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.

Fall-Surfing Time on the Outer Banks

 JLWRVPr.jpg September 1, 2019 859 KB 1050 by 700 pixels Edit Image Delete Permanently URL Title JLWRVPr Caption Chauncey Robinson in his Round 1 heat at the WRV Outer Banks Pro, Thursday, August 29. Photo, WRV Pro Surf.
Chauncey Robinson in his Round 1 heat at the WRV Outer Banks Pro, Thursday, August 29. Photo, WRV Pro Surf.

The waves have been rolling as the surf competitions come to the Outer Banks. Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head is the place to be in September as some of the best surfers around check out the break generated by the sandbar that builds up just south of the pier.

The WRV Outer Banks Pro just wrapped up today with Noah Schweizer from Florida taking home top prize.

The weather this year was just about perfect for the event. Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures throughout the four day event. Surf conditions were pretty good, although they today the break was pretty small.

Still it was good event with competitors from the US, Costa Rica and a number of other countries.

Coming in a couple of weeks are the ESAs, the Eastern Surf Association championship. It’s weeklong competition—September 15-21, that features the best amateur surfers in on the East Coast. 

The ESA is one of the largest, if not the largest, amateur surfing organization in the world. Particularly nice in the way they go about doing things, they represent just about everyone who want to ride the surf—all ages all styles.

As a consequence, the ESAs are a wonderful family affair with parents cheering on their kids, the families traveling from Maine to Florida to meet at Jennette’s Pier.

Ages of the competitors range from 8 to 80 and the age range may even be a bit wider than that.

There are certainly some storms out in the Atlantic stirring things up. As it looks right now, they’re going to stay offshore and send in some great conditions. 

Fall is a fantastic time to visit the Outer Banks. Book your stay in a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home and see for yourself why the people who live here love this time of year.

Outer Banks Surfing for Autism a Special Day

Surfing for Autism is a special day for surfers, the kids and their families.

Everyone has a certain day or event that they look forward to every year. It’s certainly an individual choice, but honestly the Outer Banks Surfing for Autism that just happened on Saturday at Jennette’s Pier has to be at the top of anyone’s list who has been there.

There is nothing quite like it. 

For nine years the Outer Banks surfing community has stepped forward to create a special day for children with autism and their families. Taking the kids into the surf to give them a chance to ride a wave, longhaired surfers, men, women, old, young…they all come together and the result is magic.

It’s magic for the kids. Magic for the surfers—really talk to them and they are riding a natural high. But the most magical moment might be for the families, for the chance for parents to watch their child accomplish something they never thought could be done. 

It is an emotionally powerful thing and for everyone who participates in it, the day becomes special and something to be repeated year after year.

The Outer Banks Surfing for Autism was begun by parents who were surfers whose children were autistic. Hoping to give their kids a little of what they enjoyed so much, they asked surfers if they would be willing to help.

In 2010 the response was overwhelming and it just keeps growing and growing. 

Although most of the families who bring their children are local, the event is not restricted to just Outer Banks families and there are always a good number of kids in the water from Elizabeth City or Camden County.

The water temperature was ideal this year. The break was, well…ok. But it didn’t matter. But it didn’t matter, because this was about the experience of being in the water and trying something new and rising to the challenge.

When people ask what the Outer Banks is really all about, Sufing for Autism is something we here at Joe Lamb, Jr, & Associates can point to with pride.

A Perfect Weekend to Greet an Outer Banks Summer

Beach goers at Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head.

It doesn’t get much better than this. Our Outer Banks beaches were filled, and no wonder. The weather this Memorial Day weekend has been as close to perfect as could be.

Memorial Day…well, Memorial Day weekend…is the unofficial start of summer. For those who are sticklers for detail, June 21 is the first day of summer, but in the world of the Outer Banks, this weekend is it.

The water was cool, the air was warm, the sun was bright and the sand was inviting. What else is needed to have a perfect beach day.

From Corolla clear down to Ocracoke, our beaches were filled with visitors, and quite a few locals, enjoying surf, sun and a wonderful summer’s day.

Before we forget, one of the Ocracoke beaches was named number two on Dr. Beach’s top ten list for this year.

Almost every Outer Banks beach has been on the list at some point in time. Corolla was number one a few years back, so it’s not allowed on the list anymore.

Although Memorial Day is a wonderful holiday and welcomes the summer season, here at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates, we don’t want to forget what its purpose is really all about. It is a day to thank our veterans and remember the many who have sacrificed themselves for our nation.

There will be a number of brief ceremonies tomorrow. We’re including a list for those who may wish to attend.

Memorial Day Ceremonies on the Outer Banks

Southern Shores

9:00 a.m.

Southern Shores Cemetery

Dogwood Trail

Kitty Hawk

10 a.m.

Austin Cemetery

Between Ridge Road and Tillet Street

Nags Head

11 a.m.

Nags Head Town Hall

5401 S. Croatan Highway (Mile Post 14).

Kill Devil Hills


Veterans Memorial across from First Flight High School

100 Veterans Drive


11 a.m. 

Veteran Memorial at the Dare County Arts Council

300 Queen Elizabeth Avenue

Weather Looks Great for Star Party

Brian Baker, A Time for Science Astronomy and Space Science Director, showcasing the portable planetarium at a school outreach event. Photo Credit: A Time for Science
Brian Baker, A Time for Science Astronomy and Space Science Director, showcasing the portable planetarium at a school outreach event. Photo Credit: A Time for Science

Ready for a Star Party?

Jennette’s Pier, Tuesday, February 5 from 6-9 p.m. get ready for an evening of gazing into the night sky.

The weather is looking pretty promising. The forecast calls for evening temperature in the 50s and almost no wind. Clouds are predicted to be scattered so the Milky Way should be out in all its glory. 

February 5 is a new moon so the sky should be at its darkest and the viewing at its best.

Brought to the Outer Banks by the Coastal Studies Institute, the Star Party at Jennette’s Pier is geared toward younger star gazers, but will hold plenty of fascination of everyone.

The guide for the event will be astronomer Brian Baker who is astronomy and space science director at A Time for Science in Greenville.

It does look as though the weather will cooperate, but even if it doesn’t there will be plenty to do. In addition to the the outdoor stargazing there will be games and activities for kids…and really exciting, Baker is bringing a portable planetarium with him.

This is a free event, so pack up the kids and head on down to Nags Head on Tuesday night to gaze at the night sky and discover how beautiful it truly is.

Funding for the Star Party has been provided by the North Carolina Sea Grant and the North Carolina Space Program.

Gazing at the night sky. Strolling along the beach. All activities that make a visit to the Outer Banks so wonderful. Make your visit even better with a stay at a Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates home.

Outer Banks Surf Report-Excellent Conditions Everywhere

Near perfect conditions greated Outer Banks surfers this weekend.
Near perfect conditions greated Outer Banks surfers this weekend.

A Great Day–And Week–To Be On the Water

We must have done something right to please the Surf gods here on the Outer Banks because for the past week we have just about ideal surf conditions… and today was no exception.

And it looks as though those conditions are going to continue for the next few days.

The hotspot for the northern Outer Banks—north of Oregon Inlet—has been Jennette’s Pier for sometime. It’s fun just watching the surfers, and what seems to make a day like today truly special is how many are in the water—by our count somewhere around 35 at mid afternoon—and kids from seven to 70 having a great time.

Jennette’s Pier is not the only place on the Outer Banks with great surf conditions. Actually when were checked the reports and from what we heard, form Corolla to Ocracoke conditions have been about as good as they get. Even break on the waves, water temperature just right and mild daytime temperatures.

Of course there’s a lot happening on the Outer Banks this week, not just the surfing.

The Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival has kicked off and will run through Saturday. For jazz music fans, the Duck Jazz Festival is happening Saturday and Sunday with Sunday being the big day…the day all the acts share the satage.

And get ready for next weekend as the inaugural Mustang Rock and Roast kicks off up in Corolla. Mostly music, organizers are taking two-and-a-half out of the show to show their appreciation for two local culinary delights. On Saturday its an oyster roast and on Sunday there will be a barbecue cookoff.

This week though, and if the forecast holds, has really been about surfing and some of the consistency best conditions we have seen in a while.

Fall weather is spectacular on the Outer Banks . Come check out how great it can be at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Fall on the Outer Banks-An Event for Everyone

Scene from Crabdady Festival, Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg.
Scene from Crabdady Festival, Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg.

Fall is the best time to be on the Outer Banks. Summer is wonderful, but when fall arrives the magic happens. The days are still warm but the summer heat has backed off a bit; ocean water temperature is very manageable and there aren’t quite as many people here as the summer, but still enough that all the businesses are open.

But what really makes fall so special was that’s when the event calendar explodes.

We’ve compiled a list of events through October and included some remarks about three of them.

Be sure to schedule a visit at one of our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates homes and check out all there is to do on the Outer Banks.

Surfalorus Film Festival

September 20-22

Sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council, this three day film festival includes some great surf films from five minute shorts to feature length movies.

Be sure to check out Outer by Manteo High School senior Logan Marshall. A feature length film Outer, its premier in July got some great reviews.

At various locations. All movies are free.

CrabDaddy Wine/Beer Festival

Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg

September 22

Wine, crabs and music. We probably don’t have to say much more than that. But just to make a visit even more enticing, the setting is beautiful undertone tall trees on the north end of the Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg and the event is very family friendly.

First Annual Mustang Rock & Roast


October 13-14

The Mustang Music Festival is back and it looks as though it’s improved.

One of the casualties of Hurricane Matthes back in 2016 was Mike Dianna’s Mustang Music Festival in Corolla. Consistently best music festivals of the year, the storm forced the cancellation of the show and it’s taken Mike another year to get back to putting another festival on.

But now it’s back.

Always featuring the best local and regional bands on stage, as well as national acts as headliners, this is one festival to put on the to do list.

And this year an oyster roast is included in the price of admission.


WRV Outer Banks Pro Surf Contest

Jennette’s Pier

Nags Head

August 29- September 3

Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Nags Head

September 8 – 10

Outer Banks Food Truck Showdown

Soundside Event Site

Nags Head

September 9

La Traviata

First Flight High School

Kill Devil Hills

September 15

Outer Banks Triathlon

Old Swimming Hole


September 15-16

Surfalorus Film Festival

Dare County Arts Council


September 20-22

ESA-Eastern Surf Finals

Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head

Sept 16 – 22, 2018

John Brown Groove Shop

First Flight High School

Kill Devil Hills

September 22

CrabDaddy Festival

Sanctuary Vineyards


September 22


Nags Head

September 21-23

Dare County Motorcycle Toy Run

September 22

Outer Banks Jeep Jam

Soundside Event Site

Nags Head

September 27 – 29

The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival

The Lost Colony


September 28-29

Jim Mulford Red Drum Tournament

Jennette’s Pier

Nags Head

September 29

2018 Invitational Fine Art Photography Show

Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery

Nags Head

October 2-27

Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival

Roanoke Island Festival Park

October 3-6

Outer Banks Parade of Homes

October 4-7

First Friday

October 5


Oink N’ Oyster Roast

Longboards Restaurant

Kitty Hawk

October 6

Duck Jazz Festival

Town of Duck

October 6-7

Stars of the Grand Ole Opry

Roanoke Island Festival Park


October 9

Love Is a Rose-Linda Ronstadt Tribute

First Flight High School

Kill Devil Hills

October 13


Southern Shores Crossing

Southern Shores

October 13

Mustang Rock & Roast

Timbuck II Shopping Center


October 13-14

Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival

Dates vary October.16 – Dec. 09, 2018

The Jones Sisters Band

107 Budleigh Street


October 19

Fall Restaurant Week

Outer Banks

October 19-27

Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Soundside Event Site

Nags Head

October 20

The NC VIP Fishing Tournament

Jennette’s Pier

Nags Head

October 22 – 24

Halloween International Film Festival

Kill Devil Hills

October 25 – 27, 2018


Soundside Event Site

Nags Head

October 27

Roanoke Island Maritime Museum Boat Show

Roanoke Island Maritime Museum


October 27 – 28

Harvest HayDay

Island Farm

Roanoke island

October 27

Roanoke Island Maritime Museum Haunted House

Roanoke Island Maritime Museum


October 31

Rain and The Great Outer Banks Escarpment

Beach escarpment in Nags Head, looking toward Jennette's Pier.
Beach escarpment in Nags Head, looking toward Jennette’s Pier.

Into every life a little rain must fall, but this has been ridiculous. Since this last system moved in on Saturday evening, rainfall has come in around 10”. That’s a lot.

For the most part the Outer Banks actually handles a heavy rain like that pretty well. The ground is porous—these are giant sandbars—so the water drains quickly into the aquifer. There is often some deep standing water on the roads during the rain; that can’t be helped. We are, after all, at sea level, so there is not very much drainage happening.

Some interesting things did occur this time.

Combination of Natural Forces Create New Beach Feature

One in particular was something we hadn’t seen before. The combination of a king tide—a high tide that lasts longer than usual, heavy seas and extraordinary amounts of rain combined to combined to carve out a 10’ high escarpment in the Nags Head beach just north of Jennette’s Pier.

It’s an interesting physical featue. Extending about 200 yards along the sea, the first half of the escarpment is 10’-11’ high, gradually lowering until it rejoins the beach.

According to an Outer Banks Voice interview with Tim Kana, the President of Coastal Science, scientific term for what has happened is an “erosional arc,” and it is certainly arc shaped. Coastal Science is the firm that designed the Nags Head beach nourishment project. Nags Head will renourish their beach next year.

According to Kana, the dramatic loss of sand was probably caused by a gap in the offshore sandbar that is usually there to dissipate the force of the waves. The combination of high surf and a longer than usual high tide caused the sand to collapse and be taken back out to sea.

It is certainly possible that the sand will form a sand bar. Generally speaking, sand from the beach does not travel very far.

Another escarpment has formed in Kitty Hawk. However, that is caused by town pumps that are draining low lying areas adjacent to the ocean. The outflow has carved away the beach. The effect in Kitty Hawk is expected to be short term.

Autumn is just around the corner, Check out our great Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates rentals for a perfect fall getaway.

Back to Normal on Outer Banks as Frigid Temperatures Retreat

Ducks, geese and sea birds at Kitty Hawk Bay escaping the north wind.
Ducks, geese and sea birds at Kitty Hawk Bay escaping the north wind.

With temperatures finally climbing above freezing it looks as though Snowmageddon is finally coming to an end on the Outer Banks.

Effects of Cold Temperatures and Heavy Snowfall

Not completely back to normal yet. Dare County Schools will be closed on Monday—that’s three snow days in a row. But county roads are still not completely cleared and the decision is a good one.

The main roads are cleared—and NCDOT, after what many considered a slow start, did put a number of plows on the roads to get them cleared. The problem is the secondary roads still have a lot of packed ice on them, and it’s doubtful if that will melt before noon tomorrow.

The kids are all celebrating, of course, but all that time will have to be made up at some point.

The snow certainly snarled things, but what really set this particular event apart from other was the extreme cold. We had four days in a row where daytime temperatures didn’t even come close to reaching the freezing mark.

Admittedly for someone living in Chicago or Bangor, Maine, that may not seem so odd, but here by the Atlantic Ocean, 250 miles or so south of the Mason Dixon Line, it’s not so common.

The storm also brought some very strong winds with it. At 2:20 a.m. Thursday morning Jennette’s Pier recorded a 74 mph gust with sustained winds of 63 mph. The measurements are taken on the pier itself, so winds on land are not quite as strong, but things were pretty lively for a while there including a thunder snowstorm.

The sounds are solid ice about 150 to 200 yards offshore, depending on where the winds are located. Kitty Hawk Bay, which is sheltered from the north winds, has more ice on it than areas where the waters are churned up by the winds.

Kitty Hawk Bay, though, is also where the ducks, geese and shorebirds have fled for protection.

The forecast for the next few days calls for moderating temperatures, and even a few above normal. We’ll take that and be ready for the next snow…just in case there is one.

Surfalorus Weekend on the Outer Banks

It’s Surfalorus weekend on the Outer Banks. The 6th annual showing of all films surf related kicked off tonight at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

Typically when we talk about a film festival we hit the highlights…point to some film that looks outstanding, and make recommendations.


This year, however, we may already have had our highlight from a 16-year-old filmmaker who hails from Manteo.

Logan Marshall’s 20 minute film Limitless was a surprisingly well-made movie with some very nice photography and a good sound track. What really seemed to set it apart, though was how well Logan handled his theme.

Interviewing three surfers at different times in their careers, he had a 20, 39 and 62-year-old talk about what surfing means to them.

The result is a very diverse perspective yet a very consistent theme of love and repect for the sport.

Hopefully Limitless will be shown at other festivals—it’s that good. And it’s worth seeing.

Other Highlights

Limitless is not the only highlight of Surfalorus, though.

Friday night at the the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in downtown Manteo there’s a

Daniel Pullen mixed media tribute to Mickey McCarthey who passed away in December. A remarkably talented surf photographer, Mickey was one of the nicest people anyone had ever met.

Saturday the festival wraps up at the Outer Banks Brewing Station. Weather permitting—and it looks as though the weather will permit it, it’s an outdoor event.

Surfalorus Friday and Saturday Schedules

Friday, September 22 • Dare County Arts Council, Manteo

Doors open at 6:30pm ; Screening starts at 7pm

**Featuring a collaborative trailer for a 2018 documentary film honoring the late Mickey McCarthy, by Nic McClean**

Mixed Media Tribute Exhibit to Mickey McCarthy by Daniel Pullen, where part of the proceeds go to Betsy McCarthy

Book Signing of “Legends of the Sandbar by Chris Bickford

Longboard exhibit curated by Steve Wise

Food and local brew provided!

DJ Ninja will be spinning records!


Masonboro // Jake Hart // 2:29

Brotosynthesis // Russ Roe // 4:27

Maranasati // Chris Hannant // 4:07
Winter in Bloom // Russ Roe // 3:38
Protecting the Atlantic // Chris Hannant // 6:34
If I Can Surf… // Luke Williams // 22:04
Fish People // Keith Malloy // 48:41

Saturday, September 23 • Outer Banks Brewing Station, Kill Devil Hills

Doors open at 6:30pm; Screening starts at 7pm

Nate Sacks and The Life Hacks plays the main stage inside the Brewing Station!

Fire spinning by Panda Daniels!


Sealone // Luca Merli // 6:41
Under an Arctic Sky // Chris Burkhard // 39:00
The Church of the Open Sky // Nathan Oldfield // 54:35