By Luke Kenton
This crazy Christmas event sees Santa ditch his sleigh for a surf board, as several hundred St. Nicks flock to the seaside to crush some festive waves.
The day before Christmas is a notoriously busy time of the year for Jolly Old St. Nick, but for these ‘hang loose’ Santas, Xmas eve isn’t complete without a boogey on a board.
What started out as a family trip to Cocoa Beach, in Florida, seven years ago, Surfing Santa has since snowballed into the festive event of the year thanks to its founder, George Trosset.
In 2009, George hit the waves of Cocoa beach dressed as Santa Claus for nothing more than his family’s amusement – but after a spate of local news coverage, the one-time frolic quickly skyrocketed into an annual tradition.
Beginning with an attendance of just three, 2017 promises to be the biggest year yet with a predicted audience of 8,000 expected to gather in the seaside tow for a festive day packed with live music, food and over one thousand Santas surfing the sprays.
In disbelief that an otherwise innocuous family day out has transformed into a Xmas staple, George said: “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that our silly little family surfing Santa day would become what it is today.
“Christmas Eve night gives Santa a lot of work to do, so he likes to spend his free time before hand enjoying his favorite sport, surfing.
“Everyone now tells me that the event is now part of their Christmas celebrations.
“Surfing Santa has evolved so much over the years, we even have reindeer, elves, snowmen, sharks and toy soldiers.
“We have close to 100 volunteers and performers involved on the day, with live music and dancers.
“We’re expecting over 1000 participating Surfing Santas this year, which we are hoping will be recognized as a Guinness World Record.
“Our event is starting to spawn other mass Surfing Santa events around the world and I couldn’t be happier.
“Surfing Santa will be taking place in Australia this year and I hope to see the event grow around the world in the coming years.
“We work in collaboration with the charity Grind for life and have already raised over $60,000 to help with their mission to help young people through their battles with cancer.
“Surfing Santa makes people smile, and I like that.
“We can’t wait to hit the waves again this year.”