Surfing Santas was created six years ago when George Trosset Sr. convinced his son and daughter-in-law to go surfing with him on a chilly christmas eve. Bedecked in Santa and elf costumes, the trosset’s started what is now a citywide tradition. Today, surfing santas brings in thousands of spectators to downtown Cocoa Beach, raises money for charity, and puts a surfers’ spin on the holiday season.
GEORGE TROSSET SR.
FOUNDER OF SURFING SANTAS EVENT
How did you come up with the idea for Surfing Santas?
My mom wore a t-shirt with a Surfing Santa and my wife bought some Surfing Santa ornaments before I ever thought of it. Then In November of 2009, I saw a car commercial for Honda with daybreak surfing Santas. That Christmas Eve, my son and I went out and surfed in costumes. The only two spectators were my wife and grandson. My beard was made out of blanket. I remember how water soaked it got and I couldn’t get air in my lungs. Perfect wrong combination! I was exhausted after a few waves. But the newspaper had us on the front page on December 25th. People came up to me later and asked, what’s this Surfing Santa thing?
The second year, we wore full blown Santa suits. The soaking wet costumes were almost eighty pounds. We learned we needed red rash guards and that beards don’t work out well in the ocean.
I wasn’t looking for 300 Surfing Santas or 3,000 or 4,000 spectators. I just wanted a family day at the beach and this is what it turned into.
How did the Skydiving Santas get involved ?
In November 2012, I met a guy called named Chuck Julian. He’s a skydiving specialist and offered to sky surf into our event. In 2013, six people landed on the beach in full Santa suits. The crowd was screaming! Last year, 19 skydived.
How much have you raised for charity?
We raised over $20,000. Grind for Life has had a donation jar and we’ve had people donate and rally around us. We sell t-shirts every year and we have a surfboard auction to raise money. The giving that comes out for this event is magical, really magical.
Where would you like to see Surfing Santa next?
I have no idea. Deerfield Beach and places across the world want to do their own event. It starts with five or ten people. I see this happening in lots of coastal communities. They’ll have fun and it will grow into people helping people. If we inspired them, so be it. I don’t want to claim that we’re responsible. I don’t want to control Surfing Santas. I just want to have fun and share what worked for us.
THE BEST PLACE TO SEE THE SURFING SANTAS IS DOWNTOWN COCOA BEACH AT MINUTEMEN CAUSEWAY BEHIND COCONUTS ON THE BEACH, THE EVENT STARTS AT 8:00AM TO 5:00PM ON CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING, DECEMBER 24