Posted on December 08 2010
I am writing this on behalf of Charley Hajek and his Gnarly Charley's Grom Surf Series. Below is a brief summary of each of the 6 New Smyrna Beach Events as well as the event held at Sebastian Inlet. Event 1 - NSB - 05.22.10 52 groms registered for the event, which was held in fun 3 foot surf at Flagler ave. Older divisions charged the outside break while many linked it all the way through to the inside, most notably Daniel Glenn who linked multiple outside turns with a clean entry and exit of a mid-break barrel. The beach was packed with family, friends and walk-up beach go-ers. Younger divisions gave the inside a go, and were kept busy on the beach with a couple foot-race competitions and other activities. A great day overall. Event 2 - NSB - 06.12.10 55 signed up for #2, held just North of Flagler ave due to summer surfing restrictions. The waves were in the 1- 2 foot range, which proved to be almost head-high on some of the kids. The weather was picture perfect and the contest area was packed again with supporters and on-lookers. Raffles and giveaways were consistent throughout the day and Grom-Reporter Isaiah Roberts was on the beach with his golden mic, getting the scoop from everyone. Incredible trophies were donated and the kids went home with some huge bling for the mantle. Event 3 - NSB - 07.10.10 57 groms were back in action for event #3 of the Gnarly Charley Grom Surf Series in New Smyrna Beach. Smaller, clean conditions were the canvas for ripping, right in front of the Sapphire Walkway. As with events 1 and 2, local turnout was high, but even more-so, a consistent contingency showed up from the Cocoa Beach and Melbourne areas, as well as a good showing from the Ponce side and those making their way out from Orlando. The weather was perfect, and though the waves were small, they were clean, and the improvement in the kids' surfing was apparent. With every kid demonstrating good sportsmanship it was great to see a fire for surfing lit in them. The races, the "who can get the sandiest" contest, and other fun continued on the beach, but throughout the day, a good majority of the kids, in every age division, were out free-surfing and charging. Great times. Event 4 - NSB - 08.07.10 62 signed up as groms and left as champions! At 7 am the waves on the beach were in the adult thigh to waist high range. By 11 am, when the girls 10 & Under division was paddling out, the swell was adult 6-7 foot and reeling for blocks. Tropical Storm Colin was sitting out off the coast and stayed aligned with the swell forecast. Conditions were nearly perfect with light offshore winds throughout the morning. Every kid that signed up for the event, surfed their heat. Some elected to charge the inside dumpers and many, including some of those 10 & U girls and some 10 & U boys took their game to the outside where the mountains were. A high awareness of each other and the conditions, both in the water and on the beach, made for a safe atmosphere. And even though trophies were handed to the winners, every kid was a champion that day. Event 5 - NSB - 09.12.10 Event 5 saw the contest site brought back to it's Flagler ave setting and 67 kids showed up to rip some surf. With the biggest sign-up in the series and popularity of Flagler's beach access, it was no surprise that the beach was packed. The weather showed it's gorgeous side again as glassy 1-3 footers greeted the surfers. The conditions suited everyone well, and gave some of the former "push-in" kids a chance to show off their new "paddle-themselves-in" skills. The day had a great atmosphere of fun as one grom's dedication to being the sandiest caused him to each a true sandwich. (It's in the video). Even with all of the fun and friendship, being that it was Event 5 and points were accumulating, some series ripping went down and another excellent event went into the books. Event 6 - NSB - 10.23.10 Testy thigh high North conditions greeted the (again) 67 surfers who came out to put a nail into this year's series, and like true surfers, the conditions didn't keep even one of them from killing it. High tide and an over-abundance of seaweed kept the beach closed to driving for the first couple hours, but didn't put a dent in the crowd on the beach. By late-morning the sweaters were shed and a beautiful beach day was underway. Kids in every age division were catching waves, with some incredible performances from super-groms in the boys 10 & U. The inclusion of a birthday party, a piñata, Isaiah Roberts covering the "Behind the Scenes," races in the water and on the beach, and Gnarly Charley being decorated with the leftover cake, made for a memorable conclusion to this summer's series. Event Sebastian Inlet - 07.16.10 Between contest #3 and 4, Gnarly Charley and the crew hit the road to bring the circus to the famed Sebastian Inlet for a one day event. 57 groms signed up and, while 1st Peak lay dormant, down in front of the x, the contest site looked out over meaty chest high dumpers, waiting for the kids. To say the kids charged it, is a true understatement. Big cutbacks and off-the-lippers were linked into barrels that left the kids dry-docked on the sand, and a young girl in the 10 & U division took the only surfing experience she had, surfing the Great Lakes up in Michigan, and charged a few bombs fearlessly. A test for the younger kids, a playground for the older kids and a dumping shore-pound for everyone else. Great day! Banquet Event - 10.30.10 To cap off the Series and award the Points winners, Gnarly Charley hooked up with Clancy's Cantina, and hosted a party with free food, prizes, raffles and awards. In addition, Surf Right Media Co. and Locals Only Magazine teamed up to complete a full length DVD of the Series, which was projected 15'x30' onto a neighboring building and offered for sale to parents. The DVD also included over 1100 photos, on a bonus CD, shot throughout the events. The place was packed and everyone had a blast. Points winners were announced and the general consensus was, "we can't wait till next summer!"