News & Updates

2021 Schedule Posted

#1 May 15-16 Little Island
#2 June 26-27 Little Island
#3 July 17-18 HATB – Hatteras Lighthouse(back up Rodanthe)
#4 September 18-19 Neptune Surf Classic 2nd Street
#5 October 16-17 2nd Street
#6 November 6-7 2nd Street
**all contest locations and dates are subject to weather and may change and serve as a back update.

2020 Points to Date

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Eastern Surfing Association

The ESA is the largest amateur surfing association in the world, with current membership of over 7,000 surfers. It was founded in 1967, by East Coast surfers to promote, preserve and protect the sport of surfing on the East Coast. Two of the original founders of the ESA, Cecil Lear and David Reese, are still active in the association over 40 years later.

Our family oriented programs promote a healthy, active lifestyle and it is not uncommon to find two or three generations of the same family involved as members of the ESA and actively competing in our program!

The association’s activities are organized in a total of twenty six districts, which extend along 2,000 miles of coastline, stretching from Maine through the Gulf Coast of Florida, Alabama and the Great Lakes. Each District’s programs are developed and operated by volunteer directors and a staff of other volunteers who assist them in this task.

Virginia District

When the ESA was formed in 1967, there were 4 Districts: New York, New Jersey/Delmava, VA/Carolinas, and Florida. Virginia became its own district in 1970 and was the Virginia-Outer Banks District. The Outer Banks District split off from VA in 1981. The old VA/OBNC District ran 2 contests on Hatteras Island each year and the rest were in VB. Once OBNC split off, the tradition of running summer contests for VA in Hatteras remained — lucky for us!

The Regional Championship concept was first put in place in 1985. Since that time, the 3 ESA Regions have stayed the same-the NE-Jersey on north. The Mid-Atlantic-Delaware thru GA with the addition of Puerto Rico in 2006. The SE-FLA and Alabama were also added recently (there is an ESA District in Alabama and yes, they do get waves from time to time).


Contest #1 - May 15-16 - Little Island Sandbridge

Contest #2 - June 26-27 - Little Island Sandbridge

Contest #3 - July 17-18 Hands Across the Boarder HATTERAS

Contest #4 - September 18-19 - 2nd Street VB

Contest #5 - October 16-17 2nd Street VB

Contest #6 - November 6-7 2nd Street VB


ESA contests are organized at the grassroots, district level on a year round basis. Each District conducts four or more contests per year, and each year the ESA has over 150 competitions along the entire East Coast. The Virginia District schedules six contests each season (at least 2 are scheduled during the summer at Outer Banks locations), as well as hosting several other local competitive events.

From the local District level top finishers are invited to advance to Region competition (of which there are three), then the top finishers in those championship events are invited to the The Easterns® held each September at Cape Hatteras N.C.

Division breakdowns for the 2017 Season are based on competitors’ age as of Jan 1, 2018

Shortboard Divisions:
Open Surfing (All Ages)
Menehunes (11 and under, boys and girls)
Boys (12 to 14)
Girls (14 and under)
Junior Men (15 to 17)
Junior Women (15 to 17)
Men (18 to 24)
Women (18 to 29)
Masters (25 to 34)
Senior Men (35 to 44)
Ladies (30 and up)
Grand Masters (45 to 54)
Legends (55 to 64) Shortboard rules/equipment
Grand Legends (65 and up) no equip. restrictions

Bodyboard Divisions:
Menehune BBD (14 and under, M/F)
Open BBD (all ages)

Longboard Divisions:
Menehune LB (14 and under, M/F)
Junior LB (15 to 17)
Mens LB (18 to 34)
Womens LB (29 and under)
Ladies LB (30 and up)
Masters LB (35 to 49)
Legends LB (50 and up)

The role of a judge in a surfing contest is to decide which surfer performs the closest to the judging criteria in any heat. It is essential, therefore, that judges have experience and knowledge to give them confidence to obtain the correct results. Each year the Virginia District recognizes the most accurate and dedicated judges.

Judges who genuinely wish to improve their capacity to determine between surfers who perform closest to the judging criteria and those who do not, need to be prepared to continually monitor their effectiveness as judges of competitive surfing.

International Surf Services offers judging clinics on the west coast and east coast. Please visit their site or Facebook page to learn more.

Each year, the Virginia District hosts a Competitor and Judging Clinic. This is a great event to attend if you plan on judging or competing in an ESA contest. Sign up for our email newsletter to find out when the net clinic will be.



Virginia District Co-Directors:

Todd Starr, Co-Director

Brandon Costa, Co-Director


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