ESA 2018 Easterns Recap Video NOW POSTED

October 14, 2018 – The Eastern Surfing Association is proud to share the recap video from its 2018 Easterns® Surfing Championship presented by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau & Surfer Dudes.   Produced by Shoots Media, the short video showcases the near-perfect conditions for weather, location and waves at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina.

Approximately 300 competitors from Maine through Florida, Gulf coast of Florida and the Great Lakes travel each September in hopes of becoming an ESA Easterns® Champion.  Each surfer has qualified through their local ESA districts and regional events.

Click HERE to view, or the photo below.


Please visit for additional information.

All press inquiries, contact Michelle Sommers at





ESA Holds 50th Easterns Surfing Championships

September 27, 2018 – The Eastern Surfing Association held its 50th Easterns® Surfing Championships at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina last week.  Adult surfers were greeted at the start of the week with some fun, smaller waves that rolled into perfectly peeling barrels for the youth finals.

Braeden Kopec, Easterns Menehune U12 Champions. PC: MEZ/ESM

Presented by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Surfer Dudes, the annual week-long event brings amateur surfers from all over the east coast, the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast of Florida to compete in their respective divisions in hopes of claiming an east coast Easterns® championship title.

“There is so much surfing talent along the east coast and The Easterns® is the main event where these surfers can showcase their abilities,” said ESA’s executive director Michelle Sommers.  “It’s nice to offer a championship event along the east coast in a location like the Outer Banks where the waves are known to be ideal for elite surfers.”

Hurricane Florence could not keep the youth and adult competitors from making their way via alternate routes to Nags Head.  The ESA delayed the start of the event due to the impacts from Hurricane Florence and mandatory evacuations that were in place for the Outer Banks.

Open, Boys U16, Boys U14, Youth Ironman and Hot Wave winner ESA All-Star Blayr Barton. PC: MEZ/ESM

ESA All-Star Blayr Barton from Virginia Beach claimed three east coast titles, including the coveted Open Shortboard Division.  He also won the Boys U16 and U14, as well as the Youth

Ironman.  Barton also took home the Hot Wave award for a score of 9.8 on one of his waves.

“My goals were to take home all three titles,” said Barton.  “I’m stoked to have achieved my goals with the outcome I was going for.  Thank you to the ESA for offering this event that pushes my surfing to levels that I want to succeed in as all of the competitors were great surfers.”

Taylor Greene from ESA’s North Gulf Florida district made three finals and left with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finish in Jr. Women U18, Girls U14 and Girls U16, respectively.

“I was stoked to surf awesome waves in three finals,” said Green.  “The waves were really fun, and I was excited to come away with a win.”

Taylor Green – Easterns Junior Women U18 Champion and Girls U16 & U14 finalist. PC: MEZ/ESM

The Menehune U12 was a nail-biter until the very end between ESA Jr.All-Star Braeden Kopec and North Florida’s Benji Lange.  Kopec claimed the win with a high scoring wave in the final ten seconds of the heat.

Florida swept through the youth divisions with Central Florida’s Fergus Kelly who won the Junior Men U18 division and All-Star Jasmine Gailey claiming the Girls U16.  Another All-Star, Sarah Abbott from ESA’s Palm Beach district, won the Girls U14 for a second time in a row.

“I am so stoked that the waves were really fun for my heats throughout the event,” said Kelly.  “It was exciting to win the Junior Men U18 division as I went against some great surfers.”

Jr Men Easterns Champion Fergus Kelly from Central FL. PC: MEZ/ESM

The youth longboard divisions were fun to watch with wins going to ESA All-Star Nicholas Hutchins, Bree Labiak and Noah Avallone.  Avallone won the Sportsmanship Award for helping a fellow competitor get to the beach after his leash broke during their preliminary heat.  Hutchins may be one of the only male competitors from the state of Maine to win an Easterns® title.

Central FL district claimed the top spot for the Easterns All-Star Tag Team event that had eight ESA districts compete for bragging rights, and a cool trophy. PC: MEZ/ESM


The ESA All-Star team coach Jason Motes won his 20th & 21st east coast titles when he took first in both the Senior Mens and Masters Longboard divisions.  Central Florida claimed bragging rights when they won the All-Star Tag Team competition that was offered to benefit the team by having ESA districts compete.


“Watching kids competing against each other in the water, followed by cheering each other on from the beach is what really fires me up,” said Motes.

Todd Youngblood from Southern South Carolina proved age doesn’t matter.  In addition to his 3rd place finish in Masters Longboard, Youngblood competed against surfers who were nearly 30 years his junior in the Open Shortboard final, coming 2nd.

The ESA offered a special viewing of Teton Gravity Research’s Andy Irons: Kissed By God for its competitors at Jennette’s Pier. The film is about the three-time surfing world champion who struggled with bipolar and substance addiction, resulting in his death.

“The film has a strong message for people of all ages and ESA members can relate as every surfer knows who Andy Irons was,” said Sommers.

Event sponsor Whalebone Surf Shop offered an Andy Irons autographed pair of sunglasses that was raffled off to benefit those affected by Hurricane Florence.

Sponsors also provided great prizes and giveaways for the competitors and spectators.  Kala Brand Music provided a custom-made ukulele for the Open Shortboard winner, along with ukuleles for first place finalists throughout the event.  Sharkbanz provided products for the Boys and Girls U14 finalists.  Buddy by the Sea was on the beach with apparel for everyone.  Unsinkable, OluKai, Chums and Surfco Hawaii offered prize packs and products for everyone.

Billy Rutledge from Hatteras Island Christian Fellowship (HICF)provided logistical support and snacks for competitors.  HICF also raffled great prizes for the youth competitors each day.

Jamie Swim Art from Hawaii provided the much-loved event artwork that was used for the t-shirts and plaque awards.

Local restaurants sponsored food the event officials, volunteers and competitors, as well as offered discounts to competitors.  Cafe Lachine (soon to be Johanna’s), Nags Head Pizza Company, Surfin’ Spoon, The Outer Banks Brewing Station, Carolina Brewery, Yellow Submarine, Dunkin Donuts, Cahoons Market and Pepsi.

ESA All-Star Sarah Abbott claims a 2nd Easterns title for Girls U14. PC: MEZ/ESM

“The 2018 Easterns® will go down in history as having some of the best weather and waves that the event has ever seen,” said Sommers.

Adds Motes, “This year goes down in my books as the best Easterns® ever!”

Full results are posted on The Easterns® webpage.

Special thanks to The Easterns® event sponsors:

  • The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau
  • Surfer Dudes
  • Jennette’s Pier
  • Town of Nags Head
  • Buddy by the Sea
  • Sharkbanz
  • Beach Gladiator
  • IndoJax Surf Charities
  • GoGo Squeez Blast
  • Sun Realty
  • Whalebone Surf Shop
  • The Spot
  • Hatteras Island Christian Fellowship
  • Nixon
  • Space Coast of Florida
  • Eastern Surf Magazine
  • Jamie Swim Art
  • Café Lachine
  • Pepsi
  • Chums
  • Surfco Hawaii
  • Teton Gravity Research
  • Unsinkable Polarized
  • Surfer Magazine
  • Tara Mosely Graphics
  • Shoots Media
  • Sticky Bumps
  • Savage Surfboards
  • Rip Curl
  • Anchor Scaffolding
  • Kala Brand Music
  • Carolina Brewery
  • Nags Head Pizza
  • Outer Banks Brewing Station
  • The Yellow Submarine
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Cahoon’s Market

ESA Announces its 2018 Marsh Scholarship Recipients

September 9, 2018 – The Eastern Surfing Association has announced its 2018 recipients of the Marsh Scholarship.  Funds are granted to current ESA members who are attending college to assist with tuition, books and other related expenses.

“We had an increased number of applicants this year,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director.  “It can be a difficult choice when we have several strong candidates, however, the trustee’s voting was consistent to determine the three top recipients.”

ESA SSC’s Cory Jackson. Facebook photo.

Cory Jackson, a member of the Southern South Carolina District was awarded the top award of $3000.

“The ESA has always been a huge part of my life growing up,” said Jackson.  “It’s awesome to gain their support through the Marsh Scholarship as I start this new chapter in my life at Flagler College.”

Kat Neff from the Southern North Carolina District and Tommy Tillett from the Outer Banks District each received $1500  for their efforts.

Neff will be attending the University of North Florida studying business.  Tillett has been accepted into the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

The ESA wishes the best of luck to all the applicants.

For more information about the ESA’s Marsh Scholarship, please visit


Special ESA Easterns viewing of “Andy Irons: Kissed By God” at Jennette’s Pier September 18 at 6:30pm

August 21, 2018 – The ESA is proud to partner with Teton Gravity Research to offer a special Easterns® viewing of the Andy Irons documentary, “Kissed By God,” at Jennette’s Pier on Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30pm.

This is free for Easterns® competitors, and only $15 for parents, ESA members and event spectators.  It is not open to the public.

“The ESA is very excited to offer this to its members,” said ESA executive director Michelle Sommers.  “The film is working its way around the world being shown in various cities.  We are very thankful that Tetron Gravity Research is offering us this opportunity at our largest event of the year in Nags Head.”

Andy Irons: Kissed by God is a film about bipolar disorder and opioid addiction as seen through the life of three-time world champion surfer Andy Irons. Andy struggled with the same demons that millions of people worldwide battle with daily.

Andy was an incredible presence on the world stage as the “People’s Champion.” He was the pride of Hawaii and revered around the world for his blue collar rise to fame and success. However, many were unaware of the internal battles that led to his demise.

As the opioid crisis rises to a national emergency in the United States, the untold story of Andy’s life serves to tear down the myths associated with these two ferocious diseases.

For more information, please visit


ESA Welcomes Indo Jax as a 2018 Easterns Sponsor

August 16, 2018 – The Eastern Surfing Association is pleased to announce its partnership with Indo Jax® Surf School and Surf Charities as a 2018 Easterns® sponsor.

Indo Jax is a surf school and an outreach program for medically fragile, special needs and at risk youth working primarily in North Carolina, but also globally.  Thousands of kids have come through Indo Jax® programs and some have become competitive surfers in the ESA.

“My own kids compete in the ESA,” said Indo Jax® founder Jack Viorel.  “I can’t think of a more positive program for kids coming up in surfing and wanting to compete than the Eastern Surfing Association.”

Indo Jax® has been a proud, local sponsor of the ESA’s Southern North Carolina District for many years.

“We are very excited to now be a key sponsor for the ESA’s 2018 Easterns® Surfing Championships at Jennette’s Pier,” Viorel added.

“The ESA is thrilled to have Indo Jax® joining our line-up of supporters for this year’s Easterns®,” said ESA’s executive director Michelle Sommers.  “Having our own members support surfing’s most-anticipated event of the year along the east coast is really special.”

Please visit Indo Jax®’s website for more details about their ongoing programs throughout the year.

The ESA’s 2018 Easterns® Surfing Championship will be held September 16-22 at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina.   For more information, please visit the ESA’s Easterns® webpage.



Register now for the 2018 ESA Easterns® – Deadline is July 31, 2018

Online entry link (preferred method):

Please check the 2018 Regional Rankings to see if you earned a slot or must apply for an alternate slot to the 2018 Easterns®.
To print and mail in your entry: 2018 Easterns® Entry Form

Competitors registering for 2018 Easterns® MUST have competed in the 2018 ESA Regionals in order to be eligible for a regular slot or an alternate slot to the 2018 Easterns®, and have a current ESA membership through September 30, 2018.