Annual ESA’s Surf Competition Returns to Jennette’s Pier

Amateur but skilled. The ESA’s have something for everyone.

The hurricane is behind us. Except for Ocracoke everything on the Outer Banks is open and welcoming visitors and the Eastern Surf Association finals beginning Sunday and running through next week is what back to normal is all about.

The ESA is celebrating its 50th anniversary—not quite as experienced in the as Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates, but pretty close. The organization is certainly the largest amateur surf association in the US and maybe the world.

The ESA’s are a showcase of what the organization is all about. 

Held annually at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, the event brings together the qualifiers from the regional heats held earlier in the year. Competitors from 8-80 take to the water, and what is particularly nice about the event is it’s not limited to just surfboards.

There are skimboard competitions, and bodyboard competitions. And it’s all done in an amazing family atmosphere.

Why Jennette’s Pier? After it was rebuilt in to a 1000’ concrete edifice, the stability and size of the pier created a sandbar on the south side of the pier. It is a very rare day when there’s not a surfable break there.

From Maine to Florida, families take the week off from school to bring their kids to the competitions. It creates a remarkably wholesome feeling.

The weather is looking pretty good next week at this time. It’s still a bit early to get a good read on surf conditions, but there is tropical storm activity out in the Atlantic—forecast to stay well offshore—so we should be seeing some good surf later this week. Sunday is looking pretty good for the first day of the event.

The ESA’s are a great event to check out. Lots of surfers and families gathered together because of their love of the sport.

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