Throughout the early 1960s, competitive amateur surfing on the East Coast was blossoming, but it was fractured by region. That changed in 1967 when Rudy Huber, along with Cecil Lear, and supported by the United States Surfing Association’s Hoppy Swarts, planted the seeds of the Eastern Surfing Association.
Lear and Huber, a jet setting trust fund baby from Connecticut with connections to the world of international surfing, wanted an amateur organization that was East Coast based and operated that would unite the many isolated surf communities stretching along the East Coast from Maine to New Jersey, Florida to Texas.
The importance of this moment in the East Coast’s surfing history cannot be overstated. As the ESA’s first Executive Director, much of the foundation of East Coast surfing can be attributed to Huber, not the least the ESA, which has grown to one of the biggest surfing organizations in the world, with some 7,000 members — and nurtured more world champions than any other.