I just arrived in Virginia Beach from NYC and while I write this from my balcony over the rainy beach let's just say I don't hate the atmosphere. Today it's quiet and stormy and pretty peaceful but tomorrow this place is getting a takeover. Here's a little history lesson from the event organizers, and not one of those lame history lectures with notebooks needed, or a pop quiz later. This one is all like Yo we like to surf, live on the East Coast, and are going to throw a killer party... Well almost like that.
ORIGINS OF ECSC:
"The East Coast Surfing Championships (in 2011, renamed the Coastal Edge ECSC presented by Vans) originated from a party held in the Summer of 1961 in the town of Gilgo Beach, New York. The party was a small affair thrown by some parents for their teenagers who surfed. Surfing was then still a novelty or curiosity to most of the East Coast population. As more people began getting surfboards, (and because the party in 1961 was a lot of fun), plans for the 1962 party were becoming bigger. The second party, now billed as the East Coast Surfing Championships, was publicized only by word-of-mouth and was held in Gilgo Beach on September 7, 1962. Bob Holland, Pete Smith and Butch Maloney were among those from the Virginia Beach community who attended the event. By the third year, 1963, the reputation of the party had now reached surfing fans up and down the coast. Virginia Beach, then an early hotbed of surfing activity, was represented again, presumably by Bob Holland, Pete Smith and others. Just a few weeks earlier in Virginia Beach, the first Virginia Beach Surfing Carnival was held on August 24, 1963 by the Virginia Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Virginia Beach Surfing Club and local surfboard dealers such as Western Auto, Fuel/Feed & Building Supplies and Coaches Sporting Goods. At the 1963 ECSC in Gilgo Beach, the case was made by the Virginia Beach crowd to move the event to Virginia Beach because it was a more central location and easier to get to for all East Coast surfers (from Maine to Florida). Virginia Beach was already well-known among the surfing networks of the East and therefore stood a better chance to truly become an annual contest. In 1964, it appears that the "2nd Annual Virginia Beach Surfing Carnival" and a Long Island surfing event were BOTH held, the Virginia Beach event on August 29 -30 and the Gilgo Beach party later in September. The overlap is made murky because the 1964 contest in Virginia Beach is headlined as the East Coast Championships. By 1965, the confusion had cleared up. The New York event was transformed into another contest while most participants were now heading to Virginia Beach because the weather was nicer and the waves were bigger and more consistent. The name of the Virginia Beach Surfing Carnival was dropped in favor of the plain and simple East Coast Surfing Championships. For purposes of record-keeping and clarity, the forty-eight years of ECSC are defined from the first Jaycee-sponsored surfing event in August 1963, which later incorporated the unorganized Gilgo Beach contest and adopted its name. Today, ECSC is the second-longest, continuously-run surfing competition in the world."
Live here? Then I'll see you on the beach this week for tons of surfing, music, and fun. Don't live here? No worries, we'll be webcasting the contest and some music performances, as well as posting tons of photos all right here on le blog. Check out vans.com/vanspro and surfecsc.com for more info on everything going on.