Aqua East GROM Fest took place Oct. 13-15 in Jacksonville Beach, hosting surfers, skateboarders and wakeboarders under the age of 17 to compete for cash and prizes from Aqua East Surf Shop.
The event started with a "Skate Jam" Oct. 13 at the new South Beach Skate Park. The skate community came from all parts of Jacksonville to show off tricks, win prizes and enjoy free pizza from Mellow Mushroom. The Aqua East Skate Team and several sponsors judged a "best trick" contest; the winner was Adam Gonzalez, known as "Butterball." Gonzalez walked away with a new skateboard and a bag full of prizes.
South of the Jacksonville Beach Pier on Oct. 14, the Aqua East Surf Contest hosted 60 competitors competing for $2,150 in cash and prizes. The riders enjoyed a free lunch from Burrito Gallery, and each first-place winner went home with cash money and the second-, third- and fourth-place participants walked away with other prizes.
The largest division was 8 and under and of the 15 athletes, Damien Antinson was the winner of the $250 check and first-place banner. Out of the elite surfers, Sean ONeal hit a variety of maneuvers that resulted in him being named the Junior Open Winner and earning a check for $500.
The Aqua East GROM Fest wake event took place Oct. 15. The event featured professional wakeboarder Jeff Langley along with fellow pros Bec Gange and Jim Campbell, who took riders out on a 2018 Malibu boat from Tommy's Florida in Orlando. The event’s skills ranged from butter slides, wake to wakes and the event-winning crowmove tantrum to blind from big trick winner, Christopher Shuff.
Visit @aquaeastsurfshop on Facebook and Instagram for additional photos, drone footage and a wrap-up video.