Surfin’ Santas’ is an annual charity event held on Christmas Eve at Cocoa Beach, Florida. The event benefits Grinds for Live, a non-profit organization assisting local cancer patients commute to medical treatments in Orlando, Tampa and elsewhere.
The Surfin’ Santas’ festival was born after Cocoa Beach resident George Trosset viewed a 2009 Honda commercial featuring a group of friends surfing in Santa Claus attire. Amused with the idea, Trosset recreated the colorful commercial with his son, George Jr. and daughter-in-law, Britten.
In 2010, Trossett and friends, a total of 19 surfers participated in the first annual Surfin’ Santas’ event at Cocoa Beach, Florida. In the following years, more and more people joined in the fun. There were 84 surfers in 2011; 159 surfers in 2012. Attendance has now increased to over 200 Santa’s willing to hit the chilly waves during the Florida Christmas season.
The 2013 event began with the proclamation, “As mayor of Cocoa Beach, I’m officially declaring this the largest surfing Santa event on the planet.” Then hundreds of spectators cheered as the Santa Surfers and other holiday-themed characters, like North Pole Elves, and Snowmen hit the waves on surf boards, paddleboards, boggie boards, and the like.
The event has snow-balled so much that there have been discussion of moving the event downtown to handle the burgeoning crowds. Trosset said the event “has gone from being a little family party to being a community event.”
Money raised from the sales from T-shirts and other related memorabilia are be donated to the event’s charity.
NOTE: There is another Surfing Santa event held in Laguna Niquel, California. It helps raise money for Surfer’s Healing, A Foundation for Autism.
An Australian TV ad for ALDI featured a commercial about a gaggle of characters in Santa suits as they paddled out to sea on candy-cane striped surf boards to show ways Australians celebrate Christmas in summer.
Cocoa Beach, Fl
Surfing Santas, Cocoa Beach (Video)
Surfin’ Santa Competition, Laguna Niguel, CA
Surfing Santa Honda Commercial (Video)
Australian Santas Surfing ALDI ad
Sonic Surf City – Surfin’ Santa Song
Surf’s Up Santa Song