This past weekend was the first annual Coquina Beach Freeride. Coquina Beach is a beautiful spot located on the southern tip of Anna Maria Island near Tampa Bay, Florida. It was the first freeride on the west coast of Florida and was hosted and organized by Cody Taylor.
The event was held at Coquina Beach park in Manatee County. There is a boat ramp for launching larger skis and a beach launch as well. From the launch there was riding on the protected bayside waters.
From there it is a short ride out the pass between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key for riding in the Gulf of Mexico. There are shoals on each side of the pass that offer surf riding when the conditions are right.
Riders came from all over Florida including a group of east coast surf riders from the Daytona Beach (including Nick Foederer of the Daytona Freeride with Carter Brackett, Ken Cupo), and a group from southeast Florida from Thrust Innovations (with Joju Frankel and Edward Dale Graham) as well as lots of local area riders.
The lineup of skis was as diverse as their riders, which included Sea-Doo Sparks, WaveBlasters, Kawasaki SX-Rs, SuperJets, FX-1, and many aftermarket hulls including Superfreaks, Rickters, Backie Chan, and others.
The event raffle was held Saturday evening poolside at the event hotel Tortuga Inn and Beach Resort. Sponsors donated some great freeride parts and swag. Nearly a thousand dollars was raised and donated to the charity Cancer Foundation: Angels for Lila Ruiz; a little girl who suffers from megacystis microcolon intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome, a condition that has Lila going back and forth to the hospital to see specialists, racking up significant medical costs.
The host hotel was located within easy walking distance to some great beachside restaurants and bars for after riding unwinding and partying. This event was a good time and offers a new summer freeride for the west coast of Florida.