presentations that showcase the work and adventures/history
of iconic shapers, surfers and industry standouts. It is led by
executive director, John Hughes; president, Bill Tweedy; vice
president, Melody DeCarlo; treasurer, Marie Hughes; and
secretary, Karen Lucas.
A few past events included former championship tour surfers
and twins, the Hobgood brothers; iconic longboard surfer and
East Coast Hall of Famer Gary Propper; and a documented
video and photo presentation highlighting the annual Women
of the Waves event, one that continues to be co-sponsored by
Hughes, who took over as the president and director in 2015,
said he has tried to continue to build upon what O’Hare started.
“When we look to build a new board and photo exhibit I
always try to keep in mind that visitors may not always know
much about surfing or the history, especially when it pertains
to our state,” Hughes explained. “I try to make the displays
understandable and fun, while also aiming to hold the interest
of locals and committed surfers. We always try to keep it real.
“The most rewarding part of my job is curating the exhibits,
doing all of the research and archiving all of the things about
our Florida surfing history. I always end up learning new
things from our vast collection of magazines in our library.”
The museum provides space for community events and shares a
portion of the funds collected through member dues, donations
and other fundraisers with several scholastic surf teams who
travel to National Scholastic Surfing Association events.
In addition, it has a robust online presence that includes a
webpage with in-depth articles, interviews and images that
complement and enhance the physical rotating exhibits.
The museum’s Facebook page keeps the public informed on
upcoming events and frequently posts contemporary and
74: SPACE COAST LIVING | SPACECOASTLIVING.COM
The museum’s signature event, the Surfing Santas of Cocoa
Beach, held on Christmas Eve in downtown Cocoa Beach
near Minuteman Causeway, is internationally known. It was
founded by local surfer and resident George Trosset, who
collaborated with museum board members to allow the sale
of T-shirts and memorabilia as a way to raise funds and create
awareness about the museum.
The museum’s current exhibit, Space Coast Surfing — The Right
Stuff, is the first since a major renovation. Hughes said they
worked with Ron Jon to completely remodel the space, adding
raised ceilings and new LED lighting among other upgrades.
The exhibit includes a trophy belonging to 11-time world
champion Kelly Slater, the most decorated surfer in the
world, who grew up next to O’Hare in Cocoa Beach. Slater, 50,
competes on the Championship Tour and won the trophy at
Pipeline in Hawaii. The trophy, which was said to have been
shipped to Slater’s residence and received damaged, was found
by O’Hare in his neighbor’s trash. O’Hare made a decision
to collect the shards and glue them back together, and then
donated it to the museum.
IF YOU GO…
WHAT: Space Coast Surfing – The Right Stuff
WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Sept. 10
WHERE: Florida Surf Museum,
ADDRESS: 4151 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach
PHONE: FOR MORE information visit:
www.floridasurfmuseum.org; send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 321.720.8033.
Gary Propper, left, and museum executive director John Hughes during a gala
celebrating Propper’s accomplishments and contributions to surfing. He was
one of the first inductees of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.
Space Coast Surfing – The Right Stuff features boards and memorabilia from
Brevard County, including a trophy awarded to 11-time world champion Kelly
Slater for his first world tour win at the Pipeline.