Flagler Beach has always maintained a plethora of great surfing talent out in the lineup. Most land folks would assume that surfing is comparable to just goofing off in the ocean but they couldn’t be more wrong. These days training to be an elite surfer consists of lots of time in the water (during ocean conditions most folks would never even consider as a rational decision) and working out extensively on land too. Strength, cardio and flexibility training are equally important when you are entering the field of wanting to be the best. And then there is an entirely different aspect of centering the mind while you surf. It is not easy sport to learn and it’s even more difficult to be good. But if you have ever stood up on a board and managed a ride down the line, it will most definitly plant a large toothy grin across your face and burn a lasting memory into your brain.
This past weekend 10 Flagler Beach local surfers took home significant hardware while competing in the Eastern Surfing Associations Regional Championship, out of approximately 200 competitors in Paradise Beach, Fl, Sunday.
Surfing grom, Ryan Huckabee, placed 2nd in the Menehune finals with Evan Tyson and Braeden Kopec bringing home a respective 3rd and 5th place. Steve Tyson and Eric Worley battled it out in the Masters final with Steven Tyson claiming the win. The most competitive division, Junior Men, consisted of Patrick Conklin taking 3rd and CJ Garren bringing home 4th. Hannah Blevins took 5th in a super competitive girls final and East Coast Surfing Champion Haley Watson, brought home a 2nd in the Women’s final. In the Junior Women Longboard finals, Hannah Blevins came in 2nd and Olivia Beaven placed third.
One of the day’s highlights was when Ryan Conklin placed first in the Menehune longboard final. Ryan is 14 years old and shapes his own surf boards, winning on his own longboard. He started his craft at the ripe age of twelve.
Many of the competitors are looking forward to competing in California this June at the USA Surfing Championships. The national event is used to field the best surfing has to offer and is where the official USA Surf Team is formed, to compete internationally. Patrick Conklin, Cj Garren, Robbie McCormick, Ryan Huckabee, Robbie Goodwin and Hannah Blevins will be competing next week in the Surfing America Prime series, located in Nags Head, NC. Ryan Conklin has a division invite to compete at the ESA Nationals in September, along with the other finalists.
Photo Credit: Unknown
High Fives to all the competitors! You guys are Awesome!!