Swell Shows up for Easterns

ESA All-Star Kanoa Wong PC: MEZ/ESM

The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA)’s 2019 Easterns Surfing Championships began on Sunday with Jennette’s Pier offering some of the best waves that the adult competitors have had for the event.  Light winds and waves that were waist to chest high provided excitement for everyone watching on the beach and online via the event’s live webcast.

Presented by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Surfer Dudes, The Easterns® brings nearly 300 of the best amateur surfers from along the East Coast, including the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast of Florida.  Competitors were invited to this event based on ESA rankings from its three regional events held in the spring.

ESA All-Star team mentor, Kainalu Nichols, claimed an ESA-sponsored slot into WSL’s QS event in Barbados by claiming the top spot in the Mens Division.  Nichols also took home the ESA Adult Iron Man award for all of the divisions he surfed and the scores obtained.



East Coast stand-out Blayr Barton also obtained an ESA-sponsored slot to Barbados by securing a win in the Open Shortboard Division on Tuesday.  Barton then followed with a 2nd place finish in the Jr Men U18 Shortboard Division.  Both divisions included the WSL 4-man priority heats.

ESA All-Star Carl Burger won the Jr Men U18 Division, which will solidify him as an ESA-sponsored slot into the next East Coast WSL Pro Junior event.

“I was so stoked to even make it to the final, and it was great to take the win,” said Burger.

Team members who competed in the All-Star Adult District Challenge PC: MEZ/ESM

The ESA held an All-Star Adult District Challenge that had ESA districts compete to benefit the ESA All-Star team coach.  Five district teams each surfed 10-minute heats in hopes to claim bragging rights and a cool trophy to take back to their members.  North Central Florida won the challenge, followed closely by North Florida.

Jamie Swim from Hawaii created another amazing design for the event’s adult awards and t-shirts.  Matt Lusk offered four of his fantastic Outer Banks photos and Plak That created awards that every competitor wanted to claim.

Blayr Barton took home an amazing piece of artwork by Jamie Swim Art and Plak That for winning the ESA’s Easterns Open Shortboard division at Jennette’s Pier. PC: MEZ/ESM

The youth divisions will begin and run through the remainder of the week.  Contest officials put the event on hold  Wednesday due to high winds.  The next call will be Thursday morning at 7:30am for an 8:00am start.  Schedule updates will be posted as needed.

Full results for the adult and open divisions may be found on ESA’s event webpage.  Below is a list of a few:

Open Shortboard

1 – Blayr Barton

2 – Owen Carter

3 – Will Deane

4 – Josh Motes

 Jr Men U18

1 – Carl Burger

2 – Blayr Barton

3 – Kai DeLorenzo

4 – Kanoa Wong


1 – Kainalu Nichols

2 – Josh Motes

3 – Mason Burke

4 – Chris Moore

All-Star Team Challenge

1 – NCFL

2 – NFL

3 – CFL

4 – SNC

5 – SNJ

Easterns begins Sunday

Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, NC – Home of The ESA’s 2019 Easterns. PC: MEZ/ESM

September 13, 2019 – The Eastern Surfing Association will hold its 2019 Easterns® Surfing Championship at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, beginning this Sunday, September 15 and running through the week until September 21.

Presented by The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and Surfer Dudes, The Easterns® is one of the most prestigious East Coast amateur surfing events held each September in the Outer Banks.  Competitors from the entire East Coast, including the Great Lakes and Florida’s Gulf Coast, have qualified through their respective ESA Regional events in order to gain an invite in hopes of becoming an ESA Easterns® Champion.

“The Easterns® is the most important surfing event for surfers of all ages in the ESA,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director.  “Everyone looks forward to Easterns® week each year in the Outer Banks as it’s a fun time for competitors to compete, surf and hang with friends from all over the East Coast.”

This event is even more important now that the ESA has partnered with the World Surf League (WSL) to create a pathway for its competitors to reach the next level of competitive surfing.

ESA implemented WSL priority heats in 2019.

“The ESA is working with the WSL to alleviate the confusion among competitors with so many surfing organizations running events,” said Sommers.  “The ESA is where competitive surfing begins on the East Coast and it’s important that it provides an avenue for its members who wish to move into the professional realm of surfing.”

Introducing WSL four-man priority heats in several ESA divisions has brought more excitement to these championship events.  The Open Shortboard division at Easterns® will be running priority as well in order to offer its adult competitors experience with this.

Finalists from several Easterns® divisions will be awarded ESA-sponsored slots into upcoming WSL QS & Pro Junior events.  Upcoming event locations include California, Hawaii and Barbados.

The Easterns® kicks off with adult divisions surfing Sunday and Monday, followed by the Open Shortboard, SUP and Bodyboard divisions on Tuesday.  The youth divisions will surf Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, however, the schedule is always tentative and subject to change based on waves and weather.

There will be a live webcast each day on www.surfesa.org by John Ross Productions, as well as recap videos from NPI Productions.  Competitors will receive a commemorative t-shirt with artwork provided by artist Jamie Swim from Hawaii.

The ESA is also offering all competitors an ESA water bottle in hopes of promoting less waste and recycling.  Fresh water will be available for people to refill their water bottles instead of using disposable water bottles and creating more waste.

“The ESA wants to limit its waste on the beach from its surfing events,” said Sommers.  “We are asking ESA competitors and spectators to think about what their impact has on the environment that all surfers enjoy.”

Event sponsors will be on the beach to provide prizes, giveaway and product demonstrations throughout the week.

“We have implemented many positive changes for East Coast surfing this year,” said ESA head judge, and WSL priority judge, David Portch.  “The ESA has a very promising and bright future.”


Special thanks to ESA national and Easterns® event sponsors:

Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

Town of Nags Head

Surfer Dudes

Jennette’s Pier

Hatteras Island Christian Fellowship

Anchor Scaffolding

FL Space Coast Office of Tourism

Indo Jax Surf School and Charities

Nixon Watches

Lieber Films- Bethany Hamilton’s UNSTOPPABLE


Sun Realty

The Spot/Secret Spot Surf Shop

Surfin’ Spoon – host ESA All-Stars



Rip Curl

Jamie Swim Art – Easterns® artwork

Matt Lusk Photography – Photos for awards

Eastern Surf Magazine

Surfline – Wave forecasting

Sticky Bumps -Wax


Surfco Hawaii – surf safety

Surfer Magazine

Tara Mosley Graphics – ESA Graphics

Plak That Printing Company

Comfort Inn South Oceanfront

Johanna’s (formerly known as Café Lachine)

Yellow Submarine

Nags Head Pizza Company

Outer Banks Brewing Station

Carolina Brewery

Cahoons Market


Additional thanks to the following who make the The Easterns® possible:

Mez – Eastern Surf Magazine

NPI Productions

John Ross Productions


Plak That

Harrington Graphics & Screenprinting

Tara Mosley Graphics

Millennium Marketing Solutions

Anchor Scaffolding & Ladder




2019 Marsh Scholarship Recipients Announced

August 24, 2019 – The Eastern Surfing Association is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of its annual Marsh Scholarship Award.

For over 35 years the Marsh Scholarship Award provides financial aid to deserving student surfers who are pursuing college and/or graduate school degrees. Applicants are judged by a panel of six trustees on the basis of academic accomplishments, recommendations,  and related credentials with winners announced in time for the upcoming school year.

The program was named in honor of the Marsh Family of North Carolina who were ESA pioneers, aad specifically for Mike Marsh who set an example for all students by earning his law degree while fighting cancer.
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East Coast Surfers Qualify for The Next Level

The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) has made it easier for its members to reach their next level of surfing competition by partnering with the World Surf League (WSL)’s East Coast Qualifying Series (QS) and Pro Junior events. This groundbreaking partnership creates an unprecedented opportunity for competitors who are looking to pursue a higher level of competitive surfing from the WSL.

Following an exciting season of ESA Regional post-season surfing championship events in Florida, North Carolina and New Jersey, the top finalists may receive an opportunity to compete in the higher level WSL QS & Pro Junior events this summer and fall. In addition, all ESA Regional event finalists have now qualified to compete in the ESA’s Easterns® Surfing Championship.
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ESA Crowns Northeast Champions in Belmar, NJ

Clear skies and warm weather welcomed the Eastern Surfing Association last weekend in Belmar, New Jersey as they held the 2019 Northeast Regional Surfing Championships presented by Surfer Dudes.  The event was the third, and final, regional contest that the ESA holds each spring for competitors to qualify for slots into The Easterns® Surfing Championship, as well as East Coast WSL QS/Pro Junior events.

The contest was located in front of Eastern Lines Surf Shop, a major supporter of the ESA through the years.  Belmar local Cecil Lear, ESA’s co-founder, came out to watch the event.
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ESA’s Northeast Regional Surfing Championship begins Friday in Belmar, New Jersey

ESA All-Star Cole Deveney surfing at the 2018 Northeast Regional. Photo: MEZ/ESM

The Eastern Surfing Association will hold its 2019 Northeast Regional Surfing Championship presented by Surfer Dudes this weekend across from Eastern Lines Surf Shop at 16th Avenue in Belmar, New Jersey. The third, and final qualifying event for ESA’s Easterns® Surfing Championship will begin Friday and run through Sunday afternoon.

ESA surfers from Maine through New Jersey and the Great Lakes will be competing with hopes of being named “Northeast Champion” of their age divisions. They have qualified to surf in this regional event by earning points in their local ESA district events throughout last year’s season.
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