Photo Countdown to The 50’th Annual ESA Championships Continues…

September 4, 2018 • Eastern Surfing Association, Photos

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It won’t be long until the first official hooter blows and the inaugural, green heat flag is raised up on September 16th at Jennettes Pier in Nags Head, NC signaling the start of the 50th running of the Eastern Surfing Championships. To get the competitive juices flowing the ESA and ESM will be running a daily photo countdown with some of the best action images, decisive moments and just plain fun times ( because isn’t that what it is really all about in the end? ) selected from the past years of regional qualifiers, the wave blessed 2017 Easterns and from five decades of amazing moments from deep in the ESM archives. For all info on the upcoming 2018 ESA Championship’s please go to and get ready to bring your A-game!

13 year old Kelly Slater honing his future ‘Chopes chops at the 1985 ESA Championships. Photo: Tom Dugan

Kelly Slater, 38 years ago. The mind… just… wanders when confronted with an image like this. All the years between this moment in Buxton in September of 1985 and now: 55 World Tour wins, 11 world titles, five consecutively as well as won as youngest at age 20, a daughter, Baywatch, surf industry boom, surf industry bust, the AI rivalry, decades of bullet proof health, father time marching on at 46 and now nagging injuries popping up, from highest paid sponsored guy to buying surf companies for his own portfolio, from the “Glass Slipper” Merrick’s to those weird-ass Tomo’s always pushing the envelop of pro surfer board design, impetus behind ground breaking wave pool technology and a recent appearance on “Ballers” this past Sunday night with his Q rating still firmly intact. This is truly a man who has just about seen it all and done most of it himself. Who’s influence on our little world of riding waves can never be truly calculated since he tried to slot himself into this little Hatteras barrel during the ’85 Eastern’s decades before the discovery of Teahupo’o. Kelly Gol-dang Slater, stone cold contest surfing assassin and by-product of the ESA who is not only the Greatest Of All Time but who will live on to be the greatest forever after he’s gone. – Mez –