward to very creative Santas, creating a virtual human sea of red at the foot of Minute Man Causeway.  Santa could be seen everywhere, either in the water on surfboards or hanging out on the beach enjoying the sunny, 80 degree winter weather along with all the festivities.

Kelly Klaus, Cocoa Beach, Florida. Ya gotta admit it, a guy never looked so good in a pair of bright red, velour baggies.

Local Cocoa Beach surfer George Trosset started the event “SURFING SANTAS” in 2009 with just three people. Less than a decade later, this year’s gathering had 837 documented Santa’s surfing, with an estimated 10,000 spectators.  The event has fast become a world phenomenon and you know you really hit the big time when, on Thursday December 21st, the Jumbotron in New York City’s Time Square posts a picture of a Surfing Santa with the towering words emblazoned upon it, “FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST “SURFING SANTAS” EVENT VYING FOR GUINESS WORLD RECORD ON CHRISTMAS EVE”.

Not bad for small town Cocoa Beach.

Times Square Surfing Santas shout out.

Most important is that a rather whimsical idea hatched by a couple of local surfer dudes turned Surfing Santas almost a decade ago has evolved into huge fund raiser that over the last eight years has raised over $60,000 donated dollars for Grind For Life, a Cocoa Beach nonprofit that helps cancer patients get to and from treatments as well as for The Florida Surf Museum.

A sea – and beach – of red in the thousands. It may have been in the 80’s but Florida knows how to celebrate with Christmas spirit en masse. Photo: Clapper / Gulfster.com

Sunday saw a perfect day on Florida’s Space Coast with 81 degree sunny skies and around 70 degree water. There were Santas in just baggies and bikinis and kids playing in the shore break. The waves were not as good as other years running in the 2 to 3 ft range, but there was just enough surf for everyone to catch a wave and have some fun and that’s really what it’s all about.

SUP Surfing Santa.

The world famous Hunter Joslin emceed the event with music from Balsa Bill Yerkes, Anna & the Surfing Santas Band followed by a costume contest. Local band, the Aquanauts finished off the morning’s entertainment and then it was time for all the Santas to hit the water. The best way to get a count was handing out wrist bands that totaled a whopping 837. There were quite a few Santas that didn’t get a band so who knows the actual count but the established number stands for 2017.

Sean Slater might not have a statue but he’s as big of a surfing legend as anyone in town.

George should be given the key to the city as this gathering was the biggest I have ever seen in Cocoa Beach and, with decades of nearby Cape Canaveral rocket launches, and many years of National Kidney Foundation surfing events, that is saying a lot.

Next year will be another attempt to get even bigger and better, so if you’re looking to have some Christmas cheer and a ton of good family fun, be there December 24th and dress appropriately.

The Mouth Of The South and East Coast Surfing Hall Of Famer Hunter Joslin is always a hoot on the mic and a perfect match for the good time vibe of the event.

 

Okay, so some people like to commercilize Christmas even at a charity event but guess you can’t knock a guy for trying to make a buck these days and you have to love the three wheeled sled dude-elf  is riding on.

 

Speaking of elves and Surfing Santa helpers …

10,000 strong.

A partial drones eye view of the 837  registered Surfing Santas who showed up. Photo Ryan Clapper / Gulfster.com

Best Surfing Santa costume winner with a more traditional look but you have to dig on the runner-up at left’s dapper, dashing holiday garb as well.

Tandem Santa and Mrs. Claus beautifully styling and profiling.

Thats the spirit! Be there or be square next year and lets push this thing to over 1,000 Surfing Santas in 2018!