Cocoa Beach hosts the event for the 21st time

What began as an annual surf contest over two decades ago to fund support for the history and preservation of East Coast surfing has since become part of history itself.

On June 4, the 21st Annual Waterman Challenge will once again take place on the waves of Cocoa Beach, offering participants of all ages the opportunity to compete in individual and group divisions.

It returned in 2021 after a one-year hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aptly named, this will be one that features a diversification of board riding and water men and women.

This year, although the event is a one-day competition, the rounds will feature many of the same innovative formats as in previous years, including the traditional men’s and women’s longboard age splits (18 and under to 70 years and older).

Competitors dress in 1950s and 60s attire during the vintage portion of the 20th Waterman's Challenge on Cocoa Beach in 2021.

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The popular Vintage competition, a favorite of competitors and spectators alike, will feature riders on twin, single fin and retro surfboards from the 1950s to the 1980s.

All competitors will be asked to dress in swimsuits and bathing suits from these eras to resemble historic surf and beach fashion.

“This contest is always a great moment for the community here,” said John Hughes, director of the Florida Surf Museum. “With minimal waves this is a time when all ages can enjoy warmer water temperatures, generally smaller waves and fun for the whole family.”

Ronny Wharton in the paddleboard competition at the 19th Annual Waterman Challenge in 2019.

New to the event this year, the “Surf & Turf” golf event has been added to appeal to those familiar with both sports – maybe!

The requirements for participants in this event are to ride a longboard, ride a wave to the beach, and then chip a golf ball through a hula hoop ring.

Once this is accomplished, they will have 20 minutes to repeat the process and will be judged on the number of times the streak is completed to determine their placement in each individual round.

Other events will include an 11 and under division and a Scholastic Challenge event.

Trophies will be awarded from first to fourth place.

The contest will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 4 at the Cocoa Beach Hilton Oceanfront, 1500 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach.

Special rates will be available for attendees at the Hilton. For more information: visit, www.floridasurfmuseum.org

Tickets and registration for all events can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com or at the Hilton on June 3, 5-7 p.m. the day before the event on the registration site.

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