Local surfer Christopher Herbert continued to shine on the waves this year, making it to the finals in four events in the Eastern Surfing Association’s recent Northeast Regional Championships in New Jersey.
Herbert took first in the longboard competition, as well as the open bodyboard event. He then took fourth in the shortboard and fifth in the standup paddle board competitions as well.
His performance in those four events was good enough to qualify for the ESA East Coast Championship in North Carolina this September.
“It was awesome, I was surprised. I put the work in so felt like I would at least make the finals, but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. All you have to do is make the finals to qualify, but that’s no easy task, you still need to work yourself up the ranks. It was incredible,” said Herbert.
Herbert was also joined by his family, who has been by his side all season long.
“All year they are beside me, watching me. Then they come see me compete and win, lose or draw they are right there to congratulate me, they’re there supporting me. Having my own little cheering section helped me, my kids think I am Superman so I had to go out there to perform,” said Herbert.
Although Herbert established himself as one of the top surfers in the northeast region, he expects the competition to only get tougher heading down south, especially against some of the surfing powerhouses that will be competing as well.
“I need to stay consistent; I need to keep doing what I’m doing because September will be here before you know it. If I get lazy, then I will have to play catch up with the big dogs. The Northeast is what it is, but Florida, North Carolina, it is completely different, those places are known around the world for their surfing and its very competitive down there. They’re going to be ready to go; I can’t take my foot off the metal,” said Herbert.
Herbert believes that he has a chance to take first place if he stays on his game, and replicates a performance similar to the one he put on at regionals.
“I think it will be good enough. I was on my game that day and I have that experience now, I know the length of the heats, but all it takes is one misstep,” said Herbert. “I’ve got make sure that I pick the right waves and perform while I’m on that wave … it’s a lot of pressure, it’s a lot of noise. This is it, I have to give it my all.”