2017 NSSA East Coast Championships Freesurf Gallery

April 18, 2017 • Photos

Written by Tom Dugan — Going to the NSSA East Coast Championships every year in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, there are two thing you can always count on: contestable waves, talented surfers, and plenty of them. This year’s 2017 Championships did not disappoint on both counts, with waves that were some of the best in the last few years and surfing performances that were at an all-time high. What follows are 22 photos from the weekend: six scenics and 16 of red-hot surfing. If you see someone you know, forward it to them; if you know someone who was there , forward it to them; if there’s a shot of you here, send it to your friends and sponsors; and if you don’t recognize anyone and weren’t there, we hope the following gallery somehow inspires you to go surf. Enjoy!

Springtime in Florida this year has been blessed with warm water and air temps — exactly how New Smyrna rolls, all the way through the summer. Just find a parking spot, wax up, and grab some waves. Here’s William Hedleston on a fun right. Photo: Dugan

Textbook Aaron Cormican — between supporting his teamriders and keeping the stoke factor high, there’s alway time for a surf (and some airs). Photo: Dugan

A nice wrap-around by Chase Modelski. The drive down to New Smyrna Beach Inlet, with the anticipation of warm water, hot sun, and fun waves, will make you dream of a cutty like this and all the chances you’ll have to improve your game once you hit the water. Photo: Dugan

Central Florida has some great talent emerging on the women’s side of the equation, and Eva Woodland is one of the best. Photo: Dugan

The playing field in New Smyrna Beach, which literally has waves for miles. Photo: Dugan

Taking photos on a crowded day is not the easiest thing to do — you have to follow each surfer and see who stands out. Former Brazilian pro Michel Flores was surfing better than almost everyone in the lineup with speed and tack sharp moves like this. He now calls the East Coast home and reps fellow Brazilian  Marcio Zouvi’s Sharp Eye Surfboards label here. It’s nice when your board rep knows EXACTLY how each board works, don’t ya think? Photo: Dugan

A little coaching after a surf? Zoe Benedetto gets some knowledge from Michel Flores. Photo: Dugan

Here’s Zoe Benedetto putting that training to the test. Photo: Dugan

Downtime between sessions with Blake Speir and Eva Woodland checking their social media. Photo: Dugan

There are more groms in the water now than ever, and the advent of custom little boards has given them a better chance at high-performance surfing. A new face emerging out of South Florida is Ethan Harbinson. He told me he was going out to surf and that if I wanted to take his picture that it would be OK. So here you go, Ethan, hope you like it! Photo: Dugan

You can’t just sit on the beach all day being a coach — you need to get out there and practice what you preach. Here’s Shea Lopez  showing the kids how it’s done. Photo: Dugan

Rachel Presti doing a little pre-event practice. It paid off, too, with Rachel earning four new trophies — two of them being 1st-places. Not bad for the weekend. Photo: Dugan

Just a little early morning tip time with this unidentified longboarder. Surely with a wetsuit like that someone can help us out with an ID! Photo: Dugan

Contrast that full suit with Cocoa Beach’s Maddi Zeuli skinning it in her bikini. Spring is definitely in full swing in the Sunshine State. Photo: Dugan

Zander Venezia traveled from his home in Barbados to try his luck in the waters off Florida. He ended up with a win in Open Juniors and a 2nd and 3rd in Explorers, showing that he’s ready to rumble. Photo: Dugan

William Hedleston is turning into a surfing machine. He’s the ONLY East Coaster sponsored by Slater Surfboards and he got four fresh ones shipped to his Florida home days before the 2017 NSSA East Coast Champs. Here’s William putting a new one through the paces. Photo: Dugan

When you live in Tennessee, any ocean time is a good time. Here’s Explorer Longboard champ Georgia Cook enjoying the heck out of her Spring Break. Photo: Dugan

One can only hope that leash holds — two friends enjoying some quality time together. This is when it all starts and hopefully becomes a lifelong passion for them both. Photo: Dugan

You can only help your son out so much in a contest — and when there are no heats happening, what’s a man to do but go surf? David Speir, between the buzzers. Photo: Dugan

When you’re surfing at the beach known as the Shark Bite Capital of the World, you keep your eyes peeled. Luckily, this man in the grey suit was friendly and just grabbed a quick two-footer on the way in. Photo: Dugan

Afternoon surf with Laird Myers’ tail drift in front of the crowds. Photo: Dugan

Michel Flores, fins out blow-tail perfection. This is how it’s done kids — take note. Photo: Dugan

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