‘Tis the season, where platitudes about how it is better to give than receive flow like eggnog at an office Holiday party bender. Pondering the actual reason for the season, can one actually experience a higher sense of stoke giving something up rather than receiving some shiny bauble? The simple answer is yes. And to confirm the “Where’d all the good people go?” curiosity — especially after watching the evening news or scrolling through your Twitter feed – well, a lot of them are at the beach.
It never ceases to amaze me how many surfing events and organizations are tied to philanthropic causes. Even better, there are more than enough examples to make it a rule rather than exception.
Getting atop my localism soap box, I am particularly proud of my home surf break of Cocoa Beach. More than just the birthplace of arguably the best surfer the planet’s ever seen (Kelly Slater), the town, en masse, recognizes and embraces its surf culture.
No matter the event, the community comes to the fore to make it a success. One such event that has gathered a groundswell of support is the annual arrival of the Surfing Santas to Cocoa Beach. Now in its 7th year, organizers of the Christmas Eve beach bash are anticipating for this edition more than 300 surfing St. Nicks, not to mention a number of jolly elves who will be sky diving into the party as thousands of onlookers celebrate.
Grind For Life, an organization that helps cancer patients, is one of the beneficiaries of this event. According to the Surfing Santas website it all started by accident when a local newspaper photographer snapped George Trosset, dressed as Santa, surfing on Christmas Eve 2009 with his son and daughter in law dressed as elves. Word spread when friends of the trio saw the front page of the Christmas Day edition and expressed interest about joining in the fun the following year. The rest is history.
See, good news can travel fast. Speaking of, I saw that Bondi Beach in Australia recently was overtaken by a throng of surfing Santas seeking to hold the world’s largest surf lesson. With 320 red-and-white clad participants, that event now has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. And it’s no coincidence, it was all for a good cause.
As we all know, being a surfer has its privileges. The ability to connect with and be one with nature is unique and hard to describe. Take that feeling and multiply it exponentially. Now you know what it feels like to be part of a surf community. Happy holidays to all. And to all, a peeling right.