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First Coast

Women's Surf Contest Coming to Jax Beach This November

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Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore is planning to compete and hold a mentoring workshop for teen girls during the Jax Beach surf contest.

A longstanding women’s surf competition is coming to Jacksonville Beach this fall. The Super Girl Surf Pro contest has taken place in San Diego the last 15 years and is a World Surf League qualifying series competition. This is the first time the contest is coming to the East Coast.

Jax Beach native, and recent contestant on ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer, Kayla Durden plans to compete. She said she’s used to needing to travel to the West Coast for surf contests, and is looking forward to competing in her hometown.

“For the first time, our town is going to be considered a world-class, world-qualifying series event location. All these girls are going to be coming here and kind of getting to see what we work with,” Durden said. “So I think it'll really change the culture for East Coast surfers.”

Durden grew up surfing in North Florida and said the smaller, warmer waves of Florida have given the local surfing community a different skill set.

“I think Florida surfers are a little bit better at generating speed and kind of maneuvering smaller, kind of weaker surf,” Durden said. “I actually think coming into my hometown, my turf, I definitely have a bit of an advantage.”

Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore is also planning to compete, as well as hold a day-long surfing and mentorship program for local girls aged 10 to 16. The event is free to attend and will include concerts, fitness classes and a beach volleyball competition.

The professional surf contest is taking place November 12 - 14 at Jacksonville Beach Pier. Jacksonville Beach Mayor Chris Hoffman said in a statement she is expecting about 20,000 attendees per day.

Contact Claire Heddles at cheddles@wjct.org, (904) 250 - 0926, or on Twitter at @claireheddles.