Shea Lopez’s Battle To The Beach Contest Report And Photo Gallery

May 23, 2018 • Competition, East Coast Contests

Story, photo’s and captions by Tom Dugan

On Saturday May 12th Shea Lopez along with Inlet Events held The Battle To Beach Week Pro/AM at New Smyrna Beach. The first event of the Shea Lopez Surf Series with a second one for Daytona Beach Week 10K Pro/Am is scheduled for August 3rd thru the 5th.

Saturday, May 12th rocked with 2 to 4’ glassy waves all day long. Photo: Dugan

Shea, who was a ten year top 16 competitor and U.S. Open champion,  has been working to give back to the community with these events and the  Daytona Beach Week 10K Pro/Am will feature Pro Men’s, Women’s, Longboard, Paddleboard, and a X-Grom division.

Shea Lopez along with Inlet Events held the Battle to the Beach Week Pro Am at New Smyrna Beach. Shea who was a ten year top sixteen competitor and U.S. Open Champion has been working to give back to the community. Photo: Dugan

The Battle To Beach Week was held Saturday May 12th is now in the books and it was a great day for surfing.  The skies were a bit overcast which kept the sunburns down and the waves were glassy all day in the two to four foot range with air temperature in the mid eighties. Seeing the groms fight it out in good surf is always fun to watch and fun is what it was all about for the Lopez surf series.

Battle to the Beach Week tent city. Photo: Dugan

There were some young guns that really went up and over the call. Kepa Mendia’s first heat was with his Dad Peter, Shea’s brother Matty Lopez, and Pro Event Winner Daniel Glenn,  but Kepa took them all down putting his own Dad OUT of the contest.  Kepa’s air reverse sealed his win and was an immediate contender for Maneuver of the Event. Another farther/son matchup was David and Blake Speir.  Blake put his Dad out too.  Bad day for Pops but quite the chuckle for Shea putting the heats together.  Again, it was all about having fun.

Also putting his dad out of the event, Blake Spier surfed his way to a 4th in the Men’s Pro. Photo: Dugan

Women’s Pro Winner Zoe Benedetto was unstoppable on her way to first place. As always, her surfing was on point and once again paid off. Shea’s father Pete Lopez just picked up his new longboard that he shaped him so Shea entered him into the longboard division which to his surprise he won. The look on his face was priceless and he stated he hasn’t competed in years but the old “two to the beach” paid off for Pete.

Off the top and into the winner’s circle once again, Zoey Benedetto. Photo: Dugan

The Men’s Pro was highly contested with pros Nils Schweizer, Cobie Gitner, Robbie McCormick, Asher Nolan, Corey Howell, Blake and David Speir, Kepa and Peter Mendia , Matt and Daniel Glenn, Matty Lopez, and Josh Nicastro. The Men’s Pro Final was the final heat of the day and was well surfed but a bit slow with the sets .

Down to the last minute, Daniel Glen pulled a backside air reverse to win the whole event. Photo: Dugan

The lead went back and forth down to the last minute when eventual winner Daniel Glen grabbed a left runner and pumped down the line hitting a ramp, throwing a backside air reverse and landed it clean sealing the deal and getting the nod from all the judges plus $1000.00 big ones in cash and prizes. Everyone gathered, winners were announced, prizes handed out and the day came to an end at exactly 5:00 sharp. Check out the photos below and we’ll see everyone in Daytona. For more info check:SHEALOPEZSURFSERIES.COM

Robbie McCormick’s air reverse landed him just short of Men’s Pro Final. Photo: Dugan

Now calling New Smyrna Beach home, Corey Howell has its’ shifting peaks wired but also came up short of a berth in the finals. Photo: Dugan

Cobie Gitner early morning, pre-contest free surf. Photo: Dugan

Hurley East Coast Team captain Asher Nolan was there to support his team but decided to give it a bit of a go himself. Photo: Dugan

Smyrna Beach local back from Mexico, Nils Schweitzer, ripped the guts out of his home break earning himself a second place in the Men’s Pro. Photo: Dugan

Pete Lopez consoles the surprised losers of one of the Men’s Pro heats, which is one of the biggest upsets in East Coast history. The smallest of the bunch, Kepa Mendia took them all out…including putting his dad out of the contest. L-R Daniel Glenn, Kepa Mendia, Peter Mendia, and Matty Lopez. Photo: Dugan

Andrew Fletcher came down from Jacksonville and turned some heads with fast, aggressive surfing. Photo: Dugan

New Smyrna’s new boardwalk. Photo: Dugan

The X-Grom Division saw some awesome surfing. Logan Coluccio snaps one on the inside, Photo: Dugan

Although not quite making it to the winner’s circle, Matt Glenn still put on a fine performance. Photo: Dugan

A little friendly competition on the beach. Zoey Benedetto and Corey Howell playing some ping pong. Photo: Dugan

Early morning snap and all around good surfing throughout day got Braden Kopec a second place in the X-Groms Final. Photo: Dugan

All the way from Aruba by way of Merritt Island, Florida, Nelson O Oduber, Jr. takes to the air. Photo: Dugan

Even snaps like this couldn’t keep Peter Mendia in the event once he come up against his protege and son Kepa. Photo: Dugan

Jeff Sniadach gives his daughter Mya a few pointers before her heat. Photo: Dugan

Another grom making a name for himself, Logan Radd puts down a nice snap in the shore break on his way to a 4th place finish. Photo: Dugan

Women’s Pro Finalists. Photo: Dugan

X-Groms Finalists. Photo: Dugan

Pro Finalists. Photo: Dugan

Battle To The Beach Pro / Am Results

Men’s Pro

1st Daniel Glenn
2nd Nils Schweitzer
3rd Josh Nicastro
4th   Blake Speir
Women’s Pro
1st  Zoey Benedetto
2nd Niyah Rosen
3rd Mya Sniadah
4th           Amelia Fazio
X-Groms
1st Ethan Harbison
2nd Braden Kopec
3rd Zoey Benedetto
4th   Logan Radd
Longboard
1st  Pete Lopez
2nd Amelia Fazio
3rd Christian Oemke