Words: Jason Wilson / Video: Devin Demenezes
The 2023 Spring Fling presented by Zap Skimboards and Skim USA took place this past weekend at North Jetty Beach in Venice, FL. This annual event is a Skim USA sanctioned amateur skimboarding competition with a professional best trick exhibition that brought out 70 skimboarders, including top professionals from Florida, Delaware, and Mexico!
With a beautiful 1 foot Gulf Coast summer pulse in the water, the small waves provided nice ramps for airs, varials, and slashes! Local legend Benny Ray and longtime Zap Ambassador Jason Wilson turned it up on the mic and music all day keeping the vibes at an all time high as the amateur skimmers progressed through heats until a mid-day lunch break, raffle, and a very exciting pro best trick battle. The Valencia brothers (Gerardo & Yahir), John Akerman, Zack Carter, Zeke Williams, and Sydney Pizza traded slides for 15 minutes, hucking shuv-its, combinations, and unique airs that made heads spin! In the end, it was returning champion John Akerman who took top honors and a $1000 bonus from Zap Skimboards with a mind blowing 720 Gazelle Spin! We’re talking a clean 720 board spin with a 360 body varial that puts an exclamation point on the innovation that John continues to bring to the game!
In the amateur rounds, we saw new and veteran locals battle riders from the East Coast all the way to the Panhandle of Florida. Mini champion Gio Tomasi and men’s rider Dylan Duncan continued their win streaks with some of the most progressive and consistent skimboarding of the competition! The female divisions impressed the beach with stylish spins, bashes, and a most notable, skate style no-comply by women’s champion Kate Warrington! The Grandmasters hyped the crowd with energy and classic riding as punk rock music maxed out the PA speakers! Veteran skimmer Wyatt Krapf stomped a clean 540 to edge out team Zap’s newest rider CJ Lugo from Boynton Beach to take first, leaving Drew Fusco and Manasota Beach legend John Chapa scrapping it out for third and fourth. Last but surely not least, we had two awesome competitors in the Legends division, Stig Lindow and Luke O’brien, who put the ultimate stoke in the air with a few epic slides, showing that you can have just as much fun skimboarding at 70 as you can at 7!
Thank you to everyone who came out to participate, our team, and volunteers that came out and made an extra special day along the shore.Sponsors: Sarasota County Parks & Recreation, Ride Nature, Spice Skate, Compound Board Shop, Sun Bum, Black Summer Brand, Wind Flight Surf Shop, RDS Surf Hardware, Buffalo Wild Wings, & Composites One
Jacob Riley Smith