There are many great surfers from the East Coast. If you were at the Jacksonville Beach Pier on Friday night then you understand why, the support of the community is immense.  Over 5,000 people came out to support the Red Bull Nightriders Event.

This event was brought to the East Coast a few years ago by the talented film-maker Matt Katsolis and has been growing since.  This year, the crowd was delighted to see surfers Gabe Kling, Asher Nolan, Ryan Briggs, Cody Thompson, Evan Thompson and Tristin Thompson competing in fun surf.

(Here is a clip edited by UNF Spinnaker highlighting the evening)

Generators powered huge marshmallow shaped lights lining the Pier and massive spotlights from the beach.  At the top of the scaffolding was Daniel Terry and Dane Jefferys keeping spirits high with their classic live commentary.

Each of the three Thompson brothers aireal arsenals are a perfect match for the whip-in format.  At this years event, youngest brother Tristin Thompson took home the trophy after landing multiple airs and scoring an 8 point ride. Brothers Cody and Evan had won the event in the past so it had to feel good for Tristin to get the W!

Adding to the significance of the win is the situation older brother Trey Thompson is facing.  Trey was diagnosed with cancer and is battling to become cancer free.  The $5000 cash prize will be a huge help in supporting Trey’s treatment#winitfortrey

Tristin Thompson & Dane Jeffery's Post Punt Interview
Tristin Thompson & Dane Jeffery’s Post Punt Interview

For me, hanging with the groms and enjoying the positive energy of the event was the highlight.  There were smiling faces everywhere and the stellar performances by the surfers were a bonus.

Yep, the background is real! JAX Pier, FL
Yep, the background is real! JAX Pier, FL

With a kiddo on my shoulders, I luckily filmed this one clip of surfer Ryan Briggs that ignited the crowd.  This wave wasn’t the event winner but it is fun to watch.

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If the Nightriders event ever makes it to your town, you won’t want to miss it!