The National Kidney Foundation of Florida Surf Festival is the largest charitable, world-class surfing competition that takes place annually in Cocoa Beach. Scheduled for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-5, you can expect professional and amateur surfers competing, as well as beach activities, entertainment like live music, and giveaways.
Haven’t heard of the NKF Surf Festival? What started off as the Cocoa Beach Surfing Festival 29 years ago became the NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Festival. Twin brothers Phil and Richard K. Salick founded the festival as a way to help raise funds to fight kidney disease and dialysis patients. Now in its 31st year, this event is near and dear to many because of the brothers’ close connection to kidney disease.
Richard was a 23-year-old surfer living any surfer’s dream when his kidneys started to fail. He was diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy/Glomerulonephritis, a disease that breaks down the tiny filtering units in the kidneys. After being told he wasn’t going to surf again, years of dialysis treatments and a kidney transplant, Rich began surfing again and started focusing on other kidney patients, starting the Cocoa Beach Surf Festival.
Over the years, the festival grew and to date has raised over $4 million for patients. Sadly, Rich passed away in July 2012 and the event was renamed in Rich’s honor to the NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surfing Festival.
NKF Rich Slaick Pro-Am | September 2 – 5, 2016 | Cocoa Beach Pier
This event is free to attend and the proceeds from the festival go to the National Kidney Foundation of Florida to support programs in local kidney health education, early detection screenings and patient assistance.
Online registration for the 31st NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surf Festival is now open. Participants can also register in person at the registration party on Friday, Sept. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Keith's Oyster Bar on the Cocoa Beach Pier.
For more information about this event, check out NKFSurf.com.