History of Makka Pro
Competitive surfing in Jamaica dates back to the mid 1990’s when JSA President and Founder, Billy Wilmot, held the first impromptu surf heat with his kids and their friends at the legendary “Zoo” surf spot.
The level of excitement and focus the kids displayed made Billy realize that competitive surfing would be the catalyst to encourage the growth of the sport locally. This could not happen however unless there was a legitimate national governing body for surfing, so that became the first objective.
The JSA was formed in 1999 and began holding regular local events for its membership and declaring champions in open, women and junior divisions.
Membership with the International Surfing Association (ISA) and Pan-American Surfing Association (PASA) resulted in teams being selected and sent to compete at the World Surfing Games and Pan-American Surfing Championships since 2002. That exposure to the world of international competitive surfing planted the Makka Pro seed and the summer of 2007 became the target date for the first Makka Pro!
The Makka Pro became a major project which would mean networking with the other two major surfing nations in the Caribbean, Barbados and Trinidad.
Nick Donawa out of Barbados, who at the time was in the process of establishing the Caribbean surfing Network, was very supportive of the contest. The concept of a Tri-Nation challenge was spawned with points adding up from a major event in each island used to declare a Caribbean Surfing Champion.
The first Makka Pro in 2007 was the biggest event in terms of spectator turnout, of all the surf events in the English speaking Caribbean.
Ensuing years saw the Makka Pro growing in recognition and prestige. More sponsors got on board and the event began pushing the boundaries of Caribbean surf contests. Computerized scoring system and live online video streaming of the event are now standard.
By 2012 the results from the Makka Pro, the Soup Bowl Pro in Barbados and the San Souci Pro in T&T declared Barbados’ Dane Mackie the first recipient of the Paul Blades Memorial Caribbean Champion’s Trophy, donated to the JSA by the Blades Family.