What started as a spontaneous trip to Puerto Rico, turned into a surf safari searching for waves, rides, stolen backpacks and drinking a few too many coconut drinks along the way. STRATA’s new intern Kendall Toothe needed a break from Jacksonville’s harsh winter and was in search of warmer waves.
Lucky for Kendall the Corona Pro just happened to be the same weekend she randomly booked a plane ticket for Puerto Rico. With only $200 in her pocket and a board bag to sleep in, the contest became the perfect excuse to say “adios” to school and all priorities for a week…
Leading up to the Corona Pro, a massive crowd flooded the town of Rincon, including STRATA team rider, Wiley Robinson. Waves were super unpredictable the week before the contest. This led most surfers on an endless search for a wave, or just simply led most people to consuming endless amounts of Corona from sunrise to sunset.
Friday, March 6th was the warm-up day for competitors. Waves were head high with a few overhead sets rolling through at the point. After flying all night, Wiley charged immediately for the water. Since he was traveling all alone, he left his backpack next to the two girls with “the biggest butts” on the beach…
Note to everyone: having a nice backside doesn’t mean you are a trusting human.
The chicks ended up having their boyfriends steal all of Wiley’s stuff. Pressure was now on, more than ever, to do well in the contest.
North Florida locals competing in the Corona Pro were Asher Nolan, Cody Thompson, Hobie Sears, Trever Challenor, Emily Ruppert, Kayla Durden, and Jazmine Dean.
Contest morning arrived and waves dropped dramatically, as expected. Waves were 2-3 feet, at best. Finals Day brought 2-4 foot surf, with it building throughout the afternoon. Huge congrats to Jacksonville local, Asher Nolan, for bringing home the win!
Wiley didn’t do as great as he had hoped in the contest, but by some crazy long shot he was able to recover his stolen backpack. Despite the one minor setback, the island, ultimately, is filled with amazing people, looking to share a drink and have a good time.
Puerto Rico was so lovely and dangerous; the perfect mix of beauty and thrill. The island continuously pulls every East Coast surfer back. Until next time Puerto Rico…