March 10, 2019 (Haleiwa, Hawaii) – The East Coast offered strong representation on the North Shore of Oahu as the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) provided its All-Star team members a trip of a lifetime. Twenty-three amateur surfers under the age of 18 surfed along the seven-mile-miracle and experienced the amazing Aloha spirit that makes Hawaii so special.
With boys coming the first week, and girls following for the second, ESA All-Star team coach Jason Motes, along with mentors, parents and professional surf coaches offered some of the best young surfers in the ESA an opportunity to learn from the best on world-class waves.
Training included surf sessions at Pipeline and Sunset with legend Tamayo Perry, technique and competition knowledge with top pro Shane Beschen and fitness programming with world-renowned Kid Peligro. Eleven-time World Champion, and former ESA All-Star himself, Kelly Slater gave his time to the All-Stars by taking the boys cave diving and surfing with the girls. They also had chance meetings with Jamie O’Brien, Carlos Burle, Gabe Kling, Tom Curren, Ezekiel Lau, and other famous folks.
“The surf community on the North Shore is so welcoming to the All-Stars each year, and we are so appreciative,” said Michelle Sommers, ESA’s executive director. “What these kids experienced out here, who they met and what they are taking home with them is priceless. It’s a confidence booster and beneficial to the development of their surfing careers and personal lives.”
“Surfing these world-famous breaks and meeting the pros was so cool,” said All-Star Gabby Viorel, who was on her first trip to Hawaii. “I never thought I would be experiencing these things in my life.”
“These kids have really stepped up and learned so much on this trip,” said Motes. “They encountered some pretty big surf while facing and conquering their fears. I could not be more proud of all of them.”
Since surfing is an individual sport, the ESA has created a team environment with the All-Star team. Members are accepted each year based on contest results, ESA support and overall attitude. Ages range from 14-17, with those 13 and under making up the All-Star developmental team.
“The friendships that form while the team members experience this together lasts forever,” adds Sommers. “These kids now have close friends all over the east coast, and will always support one another.”
“The training with Tamayo, Shane and Kid was incredible, and having Kelly Slater surf with the kids was amazing,” said Motes. “The way that these team members have connected over the last two weeks was great to see, as these bonds will last them a lifetime.
“I love working with the ESA All-Stars each year,” said Perry. “I noticed how humble and talented this particular group of groms are as they were all ears and eager to learn.”
“Learning to surf Pipe and Backdoor with Tamayo was amazing,” said first-year All-Star Landon Wood from Florida.
“Working with Shane was a great opportunity as he is so technical and really helped with contest surfing,” added All-Star Kanoa Wong from Virginia Beach.
“It was great working with the All-Stars as we all had fun,” said Beschen following many days of coaching. “Hopefully they learned a few techniques to help everyone improve.”
All-Star Callie Summerlin from North Carolina said, “This amazing experience has added so much knowledge and skills that I can use moving forward in surfing.”
Perry adds, “The WSL better realize how deep the talent pool runs over there on the East Coast because the new generation of East Coast kids are coming out of the starting blocks on fire.”
“I look forward to watching their progress in the coming years,” added Beschen.
All-Star Tucker Collins from New Jersey summed it up the best saying, “This trip was full of ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities.”
Several of these ESA All-Stars will compete in the World Surf League’s QS & Jr Pro events March 14-17, 2019 in Cocoa Beach at Ron Jon’s Beach ‘N Boards Fest. All team members will be surfing in their respective ESA Regional Surfing Championships in April and May with a goal of qualifying for slots at The Easterns® in September.
Eastern Surf Magazine will feature a photo gallery from photographers Terry Reis, Krissy Torelli and Lenny Nichols. Until then, be sure to check out the ESA, ESA All-Stars and Terry Reis’ Facebook and Instagram pages for photos and videos.
Special thanks goes to Jason Motes, Krissy Torelli, Pam Hill, Lenny Nichols, Kainalu Nichols, Michelle Sommers, Terry Reis, Tamayo Perry, Shane Beschen, Kelly Slater, Kid Peligro, Scott & Dawn Harris, Velzyland Hale, Rip Curl, Amavara Skincare, Indojax Surf Charities, the Volcom house crew, and all the parents who made this trip possible.