Report and captions by Tom Dugan, photos by Tom Dugan and Mike Vuocolo

The 9th annual Beach N’ Board Fest was held March 8-12-2023 at Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, FL.  The beach park is located directly behind Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, the event’s main sponsor.  The event featured the Quicksilver Men’s and Jr. Men’s Pro, along with the Roxy Women’s and Jr. Women’s Pro.

This year’s Beach’N Boards Fest had three straight days of waves like this. Not bad for an East Coast contest. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The surf portion of the fest started Wednesday with a windy and overcast day and very small 2 ft surf.  Day two, Thursday, the surf jumped to 4 ft wind chop, but very contestable conditions, and plenty of good surfing going down. Friday morning arrived with clear skies, sun, 4 foot waves, and offshore winds that stayed around for the next three days along with good wave size, making this year’s contest one for the books.  From Friday thru Sunday it was a delight to see Cocoa Beach really doing its thing with incredible surf and world class surfing. There were contestants from all over the world including Peru, Costa Rica, Canada, Barbados, Japan, and the Dominican Republic. The U.S. had representatives from California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and of course all up and down the East Coast, making it truly a world class competition.

Tent city with clear skies, waves, Canaveral Pier, and Kennedy Space Center out the back. PHOTO: @tomduganphotos

The Beach N’ Board Fest included a skateboard ramp, a wake boardpool, and competitions, including a 5K beach run, kayak fishing, a 1-mile ocean swim, and the largest high school girls’ volleyball tournament of it’s kind. Vero Beach defeated New Smyrna Beach in the final of the 30-team, 60-player event.  Food trucks, vendors booths, skateboard ramp, and the Billabong wakeboarding pool kept all the Spring Break beachgoers entertained.

Men’s Pro Winner Jett Schilliing busts a move for the win. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos


From day one the surfing was intense and everyone was surfing their best trying to gain WSL (World Surf League) points and take home the top check of $2500.00.  On the Women’s side, Californian Bella Kenworthy, daughter of photographer Jason Kenworthy took both the Ron Jon Roxy Women’s AND the Women’s Jr. Pro. It was the first time she has won a WSL contest and the first time she has won two events on the same day.

Women’s Pro AND Jr. Pro Winner Bella Kenworthy smacks one on Saturday. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos


On the men’s side, Quicksilver Men’s Pro winner Jett Schilling, another California, almost did the same winning the Men’s but getting a second in the Jr. Men’s.  Jett lost by only one point in the Jr’s, 13.17 to 12.17, but all in all, he had a great birthday weekend, with two rocket launches and a WSL win.

2023 Beach’N Boards Fest Pro Winners Bella Kenworthy and Jett Schilling. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The East coast was well represented by past event winner New Smyrna FL’s Evan Geiselman in the Men’s Final. Evan surfed with his flair and speed on every wave, getting some excellent scores, but in the end with scores of  17.50 to 12.27 he was sent home with the second place check. As alway, like years past, the waves were there, as was the sun, and the Spring Break crowds. Looking forward to next year and hope the waves will be as good as this year’s.   – Tom Dugan –

Virginia Beach’s Blair Barton throws his fins out thru the goal post. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Results 2023 Ron Jons Beach And Board Fest
1- Reed Platenius
2- Jett Schilling
3- Taj Lindblad

4- Luke Wyler

Jr. Pro Winner from California, Reed Platens busting the fins out for the win on Sunday. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Women’s Junior Pro
1- Bella Kenworthy
2- Talia Swindal
3- Candelaria Resano

4- Kylie Pulcini

Candelaria Resano third Womens Pro. Photo : Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Men’s Pro
1- Jett Schilling

2- Evan Geiselman

Even Geiselman surfed incredible in every heat he was in. Even though he was pulling off some insane turns and airs, his two wave total in the finals only added up to 12.27 to Jett Schilling’s 17.50, getting Evan a second place final berth. PHOTO :@tomduganphotos

Women’s Pro
1- Bella Kenworthy

2- Sanoa Dempfle-Olin

Ron Jon Roxy Womens Jr. Pro Winners: ( L to R ) Kylie Pulcini, Candelaria Resano, Talia Swindal and winner Bella Kenworthy. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The only way to get an icecream headache during Spring Break in Florida. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots. Sequence below: Zoe Benadetto’s one-two punch. Photo” Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Local Brevard surfer and Ron Jon team member Tommy Coleman fins out on Thursday. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Photographers Jason Kenworthy and ESM’s Tom Dugan. Jason flew over from California with his daughter Bella and she proceeded to win her first two WSL Events, both the Women’s and Jr. Women Pro. Doesn’t get much better than that for a proud Dad’s bragging rights. PHOTO : Mimi Dugan

Girls’ skate jam on the mobil ramp, courtesy Instaramp. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Sunday still had the swell that actually stayed around till Tuesday, making it a seven day run of waves, but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday had the best conditions. Lily Pierle taking full advantage in her heat of Sunday’s clean surf.. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

This was Cocoa Beach on Saturday. Taila Swindal on a nice runner. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

The boys from the Mid-Atlantic states were well represented. Owen Moss down from North Carolina puts one straight up backside. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Papa Cory Lopez is totally enthralled in his daughter Alana’s heat on Friday. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Did we mention the waves were good for the event? Auburn Hilley finding a clean face on Friday around 10:30 in the morning. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Spring Breakers. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

WSL worker bee Crosby Colapinto adding points to his quest for the World Tour in Cocoa Beach. Backside banger. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

North Carolina grom Will Deane down from the Outer Banks and making a statement. This kid’s comp act is legit. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

The Groms and the Gurus  ( clockwise from front left  ) Benji Lange, Will Deane, Blair Barton, Matt Kennan, and Asher Nolan enjoying the sun, sand, and surf. Talk about some mad talent front to back!  PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Kyan Yang giving the Contest area marker a squirt. Photo Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Rachel Aguero. Photo Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Another major force from Caclalacky, Bo Raynor tossing big buckets with just a snap of his fins. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Men’s Pro 2nd and 1st place finishers , Evan Geiselman and Sett Schilling. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

This kid can surf. Josh Burke and his brother Jacob flew up from Barbados and went to town on the small waves. Josh over and out on Thursday. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Four-time World Champion Lisa Anderson was on hand to compete, do promos, support her sponsors: Roxy and Ron Jon; plus give out a few tips to the young guns competing each day. Alway great to see Lisa at the beach. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

A textbook cutty by Cam Richards. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Jax boy Benji Lange pointing himself and his fins due south. Photo: Mike Vuocolo @mikesshoreshots

Zoe Benedetto gave it her best, but was put out with a second in her semi-final heat. Zoe with a clean snap Saturday morning. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Support at each event is everything. Eric Geiselman drove down from his home in New Smyrna Beach, an hour away, to cheer on his little brother Evan to a second in the Men’s Pro. Eric at the ready with his hands on Evan’s back up board during the finals. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

Each semi-final heat was the path to victory and you needed to place to move forward. Cannon Carr shown here placed forth in his semi and that was not the “place” he needed to be. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

You could not have asked for better waves and weather for the 2023 Beach N’ Boards. Photo: Mike Vuocolo

Quiksilver Jr. Men’s Winner Reed Platenius gets congratulated by announcer Randy Nolan. PHOTO : @tomduganphotos

WSL photographer Kurt Steinmetz gets the shot of the Roxy Women’s Jr. Pro Finalists: Talia Swindal (on the left) and Bella Kenworthy (on the right). PHOTO : @tomduganphotos