(Oct. 4, 2019) Next Saturday’s “Spooktacular Surf Stomp” competition will be the last one for the 51st season of the Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Summer Surf Series for amateur surfers.
Competitors of all ages will participate in divisions including bodyboard, shortboard, longboard and stand up paddleboard. There is also an open division for shortboard and bodyboard, where divisions of all ages are eligible to compete during the event on Oct. 12.
Participants must arrive to the designated ready area 15 minutes before their competition begins. Next Saturday’s event will take place at Assateague State Park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting. Competitors should arrive at 7:30 a.m.
The deadline to sign up for this event is Thursday, Oct. 10.
The first round of the 2019 Summer Surf Series was held on May 11 on 35th Street in Ocean City. More than 50 competitors, ages 8-58 years old, participated in the event. The second event, which was set to take place June 15, was canceled due to a lack of waves.
The third round took place on July 13, and consisted of a championship swim called the “Summer Surf Series Maryland Surfing Competition.”
Around 80 competed in the fourth tournament on Aug. 17, the largest turnout of the season so far. Thirty-five to 40 participated in the fifth event on Sept. 28.
This final contest will allow surfers to dress up in celebration of Halloween.
“It’s a celebration for Halloween because it’s so close to Halloween and competitors can wear silly costumes while they go out and perform in their heats,” Executive Director Michelle Sommers said. “We like to change it up and make it more fun. Some of them are not going to wear a full costume that will inhibit them from surfing, but a lot of them will wear a wig or a mask. It will be interesting to see.”
Winners of the 24 divisions will also be competing for points to earn prizes at the awards banquet held in the fall. This special Halloween-themed competition will also have an award for best costume.
Winners of each division are eligible to win trophies, plaques and sponsor-donated prizes.
“It’s a fun, family day on the beach where people of all ages can enjoy hanging on the beach together and celebrating ESA and Halloween and celebrating the off-season in Ocean City,” Sommers said. “That’s what ESA is all about; fun family time on the beach.”
Surf Series participants must be ESA members. A family membership costs $150, or $75 for an individual. A $25 fee covers the first event during each contest, and $10 for every other division after. A supporting membership costs $35 and is for non-competitors. To become a lifetime member the cost is $1,000, which includes five divisions.
Founded in 1967 by East Coast Surfers, ESA was created to promote, preserve and protect the sport of surfing on the East Coast. ESA is dedicated to the sport of amateur surfing, as well as the operation of a program of amateur competition for surfers of all ages and abilities.
ESA is the largest amateur surfing association in the world. The association’s activities are organized into 25 districts, which extend along nearly 2,000 miles of coastline.