OCEAN CITY – Vince Boulanger is one of the many Ocean City local surfers who has spent his life surfing the local waters and dreaming of surfing the world’s biggest waves. With this summer’s trip to Australia with the ESA Allstar team, Boulanger is well on his way to realizing those dreams.
Boulanger will travel halfway across the world with the other 24 members of the Allstar team to be coached on surfing and to meet an abundance of influential people in the surf industry.
The ESA, or the Eastern Surfing Association, is the world’s largest amateur surfing association, working to protect and promote the sport of surfing along the east coast, through the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama, up to the Great Lakes and down to the Caribbean.
The ESA Allstars are the selected elite that are drawn from more than 11,000 members of the ESA, to become international representatives to surfers all over the United States.
Each year, each of the 27 district directors has the opportunity to nominate individuals from their division who could then be considered as a candidate for the Allstar team. The nomination is a huge honor and being selected is even more phenomenal.
In the 10-year history of the ESA, only 10 ESA Allstars have been from the Delmarva District, one of the most famous being professional body boarder Jay Reale.
Last year, Boulanger had the honor of being selected as a member of the ESA Allstar team, taking on the task of representing not only the local surfers of Delmarva, but also the surfers of the entire east coast.
Delmarva District Director for the ESA Art Baltrotsky couldn’t be more pleased with Boulanger’s success.
Baltrotsky explained that being an ESA Allstar is a prestigious honor in the sport of surfing, adding that eight-time world surfing champion, Kelly Slater, was once an ESA Allstar.
“Vince’s outstanding surfing performance easily qualified him for the performance segment of the Allstar requirements, but his friendly demeanor outside the water, his positive attitude, and his willingness to help out at ESA events is why I nominated Vince as an ESA Allstar,” said Baltrotsky.
Baltrotsky explained that Boulanger has wanted to be an Allstar for years, but that it was his attitude change that made the dream a reality.
“He’s one of the best surfers on the East Coast, but what it’s about is his attitude,” Baltrotsky said.
Baltrotsky feels that the trip to Australia will be extremely beneficial to Boulanger’s surfing.
“It’s a surfing program for the very best surfers on the East Coast,” he said, explaining that while in Australia, the Allstars will be coached throughout the trip in all areas of surfing. They will also be meeting influential surfers and sponsors during their trip.
“It really helps them get recognized and get sponsorship,” he said.
Baltrotsky feels that the next step for Boulanger should be spending a winter surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii, where he would have to work hard to not only grow as a surfer, but also prove himself as one.
For now, Boulanger will remain a member of the Allstar team and also a member of the local Malibu’s surf team. So far this summer Boulanger has acquired first place wins in men’s shortboard at the Delaware State Surfing Championships the Chauncey’s Surfabout, and the Malibu’s Classic.