ESA Announces Latest “Doc Rock” Recipients

The ESA “Doc Rock” in Buxton, North Carolina Photo: ESM Dugan

As the Eastern Surfing Association prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017, we are proud to announce the latest recipients of the “Colin J. Couture Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to Eastern Surfing Award.”

The “Doc Rock” is the most prestigious award in East Coast surfing because it honors dedication, commitment and service to the ESA and East Coast Surfing as a whole. There is not another award like it in the world. Doc’s spirit and inspiration is that which the ESA was built upon and which continues to guide us.

The “Doc Rock” award is named for Dr. Colin “Doc” Couture and honors volunteer service because that is what he was all about and much, much more. Although he was not involved with the formation of the ESA, during his time as executive director, from 1972 until his death in 1989, he took a fledgling surfing group and turned it into the proud and powerful organization it is today.
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Be a part of ESA history in 2017!


The Eastern Surfing Association is celebrating its 50th year in 2017 and we want you to be part of history!

Join us in celebrating the ESA’s 50th Anniversary in 2017 as one of our 50 sponsors for 50 years. For a minimum sponsorship fee of $1000 per individual or business, you will receive the following:

  • An ESA 50th Anniversary commemorative plaque
  • An ESA 50th Anniversary commemorative t-shirt
  • Name and/or company logo included on 50th Anniversary banner to be displayed at Surf Expo (if confirmed by January 1, 2017) and all four ESA post-season championship events
  • Name and/or company logo included on ESA’s website and all four ESA webcasts for post-season championship events
  • A letter acknowledging your donation to the ESA as a 501(c)(3) non-profit
  • Name and/or company logo included in any additional ESA 50th Anniversary materials per discretion of the ESA
  • Sponsors confirmed by January 1, 2017 will have their name and/or company logo included in the ESA documentary video premiering at Surf Expo January 27, 2017
  • Additional exposure available for higher-level sponsorship
This is your opportunity to be a part of, as well as give back to, the organization that started it all!

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2016 ESA Easterns® Youth Champions Crowned in Multiple Divisions


VA Beach’s Laird Myers won first place in both Boys U14 and Boys U16. Photo by Mickey McCarthy

Waves from Tropical Storm Karl propelled several young surfers to multiple victories at Jennette’s Pier in Nag’s Head, North Carolina, Friday, proving once again the Eastern Surfing Association is the premier amateur surf organization on the East Coast.

Rain and wind created less than ideal conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday but nearly perfect waves for the younger competitors on Thursday and Friday, just in time for the final days of The Easterns® Surfing Championship presented by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

“It would not be Easterns® without at least one day of big, blown-out surf,” ESA Executive Director Michelle Sommers said.  “Thankfully, it lasted only two days and left us with great surf for our competitors to finish the event.”

The youth competitors who placed in multiple finals throughout the Easterns® include ESA All-Stars Nohea Futrell, Leah Thompson, Kyle Tester and Logan Kamen, along with Laird Myers, Coral Schuster, Bree Labiak and Owen Moss. Full results may be viewed at
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14-year-old Kyle Tester Wins ESA’s Easterns® GoPro Open Shortboard Division


Kyle Tester claimed 1st place in ESA’s Easterns GoPro Open Shortboard Division. Photo: Mickey McCarthy

The ESA is currently holding its annual Easterns® Surfing Championships presented by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina.  The week-long event began on Sunday and will continue through Friday.  The adult short- and longboard divisions were held Sunday and Monday in chest-high surf followed by the SUP, Open Shortboard and Bodyboard divisions on Tuesday in blown-out conditions.

Despite two rain delays on Tuesday, Southern New Jersey’s Kyle Tester became one of the youngest ESA competitors at 14 years of age to win the coveted Easterns GoPro Open Shortboard Division.  “I was so stoked to not only make the Open Shortboard final, but to actually win it at 14 is so awesome!”  Tester is taking home a brand new GoPro camera for his efforts.
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2016 ESA Easterns® presented by The Outer Banks Tourism Bureau


Nearly 300 of the East Coast’s best amateur surfers will compete during the 49th annual Eastern Surfing Association’s (ESA) Easterns® Surfing Championship at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina this Sunday, Sept. 18 through Saturday, Sept. 24.   ESA’s annual event – its largest of the year – will showcase competitors from the Great Lakes, the East Coast and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

John Ross Productions will provide a live webcast throughout the event, which may be viewed at

“The ESA has had tremendous success with Easterns® at Jennette’s Pier each year,”   said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director.   “Jennette’s Pier, Town of Nags Head and Outer Banks Visitors’ Bureau welcome us back each year and it’s wonderful to have the support from the tea set.  Our competitors enjoy all that there is to do throughout the Outer Banks during the week.”
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2016 ESA Marsh Scholarship Fund recipients announced

The Eastern Surfing Association is excited to announce its 2016 recipients of the Marsh Scholarship Fund awards.  Applications for the Marsh Scholarship Fund are accepted from ESA members who will be attending college and apply by the deadline.

Established in the early 1980s, the ESA’s Marsh Scholarship Fund has awarded thousands of dollars for financial assistance to current ESA members who are pursuing their career goals by attending college.  It is the largest and longest running scholarship program in the U.S. surfing community.  Recipients of these awards have achieved academic excellence while also volunteering within the ESA.

The 2016 ESA Marsh Scholarship recipients are:

Dalton S. Rust – NFL, Univ. of Florida $2500.00

Lillian M. Whatley – NCFL, Point Loma Nazarene Univ. $2000.00

Dana Rose Brown –CNJ, Univ. of New Hampshire $1500.00

The ESA encourages all ESA members who are interested in applying for the Marsh Scholarship Award to submit their applications by July 1st of each year.  The application may be downloaded at

The ESA, which is nearing its 50th year, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit amateur athletic organization dedicated to the sport of amateur surfing.  The organization promotes amateur competition for surfers of all ages and abilities, and is dedicated to the establishment and preservation of free access to a clean shoreline and ocean environment.