When were at Corey Lopez’s Bred to Shred Surf Contest at Ponce Inlet last month, we ran into Shea while we were taking some photos of the groms all ripping it up! After talking a few minutes he told us that he and Inlet Events were having a contest August 4-6th, which was a few weeks out, to help bring surfing back to Daytona Beach Pier. Daytona was hit pretty bad by the economic downturn of the early 2000’s, and Shea and company understand the importance of helping the community, and youth. So with help from Companies like Chevrolet, Sun Bum, and Flaunt Electric Bikes (to name a few), they were able to pull it all together with a prize purse of $10,000 dollars for all the winners to take home! The event turned out EPIC!
Contestants of all ages entered to win, with a great deal of talent competing in the water! The contest itself started on Saturday am, while the celebrations started up on Thursday night if you count the “Pre-party” on the ROOF of Main Street pier with 5x Shag on the Corona Sound Stage. Then Friday they had the inaugural paddle out with Shea Lopez, which we didn’t attend either, as we were out surfing the inlet that day! At 3pm GROM-IT sponsored the invitational Tow-At which featured Robbie McCormick, Daniel Glenn, Matt Glenn, Matty Lopez, Cody, Tristan, and Evan Thompson. Followed by Summer Vibez on the sound stage at 4.
The band schedule ran from 4pm-9pm: Propaganjah, Lil Davy, Gnarlstarz, Cloud9 Vibes, with live performance art by Art Army and PEREGO Live. Followed by the 11pm official Friday night afterparty at Jimmy Hart’s Hall of Fame Bar and Tiki Hut with Dizzlephunk on the turntables, and B True on the Mic. Epic show!
Saturday contest started at 8am with contestant check-ins, beach clean up, and start of the ROOFTOP BEACH BRUNCH. 9am Beach Yoga at the Pier with Kula Yoga (Kula meaning community), of New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange. At 9:30am Mens Pro/Am started! We showed up around noon Saturday and filmed from there out, capturing a lot of epic shots and video of the competitors out in the water. The great thing about the contest being at the Pier is that it if it rains, like it did, you don’t have to cancel the whole event. The Daytona Pier is huge, and has indoor area for shelter and dining in case it rains… now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t hang out in there if a hurricane was impeding down!
At 4pm Summer Vibes got back onto the Corona Sound Stage with DJ Dizzlephunk, 3Dimensional, Rob D and Friends, Gabby, and LUVU. All ending at 9pm. During this time the Mens award ceremony was underway at 8pm. However we dipped out around 4:30pm to go surf New Smyrna Beach inlet, and didn’t get any of these shots. We did run into Kalani Robb, and Johnny Redmond of Catch Surfboards at the inlet though… which is a story for another blog soon to come. =)
On Sunday am we got to the event a little bit earlier around 10:00am, just after Kula Yoga had a class under the Pier, and the X-Groms 12 and under division started. Perfect timing to get shots of the kids ripping! Being that the waves were running about 1-2 foot with 3 foot sets, the waves were perfect for the groms! Totally ripable! Surfing Daytona Pier is actually a very special spot for me; its where after several months trying to get up on my board as a grom, I was finally successful at riding one in, even though I went straight! It brings back memories, plus there really is a great sandbar there! I’ve seen it barreling, empty, just perfect at the Pier. When this spot lights up, it lights up!
At noon on Sunday the Women’s Pro/Am went underway with much success for the ladies. The waves were perfect for longboards that day. At 3pm the Longboard Pro/Am started, and at 4pm they had the Award Ceremony for the day, and closing party with Dj’s Como and KRB on THE ROOF of the Pier. Bands that night were Savvy at 4pm, 3Dimensional at 5pm, and Unmotivated at 7pm. The event was packed, with street vendors, stores like Daytona Board Store, Firewire Surfboards, spectators, contestants, and general public chilling at the beach, it really was great vibes. We in VIP, and all the contestants were all given meals by “Afterbody Meals” company. I had a Ranch Chicken wrap and fresh grapes, it was delicious!
The whole event was put on by Charlie, and Mark Rosenthal of Inlet Events, and Shea Lopez Professional Surfer. Without Shea I don’t even think this could have happened. Winning major competitions, while holding his ground in the Top 16 Pro Surfers for 6 or 7 seasons, has helped make a name for this Florida Gulf Coast Native, giving him some sway with the local community to organize this event, and pull it all together. Not only does he hold three World Crowns surfing Pipe Masters, he is an incredibly down to earth, intelligent, and compassionate individual with so much love for people, and the kids. He is a family man, and hey, its all about the groms! They are our future.