The 2023 Vilano Beach Florida Pro/Am

    Words: Max Smetts / Media: Devin Demenezes

    The 29th Florida Pro/Am hosted by RDS Skim Company went down on August 18th and 19th at Vilano Beach, FL. With the team fresh off a great weekend at the Zap World Championships in Dewey, the crew was looking forward to a fun contest back in Florida! The contest format that Steve Pullara from RDS uses provides a great environment for competition with the Amateur divisions. Every rider gets an opportunity to skim two heats with the first round being a placement round where the competitors are all seeded and no one is eliminated yet. This makes for a laid back atmosphere and promotes growth among riders getting their first taste of skim contests.

    Typically, we look forward to fun conditions at Vilano Beach for skim but the beach hasn't been set up properly to give the best shorebreak. There were a lot of flatland style tricks being thrown down with the less than ideal conditions available for the riders. It was still exciting to watch the technical tricks and riders battling it out with what they were working with.

    In the Amateur ranks, Giorgio Tomasi, Kate Warrington, Trent Moranda, Dylan Duncan, Graham Shelton, and CJ Lugo were all impressing the crowd with their technical maneuvers. It's been fun to watch them all pushing each other this summer!

    In the Pro ranks, there were a lot of tricks to keep track of in some tightly contested heats. Zack Carter didn't crack the top 6 but he was a stand out rider in the first round but barely got beat to get knocked out of the competition. Gerardo Valencia was ripping all weekend, as usual, and showed plenty of style combined with power to get himself a solid 6th place finish. Yahir Valencia ended up beating out the field and took home the win. He has been on fire all summer and clearly deserved to be on top after the weekend was over. With the win, Yahir defended his title from last year!

    We want to congratulate all the riders who placed at the Florida Pro/Am! It was a great weekend and we are always stoked to support it.

    About RDS Skim Company & Florida Pro/Am:

    The Florida Skimboarding Pro/Am (FL Pro/Am) is the third longest running Professional/Amateur skimboarding tournament in the world (As for the Professional division, Tex Haines created the First, Harry followed and then I added the Pro division to my tournament in 1996).

    The Fl Pro/Am is the only Amateur event in the World that allows each athlete two chances to advance before being eliminated. This tournament runs more divisional heats than any other Skimboarding Tournament in the World, spanning three full days and over 30 hours of individual heats. Skimboarding athletes come from more than 75 different beaches from all over Florida, the USA, and the World.

    A Skimboarding tournament dream that started once I moved from Tampa to Vilano Beach, Florida USA in February of 1989. Though it took well over a year to get everything in order to hold an event (The very first was Oct 1990).  This tournament has always been my gift back to Skimboarding for all of my best sessions, contest personal results, Skimboard Magazine publications from early 80's Florida Skimboarding, lifelong friendships, and wonderful memories. The Fl Pro/Am has always been an end of summer bash that has grown to exceed any and all of my expectations or dreams. Over the years and into the future, many of my Skimboarding friends as well as  personal family members, have helped me each and every year fulfill this dream for the sport of Skimboarding. Thanks for all of their help during this event from start to finish.


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