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Quiksilver Super Groms

In the super groms division the little kids take over and simply get out and have fun. There were about 120 of them this year. Everyone gets something. Everyone wins.

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Look at their little faces! Don’t trust ’em though. Shifty little surfers will steal you blind. Look at them…yep. Watch out.

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ECSC Hermit Crab Championship

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Here’s where the real nail biting goes down. Who will win? Top seed Edmond Bacon was looking strong this morning, but Christoph has had a good last heat.

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He’s too young!

So sad for someone so young to have a monkey on his back.

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Friday Wrap Up

Yeah, duh. Its Saturday so I gotta hurry & see what else is going on. I had to share with you some highlights from yesterday before I run out the door to the beach screaming. Vans’ Badders & Rambo were with team rider Rob Lorifice feeding swarms of seagulls out of their hotel window. Badders fed one out of his mouth. There was for sure a hula hoop contest going all day. Connie’s surfboard has her face airbrushed on it with a princess crown sticker. She’s funny:) We watched Good Old War play. Good old band. Surfy, surfy. Skatie, skate & bmxcellent. Shazaaam!

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Chase with jump ropes. Best Game Ever.

We try to come up with all kinds of stuff to make little kids do for swag. You know…handstands, cartwheels until you throw up, etc. My favorite today was “chase” with the added complexity of jump ropes. Doomey, the Vans game master, told me he ran out of prizes an hour before. These kids were still playing.

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Djs & Bikes & Dudes & Girls & Little Kids

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There is definitely not one certain kind of person at this event. The crowd is amazingly diverse. On one hand you have 90 year-old stylish golf grandpa coming down to see what the fuss is about. Then you have professional surfers, high schoolers, families on vacation…its all over the place. Most importantly, Virginia has WaWa. P1000069

The 1st BMX/Skate Demo this afternoon was pretty cool. Nice Ramp. Sun. People flipping around all over the place. Those guys know how to please a crowd.

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At the same time, I got to watch my first longboard competition. There were pros. There were piles of little, little kids cheering on their friends. I could get used to this. I will run on the platform ‘surf contest everyday’ in the next student council election.
Cam

Filed under: demos, skate, surf, , , , ,

Groms Roll Up

Hanging out with Donna Vano & getting to know the VA Beach groms. Gabe not only skates in a baseball helmet…the kid vansified his broken finger.

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Lowdown from a Guy at the Top: Interview with ECSC’s Paul West

US Surfing Federation President Paul West has a history that goes back decades with The East Coast Surfing Championships. Even though he’s got his hands full with the event now less than 14 days away, he still made a few minutes to answer questions from a newbie attendee. Its my first time attending the ECSC. Talking with Paul got me all stoked to check it out.

NS: You’ve been involved with the event for 31 years, correct? How did you get your start with the ECSC?

PW: I started as a competitor. It was really unorganized so I offered to help. Judging first, then as a district director for the Eastern Surfing Association, ESA, VA District who used to run the contest. I ran it with a small group of individuals and then eventually became solo director, but it take a team to do an event successfully of this magnitude. And I have always been blessed to have some great people helping me. I have met some incredible people over the years and developed many long lasting friendships.

NS: What’s the most difficult thing about judging a surf event?

PW: It is very difficult, you are taking something as subjective as surfing and converting it over to a concrete numerical value. It is a split second decision that you have to do over 1,000 times in the course of day. In takes intense concentration and focus. I have been fortunate to work under some of the best head judges in the world at the US Championships, World Games, Pan American Surfing Games, etc. And I learn something new every contest.

NS: Compared with all of the other contests that you run & produce, why the continued involvement with this one? What makes this contest so special?

PW: I love Virginia Beach. I have a lot of emotions invested. We moved to VB from Africa. My father was in the Navy and [did] attache’ work in Dakar Senegal. I went to First Colonial High School. I grew up with VB. It used to be a tiny little navy beer town. The hotels would board up after labor day, and the season really didn’t get started till July 4th. We were not allowed to run ECSC in the resort area for a while and had to be down at Camp Pendleton. Surfers did not have a lot of respect. There were a lot of us who worked hard to change that image. Surfing was not respected in Virginia Beach like in California where I was a young kid and my brother was born. But through many years of hard work and public relations and working with the city, state, etc. we changed the perception and the image of surfing. It is a respected and viable sport now – ECSC played a huge roll in that. ECSC was an opportunity to put surfing on the map. To give the athletes the recognition they deserved. To give opportunities to kids either through developing life lessons or maybe getting sponsors. I love the Super Grom event where it is for 10 and under beginners. It is free. All the families come out and the parents push the kids into waves. It is fun and reminds me of what surfing is all about. Enjoying life, family, respect — healthy, good, positive things.

NS: I’m sure you’ve seen top talent come out of this event. Any recollections of up & comers that turned into heavy hitters?

PW: A few years ago we brought Adriano de Souza to VB from Brazil. He was about 15 years old. He could not speak one word of English. It was his first time outside of Brazil. He was amazing. We used a translator and he did interviews. He won every amateur division he surfed and he won the pro junior and came in 2nd in the pro men. He is now 3rd in the World. Every major talent out of the East Coast has surfed ECSC at some point. Whether it was Kelly Slater, the Hobgoods, etc. A few years ago Tom Curren (5 time world champ) flew in from Europe to catch the hurricane swell we had for the contest and won. Another year we had Colin McPhillips and Joel Tudor (both world champion longboarders) surf the contest. So, for me there are almost too many to mention. There is always a standout every year. It is always a show. And it is a major accomplishment to win the contest because of the level of talent. It may be called the ECSC but we always have surfers in the past 5+ years come from all over the world to surf the contest.

NS: Who are the people you are most excited to watch compete this year?

PW: Pro men it would be Aaron Cormican, Asher Nolan, Paul Fisher, and Ben Bourgeois. There are many others, but those are the first that come to mind.

NS: Locals to watch?

PW: Phillip Goold and Michael Dunphy are the first two locals that come to mind.

NS: Five words that sum up the feeling of this event?

PW: Anxiety (because of surf conditions and all the details that make it happen), Stoked (it is exciting), Aloha (because of the Super Groms and the end of each day) Exhaustion (self explanatory) Smile (all the people, energy, and good times – it is the summer party).

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Paul has promised to dish the dirt with me on hurricanes, lightning bolts hitting the ground, and the police in part two of his interview. Considering the subject matter, I’m going to say the next one needs to be a video!
-nikki s.

Filed under: surf, , , , , ,

ECSC 2006 / THE GROMS

This is a quick look at the life of the Groms at the East Coast Surfing Championships 2006. Wonder if we’ll see any of these kids in the contest this year?

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