Anyone who missed the 36th annual ESA Easterns last year at Buxton, got a chance to relive the experience at Surf {{{Expo}}} in Orlando. On Saturday night, more than {{{100}}} members and spectators gathered as the organization held their 2004 All-Star induction ceremony and premiered their new DVD, The 36th Easterns: the Best of the East.

First up, ESA Executive Director Kathy Phillips welcomed the room of industry players and hardened competitors, thanking them for their dedication before 1976 world champion Peter Townend emceed the rest of the evening, announcing the 38 members of the 2004 All-Stars. Former members of this elite team include Kelly Slater, Ben Bourgeois and Eric Taylor and are selected each year across 26 districts based on three criteria: style (how a competitor carries themselves on the beach and off); attitude (their overall persona and willingness to put back into the organization); and performance (their overall ability in the water.) This year, more than thirty competitors took the stage to roaring applause as part of the Senior All-Star and Competition Youth Traveling Teams (see full list below.)

There was also a new award introduced this year, the OP ESA All Star Excellence in Leadership Award. This new honor will be awarded to one ESA All Star annually at Surf Expo by Ocean Pacific, rewarding the team member who best demonstrates an exemplary ability to lead and support his teammates and acts as ambassador for the sport of amateur surfing. North Central Florida’s Todd Kinsey was the first to receive the award, including a ${{{200}}} prize.

And then it was time for some surfing. For the first time, the ESA has produced a DVD capturing all the previous year’s Easterns action, and viewers stayed glued to see everything the 36th annual event had to offer. Best of the East captured nearly every moment from set-up to teardown: welcome speeches, interviews with competitors and champions like Karina Patroni and Eric Geiselman, and of course, the competition itself. After being postponed by Hurricane Isabel last year, the ESA scored some of the best waves ever, and the production captures every division going for broke, both young old, resulting in the most comprehensive replay of the event yet. In fact, there’s only one thing beating it: being there yourself.

Photos courtesy of Mark Hill and Eastern Surf Magazine. For non-stop Right Coast coverage, stay tuned to


Youth Competition Traveling Team
Todd Kinsey, (NCFL), Captain
Phillip Goold (VA), Junior Captain
Shea Lindon (SNC)
Ashley Francis (CFL)
Nick Blunda (CNJ)
Zack Humphreys (SNJ)
Ben Graeff (SNJ)
Brett Barley (OBNC)
Tony Silvagni (SNC)
Hunter Heverly (CNC)
Pat Conner (SAUG)
Taylor Brothers (WFL)
Brian Scopinich (NY)
John Barrie (SNJ)
Cash Barris (OBNC)
Fisher Heverly (CNC)
Nick Rupp (SNC)
Chris Hunt (NFL)
Sean Poyntner (NFL)
Brianna Berger (NCFL)
Amy Nicholl (NCFL)
Devin Ricke (NCFL)
Travis Shawhan (CFL)

Senior All Star Team
Brian Carpenter (CNC)
Pat Emery (CNJ)
Joe Gillen (OBNC)
Bobby Holland (VB)
Jesse McCrery (SNC)
Casey Cruciano (VA)
Ryan Hamby (NCFL)
Darren Manser (NFL)
Kelly Nicely (SNC)
Aaron Sherengos (NSC)
Jeremy Stanley (PBC)
David Sledge (CNC)
Ryan Rhodes (OBNC)
Glenn Tanner (SSC)
Mark Ramsdell (CNC)