ESM Q&A: Lucas Rogers, The Punter From Pungo, Wins 20K!

June 13, 2019 • Videos

If crazy punts were worth 20K, then the Pride of Pungo, VA’s Lucas Rogers would be a millionaire by now as shown with his recent win in the “Life At Sea” ( a Santa Cruz based surf related company ) online video submission contest via Instagram tagging ( see full video below ).

I shot with Luc a couple of times this Spring after covering the ESA’s Mid Atlantic Regionals. Besides mole holing incredibly deep barrel rides at some of Pea Islands more esoteric, slab-like sand bars, you always have keep the camera trained on him because he is not afraid to go for an all or nothing, stratospheric launch after emerging in an expectorant-like ball of mist after being blown out of a lime green, 8 second pit ride.

The punter and the punted. Lucas pushing it as far as it can possibly go on the Outer Banks this past May warming up for the 20K payday down in Bocas. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

Truth be told I – or anyone who knows him – was not surprised at all he pulled of the winning move against some major players and took home the big prize beating out the likes of Matt Meola, Noah Beschen, Maryland’s Brad Flora who took third along with second place getter, Reff Hazelwood. We could not be more happy for the happy go lucky surfer so we rang him up to offer hearty congratulations and asked the following questions. – Mez – 

1) Where were you and who were you with when you nabbed this outrageous, winning clip?

I was posted up at Bocas Del Toro last month for a couple of weeks last month with my long time buddy, Snacks.

Lucas Rogers with the 20 large at the his home base, the Pungo Board Shop in Pungo, VA. Photo: Courtesy Pungo Board Shop

2) “Snacks”- definitely one of the classic nicknames we’ve heard in awhile. You introduced me to him at the very last King Of The Peak in 2017 at Sebastian Inlet; he seemed like a pretty cool, fun loving guy. He has a real name though, right? 

Snacks is a classic guy, one of my true, life long friends and his name is Chris Woodward from the Sandbridge / Pungo area. He always has my back and works his ass off filming.

3) How did you guys hook up to start filming?

A couple of years ago I was surfing the Pier in Sandbridge and Snacks was out on the pier filming with his iPhone ( laughs) and one day we ran into filmer Jeff O’Niell ( who works with Brett Barley ) and he told us we should get a real camera of some kind that takes video. It all just went from there.

Check the full “Planet Punt” video here. Courtesy: Life At Sea.

4) And where did “it” go?

After talking to Jeff we figured it was time to upgrade and we hit the local Target store and found a shiny red Nikon Coolpix ( 16 MP ) on sale for about $200 and we were on our way! We call it the “Red” cam after the real deal RED cam which costs like, a million bucks  ( * ed. note: a real RED cam starts at about 20K plus ). We also had a good talk and some guidance  from Ben Gravey ( filmer / vlogger from New Jersey, Ben Graeff ).


5) How were the conditions for being able to stunt an air so high and far on this one?  

Well, this day was one of the “smallest” during our trip and to be honest, up until then it had been all about really thick, macking barrels like the day you and I shot on Pea Island in late Spring.  Really, I was stoked just to change it up, do some airs; we had all the barrel clips we needed ( laughs ) !

6)  I’ve never even attempted an air in 50 years in surfing so what goes through your mind as you approached that section; are you even thinking?

It happens quick but I had just enough time to set it up and go for it and the angle was perfect plus that bit of side shore / offshore wind. The wave was pretty intense, I had so much speed I thought I could make the rotation so I just threw myself at it full-on thinking if I’m ever gonna get an air section this is it!

Lucas Rogers going up, way up, against the laws of gravity at Pea Island during Hurricane Michael, 2018. Photo: Mez @mezapixels

7) Well, that was the one obviously! Did you and Chris think you had anything special after you rode out of it?

( Laughs ) It’s kinda funny, the wave breaks real close to the beach so after I rode out of it Snacks was right there so I yelled up at him “You better have gotten that one or you’re fuckin’ fired”!  He just kinda casually raised both arms in the air like, no worries dude, we got it. I was so fired up and ended going back out for two more hours.

8) Did even you know at the time of filming that there was a 20K video clip air contest? 

Had no clue. Snacks posted it and our buddies Chris Flora and Simon Hetrick from Maryland saw it and told us about the contest. Planetary actually got in touch with us first asking us to submit it.

9) How was it getting declared the winner over guys like Meola, Reef and Besch by none other than some of the burliest surfers ever, Flea Virostko and Ratboy Collins? 

Gnarly! It was an honor!!!! Sooooo stoked and thankful to hear what those guys had to say!

Snack on this! 3k and congratulations to filmer Chris “Daddy Snacks” Woodward for capturing the 20 Large clip behind the red cam and putting in the hard ards on the beach. Photo: Courtesy Pungo Board Shop

10) And you broke off a little piece for your best bud behind the camera?

Yup, he got 3K for the efforts. Time to upgrade that “red” camera ( laughs ) ! 

11) Any last words, shout-out’s or thoughts?

Huge thanks to everyone involved in the If By Sea ‘Punt’ contest and thanks especially to my brother Dylan, Pungo Board House along with the rest of my family and all the  friends who support me, including Shred Gang in Australia.


Not just another air guy, Lucas knows his way around some serious pits and is a beach break barrel escape artist of the highest order. Photo: Mez @ mezapixels

The Pride Of Pungo, Lucas Rogers.Photo: Mez @mezapixels