ESA Alumnus

The Inside Track

Whether it’s professional surfers or surfing professionals, the ESA is always the starting line.
From Jeff Crawford to Clifton James, Frieda Zamba to Cory Lopez, Greg Loehr to Wes Laine – not to mention a freaky little number named Kelly Slater – we all know that competing in the ESA is the fast track to becoming a pro surfer and, in more than one case, a world champion. But what you may not realize is how valuable the experience is for jumpstarting lives in all facets of the surfing world. Shapers and reps, journalists and clothing designers – even big-time publishers – an astonishing number of industry figures discovered their professional careers by first spending their youths as hard-driving East Coast amateurs. Browse the following list of former ESA members, and you’ll see that in many cases, the ESA really does fuel the future.

1. Anne Beasley: editor, Surf Life for Women (SNC)
2. Charley Baldwin: founder CB surfboards; ’71 Men’s Champ (FL)
3. Brad Beach: mid-Atlantic Sales Rep, Rusty/Reef (VA)
4. Jason Borte: surf journalist, Quiksilver consultant, Kelly Slater’s biographer (VA)
5. Drew Brophy: surf artist (SC)
6. Tyler Callaway: president, FCS USA (NY)
7. Dick Catri: founder, Cocoa Beach Easter Surfing Festival (FL)
8. Tom Dugan: co-founder/photographer, Eastern Surf Magazine (NY)
9. Mark Foo: legendary big-wave rider (deceased) (GFL)
10. Lewis Graves: co-founder, Ocean Avenue (deceased) (SFL/CFL)
11. Kevin Grondin: coach, US National Team (PBC, NH, NNE)
12. Jeff Hambrecht: team manager, Rusty (CFL)
13. Chris Heffner: marketing coordinator, Billabong (CFL)
14. Brian Heritage: Heritage Surf Shop and Surfboards (SNJ)
15. Pete Hodgson: co-founder, High Surf Advisory; ’79 Masters Champ (CFL)
16. Ken Hunt: mid-Atlantic sales rep, Billabong (VA)
17. Bill Johnson: shaper, Rusty Surfboards; three-time Easterns Champ (CFL,)
18. Regis Jupinko: gypsy shaper (CFL)
19. Matt Kechele: Quiksilver East Promotions/Kechele Surfboards (CFL)
20. Jon Kleintop: northeast sales rep, Billabong (VB)
21. Todd Kline: surf program manager, Quiksilver (SFL/CFL)
22. Jeff Klugel: ASP World Tour judge (CFL)
23. Greg Loehr: founder, Resin Research; ’74 Men’s Champ (FL)
24. Rob McCarty: design director, Billabong (SC)
25. Dick Meseroll: co-founder/photo editor, Eastern Surf Magazine (SNJ)
26. Greg Mesanko: founder, Grog’s Surf Palace (NJ)
27. Bob Mignogna: vice-president Outdoor Group, Primedia (NJ)
28. Bill Miller: southeast and Caribbean sales rep, Raisins (CFL)
29. Pat Mulhern: shaper, Backyard Surfboards (CFL)
30. Mike Nemnich: surf artist; art director, Cocoa Beach Surf Co.(CFL)
31. Mike Neustader: northeast sales rep, Rusty/Electric (NJ)
32. Peter Pan: representative, Bic Surfboards (NE)
33. Larry Pope: ESA photog, LP fiberglass
34. Richard Price: shaper, Natural Art/Richard Price Surfboards (CFL)
35. Gary Propper: creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Carrot Top mgr; ’67 Men’s Champ (CFL)
36. Bob Rohmann: Florida sales rep, Quiksilver (CFL)
37. Dan Romine: marketing director, Morey; (CFL)
38. Lisa Roselli: editor, East Coast Surfer (SNJ)
39. Rich Rudolph: Florida sales rep, Oakley; ’84 Men’s Champ (CFL)
40. Sean Slater: team manager, Volcom; two-time Jr. Men’s Champ (CFL)
41. Yancy Spencer: owner, Innerlight Surf Shop (GFL)
42. Bruce Valluzi: surf journalist (deceased)(CFL)
43. Bruce Walker: co-founder Ocean Avenue, US National Team coach 1986-98 (CFL)
44. Doug Wright: founder, Rainbow Surfboards (CFL)
45. Mike Reola: co-founder, Lost Clothing (WFL/CFL)
46. Matt Pruett: Editor, Eastern Surfing Magazine (OB)
47. Paul Harvey: So. Cal Sales Rep, Rusty (WFL/NCFL)
48. A.J. Finan: East Coast Shaper (WFL)
49. Matt Katsolis: founder, Interpret Studios (NCFL)

Surfers names are followed by current/most noteworthy job title, Easterns victories (if any), and their competitive district.