Matt Alberts' third and final wrap-up video from the LIFERS project, summarizing all the incredible things happened during WATER is now available online. You can find it here:

Additional Details

Week 1: Matt begins his adventure in New Jersey and meets up with Chris Cooper, founder of Spraying Gravy, and Brian Heritage, owner of Heritage Surf & Sport, and dives in for some end-of-summer rides along the Jersey Shore with pro surfers Sam Hammer, Dean Randazzo and Greg Mesanko
Week 2: For the second week of the trip, Matt rolls up to Manhattan to meet up with Saturdays NYC founder Morgan Collett and contemporary artist Michael Adno, and catches some waves in Long Beach with pro-surfer TJ Gumiela, UnSound Surf Shop owner Dave Juan and David Skudin of Skudin Surf
Week 3: Matt spends the third week of WATER in Montauk to catch some waves with pro surfer Leif Engstrom and meet up with Whalebone Creative owner, Jesse Joeckel, Whalebone Magazine co-founder, Pat Fallon, and Ditch Witch owner and photographer Grant Monahan.
Week 4: Matt catches the ferry to New England to hang out with owner of Water Brothers, Sid Abruzzi, photographer/filmmaker, Michael Cirelli, and Grain Surfboards co-owners, Mike LaVecchia and Brad Anderson.

The Seasons Collection Photography Book

The final result of this unique project is a photography book that tells the story of this incredible journey from Matt’s POV and is accompanied by digital and analog photos documenting the passionate lives and adventures of the action sports heroes Matt met along the way. The book will be available for purchase on on 12/17 for $70.


It seems as if every time the Notre Dame Men’s football team comes to town, the ESA gets good surf. The “Fighting Irish” were lucky to win a 19-16 squeaker over Boston College at Fenway Park, and the ESA was equally as lucky to find a 3-4 foot ghost swell to run the last competition of the season. Call it the luck of the Irish if you will.

Although the surf began to get a bit chopped out by later in the afternoon, the swell held up all day, and gave competitors plenty of opportunity to tear up the makeable lefts and rights.

And the big star of the contest happened to be Beantown’s Jamie Kelly, who is still riding high, following his amazing 4th place finish at the 2015 East Coast Surfing Championships at Cape Hatteras. Jamie ripped up the waist to chest high stuff, just as he did to the 10-15 foot storm surf at the Easterns. And for the record, Kelly is only the second men’s competitor from New England to ever make the Men’s Final at the Easterns. The last time this occurred was in 1978, when Mario Frade finished 7th in what was considered a Pro-Am event.

Jamie Kelly. Photo Lisa Haase.

Jamie busted a nice air off a hollow, shoulder high right, to top an equally shredding Luke Johnson for the Open crown. Andrew Marsden was close behind with some nice left backhanders. Kelly easily won both the Men’s long and short board titles, finishing the day with three wins.

Jamie Kelly. Photo Lisa Haase.

Another hot performer this day, was Noah Gartner, who was whipping around his 9’4” long board like a short board. It was a wild tip ride on a shoulder high right, that locked up the Menehune Long board title over Chase Barclay. Chase went on to win the Girls 13 and Under final with some nice rights, topping Haley Marsden.

Noah Gartner. Photo Lisa Haase.

Andrew Marsden, the district’s top Senior Man, charged to easy wins in both the Senior and Master Long board categories, working both left and right sections in for some high point rides.

Andrew Marsden. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Lily Gartner and Charlotte Robbin battled it out to an unbreakable tie in the Girls 15 and Under final, while Gartner won the Junior Women’s Long board crown and finished 5th in the Open division.

This was the final rated event for the 2015 season. The next ESA contest scheduled is the 48th Annual New England Mid-Winter Surfing Championships, on February 20th, 2016. This event is set for the Narragansett Town Beach, and is the oldest continuing running winter contest held in the world. Competitors can expect special “Ice Man” trophies to be awarded at this year’s contest.

Joe Doherty. Photo: Lisa Haase.

John Coleson. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Luke Johnson. Photo: Lisa Haase.


Final results of the Annual ESA Holiday Surfabout, held in 2-4 foot surf at the Narragansett Town Beach on November 21, 2015.

Menehune-1.Noah Gartner 2.Cade Marsden

Boys 13 and Under-1.James Coleson 2.Kyle Hay

Boys 15 and Under-1.Joe Doherty Jr.

Junior Men-1.Luke Johnson

Men-1.Jamie Kelly

Masters-1.Chris Herbert

Senior Men-1.Andrew Marsden

Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan

Girls 13 and Under-1.Chase Barclay 2.Haley Marsden

Girls 15 and under-1.Lily Gartner and Charlotte Robbin (unable to break tie)

Menehune Longboard-1.Noah Gartner 2.Chase Barclay 3.Cade Marsden 4.Haley Marsden

Junior Women Longboard-1.Lily Gartner

Junior Longboard-1.Joe Doherty Jr.

Men’s Longboard-1.Jamie Kelly

Master Longboard-1.Andrew Marsden 2.Chris Herbert

Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan

Open-1.Jamie Kelly 2.Luke Johnson 3.Andrew Marsden 4.James Coleson 5.Lily Gartner 6.Noah Gartner 7.Kyle Hay

Open Bodyboard-1.Peter Pan

Open SUP-1.Peter Pan


Local surfers and ESA officials are still scratching their heads, trying to figure out how the surf could go from totally flat to epic in one day, and then go flat the next morning. This is what occurred this past Saturday, when the Eastern Surfing Association held it’s 41st consecutive Northeast Surfing Championships at the Narragansett Town Beach. “We expected to see some kind of wind swell, said ESA Competition Director Mario Frade, “but we never thought that the waves at the beach would be this perfect. The swell direction and the newly created sandbars made for probably the best shaped waves I have seen all year here.”

Sara Procaccini. Photo Lisa Haase.

The chilly air and water temperatures called for full suits and accessories, but the rubber put no damper on the hot performances in all age groups. Duly noted, however, was the high level of ripping done by the current East Coast Menehune Surfing Champion, Robbie Goodwin. Robbie, who recently returned home from the annual east coast contest, which was held in 15-foot hurricane like conditions, found the perfect town beach surf to his liking. Goodwin easily dominated the event, winning every heat in both his own age group and the Open Shortboard by wide margins. His air-acrobatics had the entire beach in awe, as he dazzled the crowd.

Medelise Reifsteck. Photo Lisa Haase.

Meanwhile, the rest of the youth competitors continued to battle it out, much as they have done all year. Lily Gartner continued to show that she will be a contender at the 2016 ESA Regional Championships, as she topped the Girls, Junior Women Longboard, and finished 7th in the Open Shortboard categories. Page Hedde edged out Sophia Martino in a close contest of the Menehune Girls, while Haley Marsden took the Girls 13 and Under title. One of the closest contests was the Menehune Longboard Final, which featured a duel between Noah Gartner and Page Hedde. Gartner dominated the heat, but Hedde picked off one of the best waves of the entire contest to close the gap. In the end, it was a tie that had to be broken on the 3rd wave, giving Gartner the win.

Kevin Roy. Photo Lisa Haase.

Several veterans were back on the scene after a break from competition. Mike Akers charged to the win in the Masters Final, while Medelise Reifsteck styled her way to the victory in the Senior Women’s Longboard final. One of the most entertaining heats was the Masters Longboard Final, which featured a tight contest between Kevin Roy and Andrew Marsden. Marsden came up with an incredible “Hang Ten” on a solid chest high peeler, and it looked like he had locked up the win. With five minutes left in the heat, Roy grabbed a shoulder high left barrel and blew off some hard cutbacks and flying off-the-lips to beat him out by 2 points at the buzzer.

Andrew Marsden. Photo Lisa Haase.

The next contest is the final rated ESA event of the season, and scheduled to take place at the same town beach on November 21st. This annual Holiday Surfabout has historically had good surf, and ESA officials are hoping for a repeat of last year’s conditions. Sign-ups are from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM, and the entry fee is $35.00.

Luke Johnson. Photo Lisa Haase.

Luke Johnson. Photo Lisa Haase.

Narragansett Surf Shop is offering to outfit any youth competitors who need full suits and accessories for the event, at no charge. Anyone interested can email the ESA or call the surf shop a few days before the contest with the contestant’s height, weight, and foot size.

Robbie Goodwin. Photo Lisa Haase.

Robbie Goodwin. Photo Lisa Haase.

Final Results of the 41st Annual Northeast Surfing Titles, held in perfect 3-6 foot surf at the Narragansett Town Beach, on November 7th, 2015.

Menehune Boys-1.Robbie Goodwin 2.Cade Marsden 3.Noah Gartner 4.Braydon Bennett

Menehune Girls-1.Page Hedde 2.Sophia Martino 3.Phoebe Hedde 4.Chase Barclay

Boys 13 and Under-1.Jayden Parry 2.George Shaver

Boys 15 and Under-1.Joe Hedde 2.Nick Gauvin 3.Joe Doherty Jr. 4.Dylan Holtbakk

Girls 13 and Under-1.Haley Marsden

Girls 15 and Under-1.Lily Gartner 2.Charlotte Robbin

Junior Men-1.Luke Johnson

Men-1.Jordan Brown

Masters-1.Mike Akers 2.Chris Herbert

Senior Men-1.Kai Holtbakk 2.Kevin Roy

Senior Women-1.Sara Procaccini

Grandmasters-1.Claudio Paulino

Grand Legends-1.Peter Pan 2.Kitty Pechet

Menehune Longboard-1.Noah Gartner 2.Page Hedde 3.Sophia Martino 4.Chase Barclay 5.Phoebe Hedde 6.Cade Marsden

Junior Women Longboard-1.Lily Gartner 2.Charlotte Robbin 3.Haley Marsden

Senior Women Longboard-1.Medelise Reifsteck 2.Sara Procaccini

Master Longboard-1.Kevin Roy 2.Andrew Marsden 3.Kai Holtbakk 4.Mike Akers

Legends Longboard-1.Peter Pan 2.Claudio Paulino 3.Kitty Pechet

Open Bodyboard-1.Pat Redmond 2.Peter Pan

Menehune Bodyboard-1.Dylan Holtbakk

Open SUP-1.Jack Egan 2.Stacy McLouglin 3.Peter Pan

Open Shortboard-1.Robbie Goodwin 2.Kevin Roy 3.Luke Johnson 4.Andrew Marsden 5.Kai Holtbakk 6.Joe Hedde 7.Lily Gartner 8.Page Hedde 9.Noah Gartner 10.Charlotte Robbin 11.Geordie Shaver 12.Jordan Brown 13.Sophia Martino 14.Dylan Holtbakk


This week the LIFERS project caught the ferry to New England to hang out with owner of Water Brothers, Sid Abruzzi, photographer/filmmaker, Michael Cirelli, and Grain Surfboards co-owners, Mike LaVecchia and Brad Anderson. Enjoy!

LIFERS Water Week 4-4


It all came together for the annual “Battle of the Beach” at the Narragansett Town Beach this year. It was another amazing feat for master promoter Conrad Ferla, who should now be considered as the new P.T. Barnum of New England surfing circles. Ferla managed to gather the largest group of competitors ever assembled for a local ESA contest, by baiting them with several thousand dollars worth of surfboards, skateboards, and other goodies. It worked to perfection, as contest organizers literally ran out of daylight running heats all day long. Adding to the mix were perfect 80-degree air temperatures and 68 degree ocean water, a rare treat at the end of a New England September. 

Local knowledge did not help many of the contestants, as the swells came from two directions and the sand bars provided unpredictable close-out sections. It came down to who could pick out the waves that were actually ridable and survive the inside shorebreak. The Open Shortboard division provided the toughest competition, with Newport’s Mike Corseri crushing two hollow rights to edge out local Morgan Gallipeau, who was hunting down the elusive left barrels. Veteran Kevin Roy took the 3rd spot, and Charlestown’s Joe Hedde finished 4th.
The Open Longboard final featured another classic battle between Boston’s Andrew Marsden and Narragansett’s Kevin Roy. Roy was tuned up from that 4th place finish in the Masters Longboard Final at the Easterns, concentrating on the left walls that were pushing through. Marsden, however, found the one perfect right peak that held up for the nose ride that won the heat. Morgan Gallipeau put on another stylish performance in this final, taking the 3rd spot with some clean lefts.

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Lily Gartner. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Lily Gartner proved that she is the “Queen of the Town Beach,” as she again dominated both long and short board categories, winning the Open Women’s division and the Girls Longboard final. Gartner found the few waves in both final heats that held up and that was enough to take both divisions. Sophia Martino who found the big open barrel to edge out Page Hedde in the Girls Open Final, with Gartner in 3rd and Chase Barclay finishing in 4th.

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Chase Barclay. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Josh Hedde had a great day in the water, as he charged to an easy win in the Boys Longboard and took a close second place in the Boys Shortboard finals. Narragansett’s Jim Robbin was a unanimous 2nd, making some nice sections in the longboard version, while Ben Lyman ripped two rights to top the shortboard division.

The next ESA event scheduled is the Annual Northeast Surfing Championships at the Narragansett Town Beach, on October 17th. The ESA will provide full wetsuits for any youth competitors who need them at no charge.
Results of the ESA Battle of the Beach, held in 3-6 foot seas at the Narragansett Town Beach, on September 26th, 2015.

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Kai Holtbakk. Photo: Lisa Haase.

Boys Open (14 and Under) 1.Ben Lyman 2.Josh Hedde 3.Zack Moffit 4.Ted Evans 5.Dylan Holtbakk 6.Blane Lidsky 7.Jayden Parry 8.Ben Turene 9.Justin Parrilla 10.Tate Costa 11.Josh Hedde 12.Aiden McInerney 13.Jim Robbin 14.George Shaver 15.Cade Birrell 16.Ted Evans 17.Broyden Champln 18.Ben Woerlen 19.Brayden Birrell 20.Noah Gartner 21.Owen Costa 22.Cade Marsden

Girls Open (14 and Under) 1.Sophia Martino 2.Page Hedde 3.Lily Gartner 4.Chase Barclay 5.Haley Marsden 6.Emily Brinton 7.Phoebe Hedde 8.Mariana Meyer

Short Board Open (14 and Over/all ages) 1.Mike Corseri 2.Morgan Gallipeau 3.Kevin Roy 4.Joe Hedde 5.Scott Hayward 6.Sam Lebine 7.Matt Barone 8.Baylor Wallace 9.Andrew Marsden 10.Corey Engle 11.Shane Cooney 12.Doug Whitman 13.Ted Sorlein 14.Julian Ortiz 15.Ben Lyman 16.Dylan Latham 17.Marcus Rand 18.Kyle Halavik 19.Charlie Frodigh 20.Pat Bledsoe 21.James Adams 22.Matt Ianucci 23.Scott Barto 24.Sean McKenzie 25.Paul Kraus 26.Eric Nelson 27.Joe Doherty Jr. 28.Pat Cullen 29.Matt Mahany 30.Jake Manning 31.Matt Singer 32.Chick Frodigh 33.Justin Wagner 34.Mike Favlcchio 35.Chris Herbert 36.Dylan Sheak 37.Lcy Caverro 38.Nick Gadreau 39.Aurein Bouche-Pillion 40.Steve Carlson 41.Conrad Bailey 42.George Shaver

Womens Open (14 and Over/all ages) 1.Lily Gartner 2.Sara Procaccini 3.Medelise Reifsteck 4.Katie Imswiler 5.Jessica Filkins 6.Kitty Pechet 7.Sara Prince 8.Kate Frodigh 9.Haley Stern 10.Rachel McCarty

Open Boys Longboard (14 and Under) 1.Josh Hedde 2.Jim Robbin 3.Noah Gartner 4.Jayden Parry 5.Dylan Holtbakk 6.Owen Costa 7.Cade Marsden 8.Tate Costa

Open Girls Longboard (14 and Under) 1.Lily Gartner 2.Page Hedde 3.Chase Barclay 4.Sophia Martino 5.Phoebe Hedde 6.Emily Brinton 7.Haley Marsden

Open Longboard (14 years and Over/all ages) 1.Andrew Marsden 2.Kevin Roy 3.Morgan Gallipeau 4.Steve Torrisi 5.Steve Melidossian 6.Baylor Wallace 7.Pat Cullen 8.Charlie Frodigh 9.James Adams 10.Sara Prince 11.Rachel McCarty 12.Pat Bledsoe 13.Kyle Havalik 14.Joe Hedde 15.Allen Santucci 16.Kai Holtbakk 17.Sara Procaccini 18.Marcus Rand 19.Joe Doherty Jr. 20.Juan Ortiz 21.Chick Frodigh 22.Doug Whitman 23.Matt Mahany 24.Conrad Bailey 25.Alex Boutin 26.Gavin Carey 27.Vin Meyer 28.Paul Kraus


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New England

Email Address

[email protected]

Phone Number

508-834-SURF (7873)

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