The year was 1912, and in the then-sleepy seaside resort community of Virginia Beach, which had only been incorporated as a town six years prior, a young local received an unexpected package from his wayfaring uncle. In fact, James M. Jordan Jr. would soon come to be known for the massive redwood surfboard – weighing in at more than 100 pounds and reaching more than 12 feet in length – that his uncle bought for him while on a trip to Hawaii. When the iconic board met the waves of the Atlantic for the first time, East Coast surfing was born. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since that fateful moment, surfing has been woven into the fabric of who we are in Virginia Beach. In the century that has followed since James’s first ride, Virginia Beach has become the home of the esteemed East Coast Surfing Championships (ECSC), the second longest continuously-running surf contest in the world, and produced a host of well-known wave riders.
For a completely different kind of surfing experience from ECSC, Logstradamus Festival of Vibes, sponsored by WRV, is about as unconventional as it gets. This wild event was started as a “semi-formal” single-fin surf contest where the winner would win a golden tricycle that was dubbed the Golden Chariot. Since then, it has grown into a multi-day music festival and surfing competition, with prizes are awarded for things like Most Valuable Blazer, Best Dressed, and “Wizardly” Maneuvers. This free event celebrates both eccentricity and expression and everyone is welcome.
In addition to Freedom Surf and WRV, local surf shops like Pungo Board House, Surf & Adventure Co. and VB Surf Sessions offer everything you need, from equipment rentals to surfing lessons and camps, that will have you upright and in the water in no time. You can even experience the thrill of shaping your own board with the one-on-one guidance of an experienced shaper like Make and Ride Surf Exchange, who does their shaping out of a storage-unit-turned-shape-shack. Here, you can be a part of every step of the surfboard shaping process – from Styrofoam blank to your shaped-up new ride. You design it; you use the tools; and you bring your vision to life. There’s no better way to become one with your board than by being the driving force behind its creation.