ESA Presents 2019 Surfer Dudes Sportsmanship Award

ESA All-Star Tucker Collins was presented with the ESA’s 2019 Surfer Dudes Sportsmanship Award.

The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA), along with Surfer Dudes® – Just Surf!, are excited to present the ESA’s 2019 Surfer Dudes Sportsmanship Award to ESA All-Star Tucker Collins.  This award was designated for an ESA competitor who made a tremendous impact throughout the year at ESA’s local, regional and national events by being supportive of each event and its competitors.  Collins was chosen from a list of potential winners by a committee of ESA district directors and event officials.

Candidates were chosen by ESA district directors based on their event participation, volunteering, attitude and overall support they offered to the organization.  ESA presenting sponsor Surfer Dudes® had the idea and wanted to offer a brand new surfboard for whomever was awarded this special designation.

“Surfer Dudes® was thrilled about offering ESA’s first annual Sportsmanship Award,” said Surfer Dudes® COO Jordan Reardon.  “Throughout our sponsorship, we have seen so many incredible demonstrations of sportsmanship among all ESA competitors, so we know that Tucker must have had to stand out above all others.”

Collins surfing in one of his three finals at the ESA’s 2019 Easterns Surfing Championships at Jennette’s Pier. Photo: MEZ/ESM

Collins has been an ESA All-Star for several years, and surfs in the ESA’s Southern New Jersey District.  Incredibly, he surfed his way into three finals at this year’s Easterns® Surfing Championship at Jennette’s Pier.  Tucker is very supportive of other surfers, and isn’t afraid of hard work.  Following the final heat of Easterns®, Tucker instantly began helping the breakdown crew and carried tents off the beach.

“I’m really stoked to be honored in this way, especially by a sponsor like Surfer Dudes®,” said Collins.  “Their surf toys are seriously fun to play with and the board they awarded is super-cool!”

“This is a great opportunity to not just reward surfing, but good character as well,” said ESA’s Southern New Jersey district co-director Lisa Roselli.  “Tucker never has an unkind thing to say about anybody.  He’s super mellow, and very well-liked by everyone who knows him.  Oh, and he rips too!”

ESA All-Star coach Jason Motes agreed that Collins deserved to receive the Surfer Dudes® Sportsmanship Award.

“Tucker doesn’t let a bad heat get him down,” said Motes.  “He just moves on to the next challenge, keeps going forward and doesn’t look back or dwell on mistakes. That is the mark of a good surfer, as well as an ESA All-Star.”

Based on Collins’ results at the ESA’s 2019 Easterns® Surfing Championship, he has been awarded an ESA-sponsored slot into an upcoming World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series or Pro Junior event.

“The ESA is proud to have Tucker Collins representing the organization,” added Motes.  “We cannot wait to see what he has to offer East Coast surfing in 2020.”

Tucker being chaired up the beach after he won the Open Shortboard Division at ESA’s 2019 Northeast Regional Surfing Championship in Belmar, NJ. Photo: MEZ/ESM




Epic ESA 2019 Easterns Finishes Strong

After two full lay days, the weather and ocean cooperated to provide perfect conditions for the youth divisions on Friday and Saturday at Jennette’s Pier. PC: MEZ/ESM

The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA)’s 2019 Easterns® Surfing Championship finished with epic surf conditions again this year at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina.  Consistent 4-8 ft. plus waves provided by Hurricane Humberto allowed the youth divisions to show their determination and talents, as well as their strength.

Following the adult and Open divisions that ran the first part of the week, contest officials were forced to put the event on hold Wednesday and Thursday due to extremely high onshore winds with big surf.

“The call to go on hold was necessary for the safety and the ability for the officials to run a professional event,” said ESA’s executive director Michelle Sommers.  “Our competition team had to rebuild the entire youth portion in order to fit three days of competition into two to be completed by the final day of the event’s holding period, which was Saturday. I am so proud of our entire team of ESA officials for seamlessly making the event a success.”

The clean, perfect waves on Saturday reinforced the decision to wait out the weather.   Competitors and spectators were treated to ideal conditions to perform their best throughout the entire day, including all of the youth finals.

Ethan Harbinson won titles in both Boys U12 and Boys U14 divisions. PC: MEZ/ESM

Florida’s Ethan Harbinson claimed two Easterns® titles in Boys U12 and U14.

“It’s such a good feeling after winning these titles,” said Harbinson following being chaired up the beach to the podium twice by his friends. “I haven’t stopped smiling.”

After winning the Junior Men U18 Shortboard on Tuesday, ESA All-Star Carl Burger also made it to the finals in Boy U14 and Boys U16, earning a second and fourth place, respectively.

For a second year in a row, Virginia’s Blayr Barton took top spots in both the Boys U16 and the Open Shortboard divisions.  Barton gained ESA-sponsored slots into the WSL QS event in Barbados in November, and the next Pro Jr event offered along the East Coast in 2020.

ESA All-Star Kanoa Wong and Florida’s Kai DeLorenzo will also have an opportunity to represent the ESA at the upcoming Barbados event from their final standings in their divisions.

ESA All-Star Chase Lieder from New York won the Menehune Longboard U14, while Mason Mott from North Florida won the Junior Men Longboard.

Brynn Gallagher made three finals, claiming victory in the Girls U12. With a 5th place finish in Girls U14 and 3rd in Girls U16, she left with the Junior Iron Woman award. PC: Todd Starr

ESA All-Stars Rachel Wilson and Callie Summerlin claimed top spots in the Junior Women U18 and Junior Women Longboard, respectively.

New Jersey’s Brynn Gallagher surfed her way into three finals, winning the Girls U12 with an exciting wave that also won her the event’s Hot Wave award with a 9.5. She then followed with a fifth in Girls U14 and a third place finish in Girls U16.  Gallagher was awarded the Junior Iron Woman award for her results and scores.

“The 2019 Easterns® fun factor was off the charts,” said Gallagher.  “Waves were pumping and all the girls were ripping. I loved hanging out and surfing with all my ESA friends all week.”

Competitors enjoyed the unexpected days off from competition by traveling south to surf with each other on Hatteras Island at the Lighthouse and in Frisco.

“Easterns® has always been about more than the contest,” adds Sommers.  “Families come for the entire week to hang with friends from all over the East Coast, and make new friends.  Creating memories is what the ESA has been about for over 52 years.”

The ESA provided a pizza and movie night at Jennette’s Pier on Wednesday for competitors and spectators.  Lieber Films graciously offered a special viewing of their Bethany Hamilton’s “Unstoppable” movie, while Nags Head Pizza delivered tasty pizzas and salads.  ESA All-Star Mia Gallagher won a Bethany Hamilton surfboard that was once a part of Bethany’s own quiver.

Blayr Barton made three finals, claiming first in Open Shortboard and Boys U16. He walked away with artwork by Jamie Swim Art and the events Junior Iron Man award. PC: MEZ/ESM

The devastation in Hattaras and Ocracoke from Hurricane Dorian was heavy on people’s minds throughout the week.  ESA and its sponsors offered a raffle to raise funds for disaster relief.  Prizes included Rip Curl and OluKai gift certificates, Sharkbanz products and a surfboard donated by Whalebone Surf Shop.  $1395 was raised and will be going to the Outer Banks Community Foundation to support those affected.

“The ESA and Hatteras have a long history,” said Sommers.  “It’s a special connection like no other as they have had a relationship for over 50 years.  We wanted to do something to help our ESA Hatteras family.”

In an initiative to limit plastics on the beach, the ESA gave each competitor a water bottle and offered filling stations on the beach throughout each day.

“It’s important for us as surfers to be aware of the impact we have,” said Sommers.  “This is a first of many initiatives that the ESA will be implementing to help protect the environment that we spend so much of our time in.”

The older youth divisions were awarded artwork by Jamie Swim and photos by Matt Lusk printed on plaques by Plak That Printing Company.  Winners of the younger youth divisions were awarded trophies.

Ethan Harbinson proving that Jennette’s Pier always offers the ESA’s Easterns something to work with. PC: MEZ/ESM

The ESA wants give special thanks to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Jennette’s Pier and the Town of Nags Head for their continued support of the ESA’s championship and local events.  Big thanks to Perry Creef, Dylan O’Donnell, Joe Grottola and Pam Hill for the additional work that was involved to get the event running again and completing within a timely manner.

“I am super grateful that the ESA was able to pull off such an awesome contest with all the crazy weather and waves,” added Gallagher.

Thanks to all of the national and local sponsors, competitors, family members, spectators and online viewers who made the ESA’s 2019 Easterns Surfing Championships a tremendous success!

Full results may be viewed on the Easterns webpage 

Please be sure to support the ESA 2019 Easterns® event sponsors:

  • Jennette’s Pier
  • Town of Nags Head
  • The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau
  • Surfer Dudes
  • Sharkbanz
  • All Good Sunscreen
  • Indo Jax Surf Charities
  • Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism
  • Nixon
  • Sun Realty
  • The Spot/Secret Spot Surf Shop
  • Surfline
  • Eastern Surf Magazine
  • OluKai
  • Rip Curl
  • Sticky Bumps
  • Tara Mosley Graphic Design
  • Jamie Swim Art
  • Matt Lusk Photography
  • Johanna’s Cafe Lachine
  • Hatteras Christian Island Fellowship
  • Lieber Films
  • Bethany Hamilton
  • Nags Head Pizza Company
  • Pepsi Bottling Ventures
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Cahoon’s Market
  • Anchor Scaffolding & Ladder Company
  • The Weather Channel
  • NPI Productions
  • John Ross Productions
  • World Surf League
  • Plak That Printing Company
  • Harrington Graphics & Screenprinting
  • Surfin’ Spoon
  • Chums
  • Surfco Hawaii – Surf Smart
  • Hank Sauce


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 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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