Surf ‘n’ Skate

If you’ve spent any time in Jacksonville, you must know of the Surf ‘n’ Skate culture. It’s the grom lifestyle that seeps into the locals and never leaves. It’s the carefree, positive vibe the whole city thrives on.

This is the thrill-seeking, rad connectivity that makes people feel like life should be nothing more than flip-flops, porch beers and adventure at any cost (as long as it’s not actual money, ’cause there is only time for surfing, skating and chillin’ in-between the two).

In my time in Jax, I frequented the beach and skate spots. And I only brought my camera a handful of times. This was one particular day I went out with another photo friend and we took advantage of the local talent. I also had a 600mm prime lens on hand that was screaming to be let out.

We rocked out to Beach Bowl, a yearly event held at Kona Skatepark. Kona is an iconic skatepark built in the 70s, known all over the world (and featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4). Skaters here shaped the skating community into what it is today. Pros come from this park, and if not, they surely have it on their to-do lists. I mean, it just looks like a blast, and is clearly packed with possibility. The history and stories on this place are more than I can get into today, but it’s worth taking a look at if you’re into that stuff.

It’s hard to follow talent with an equal amount of talent, but just like any S&S lover, a break and a beer were all that was needed. Take your scraped up knees to the sea, guys–you’ll heal.

If you didn’t know, Jacksonville puts out pro-level adventure athletes like it’s no one else’s business. In addition to the skaters, we have seen some of the world’s best surfers come from this city. Seems surprising considering Florida waves aren’t the craziest, right? That is what makes a pro–taking on a challenge and mastering it. Surf the flat waters!

Thankfully, we had waves to watch and a good collection of locals out on this particular day. We shot from the shore and the pier in the heart of Jacksonville Beach. A 600mm lens is a lot for most sports, but a dream for spotting action in the ocean. Plus, anyone walking by made jokes about how my lens was clearly large and superior to my male friend’s dinky 70-200mm lens. It’s always funny to hear what people come up with when you carry around impressive gear, and especially so when you’re with someone who wishes they were more than your friend. Sorry, not sorry, bro.

Anywhoo–there were a lot of great shots and fun to be had this day and I’m glad I could get out and snag a little bit of Jacksonville for myself. I know my album is chronologically backward, but Skate ‘n’ Surf just isn’t how you put it. Also, I’ve lost the originals due to a hardware loss, so we have to deal with these watermarked edits. Ugh, but oh well. Still love ’em!