ESA Dumps Its USSF Membership

In a bold move to ensure its thousands of amateur surfing athletes will be provided with the opportunity to properly represent their sport and country, the Eastern Surfing Association’s (ESA) Board of Directors announced today that they have withdrawn their membership from the United States Surfing Federation (USSF), effective June 1, 2003, by a vote of 26-7, with 2 abstentions, after over thirty years of support.

This decision was made by the ESA Board in order to protect the ESA from any future financial liabilities due to extended and unresolved financial & program administration concerns, and also due to its long-standing frustration at the USSF’s inability to advance the sport of amateur surfing in the United States.

The ESA hopes the USSF Board will take some constructive, positive steps at their annual meeting this summer to restructure the USSF into the strong, viable body it once was and return to their founding purpose of properly representing the interests of amateur surfing in the United States as a credible and forward thinking National Governing Body.

The ESA is now free to explore new opportunities for its amateur surfing programs and excited about the ability to move forward. In addition, the ESA is also developing programs for their “graduates” via the launch of their ESA PRO division. This natural extension of the ESA will host three Fosters Pro Surfing Tour events on the East Coast and work to bring more Women’s Tour events to the East as well.

ESA Executive Director Kathy Phillips said, “This move opens the door to so many possibilities for the ESA. We look forward to playing a critical role in the development of an improved national program for our amateurs and the development of a solid East Coast pro tour, so that our 1-A surfers have a strong amateur program to advance through and our top athletes have another level to work towards.”

The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA), the largest amateur surfing association in the world established in 1967, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the sport of surfing through their regional programs & 25 districts on the East Coast, Gulf Coast and Great Lakes. The ESA’s 2003 programs are supported by these generous sponsors: OP, Rip Curl, Bolle, Surfing Magazine, SG Surf Skate Snow Magazine,, FCS, Lost, Surfco Hawaii, Sticky Bumps, Morey & BZ Bodyboards and Chums. For more information on the ESA or any of our programs, please visit our recently redesigned site at