Story by Dane Jefferys

13 years ago Matt “Rasta” Gray passed away at 21-years of age. Matt was a one-of-a-kind human. During his short time on this earth he impacted a lot of people in the North Florida surf and skate community. Like his skating, he lived fast and did a lot in his life. Its like that Grateful Dead song, Box of Rain, ‘Such a long, long time to be gone. And a short time to be there. Matt, never met a stranger and could kick it with anyone. He skated, surfed, was an amazing artist, and his friends and family miss him.

Connor Lerian, who took 6th in the 15-19 bracket, pays tribute the best way you can, ripping the bowl section for Matt Gray. Photo: Chris Jolly @chrisjolly

When he passed away we as friends did not know how to cope with a loss. That was the first death of a person our age [we’d experienced] and at first we didn’t know how to take it. Instead of going dark and allowing it to consume us with negative thoughts, we sought out a way to let Matt’s bright, vibrant attitude and personality shine.

As contest director Dane Jefferys noted, “Instead of going dark and allowing it to consume us with negative thoughts, we sought out a way to let Matt’s bright, vibrant attitude and personality shine”. Looking at these shiny happy gromettes smiling mugs, we’d say mission definitely accomplished. Photo: Chris Jolly @chrisjolly

After the first year we saw how powerful it was to get the community together. We all agreed that the best way forward was to give back. The skate and surf contest in its 13th year has raised over $125,000 and sent over 20 kids to college with a first-year scholarship for surfing and skating.

Tristen Thompson totally tore it up in the 20’s group. Photo: Eddie Pits

The 13th Annual #MattGrayMemorial took place Easter weekend with a ton of good vibes and waves. The Atlantic Beach skate park was electric Friday night and the next morning we were greeted with another fun chest to head high northeaster at the poles. At the end of two days of surf and turf competition this year’s scholarship was awarded to 3 seniors; Eden Lange of St Augustine, Dylan Drieblas of Jacksonville Beach, and Tyler Wagner of Atlantic Beach.

Open Womens ( l-r ) Lanea Mons, winner Sophie Falzone and scholarship winner Eden Lange are just a few of the young gromettes helping take east coast surfing to new levels of ripping on the ladies side of the equation. Photo: Eddie Pits


Open Womens

1.Sophie Falzone

2.Lanea Mons

3.Grace Knoechel

4. Eden Lange

5. Ivy Bradley

6. Audrey Iglay

Grace Knoechel, 3rd Open Womens. Photo: Ivy Rose Scott @grains_of_sand


  • David Stidfole
  • David Adcock
  • Tim McIntyre

    Grommie Athan Robertson skated and surfed in the event ( 3rd skate under 10, 1st surf under 10 ). Later that night he ordered surf and turf to finish the day off. Photo: Chris Jolly @chrisjolly


  • Kai Ferguson
  • Corey Sapp
  • Graham Hayes
  • Richard Haugk
  • Adam King
  • Chris Mons

    Jax area stand-out – and it’s hard to be considered a stand-out in that extremely talent packed surf community – Wayne Satterwhite rock n’ rolled to first in the 30’s group where there is some serious competition in that age bracket. Photo: Eddie Pits


  • Wayne Satterwhite
  • Dane Jefferys
  • Eric Rheume
  • Colin Anderson
  • Mike Burrell
  • JC Cox

    Eric Rheume all out for a solid 3rd in the 30 somethings. Photo: Eddie Pits


  • Tristan Thompson
  • Austin Clouse 
  • Gabe Shumaker
  • Mason Burk
  • Josh Motes
  • Sammy Shook

    Event organizer Dane Jefferys, ripping and helping the Jax community in memory of his friend Matt. Photo: Ivy Rose Scott @grains_of_sand


  • Carl Burger
  • Benji Lange
  • Ben McCarthy
  • Kyan O’Rourke
  • CJ Brittan
  • Connor Lerian

    Carl Burger, 1st  in the 15-19 group. Photo: Ivy Rose Scott @grains_of_sand

    Matt Gray Surf And Skate competitor.

    Matt Gray, early 2000’s flying Heavenward. Photo: courtesy Dane Jefferys.”And it’s just a box of rain, I don’t know who put it there
    Believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare
    And it’s just a box of rain or a ribbon for your hair
    Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there. –  Box Of Rain / Lesh / Hunter –