Competitors of all ages compete for top honors at the ESA Championship held at Jennette's Pier.

The Eastern Surf Association—ESA—Championship has become a signature September event on the Outer Banks. Beginning next weekend on Sunday and running through the following week, it’s one of the largest and oldest amateur surfing contest around. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the ESA as an organization.

Held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, it is as much a competition as it is a celebration of how much fun it is to ride some waves.

Unlike professional competitions, the ESA's seem to have a place for just about everyone. There are, of course, surfers, but the surfers are broken down into age groups with lots of chances for kids to get involved. There are also categories for adult surfers from masters to grand legends.

The entire event is designed to be a family time, a chance for everyone to enjoy the sport.

The event also includes other types of wave riding, including body boarding and SUPs. And the surfing competitions are broken down into longboard and shortboard. 

It makes for a great week on the water… and there are some amazing surfers that come to Nags Head for the competition.

Some of the Senior Men and Women, Legends and Grand Legends are former pro surfers. They may not be in the world circuit anymore, but they still know how to ride a wave.

All of the competitors have been top finishers in regional competitions, so from Menenhun—11 and under—to Grand Legends—60 and older—the skill level is outstanding.