Jason Borte

Listen up, kids: perspective helps. Take Jason Borte’s first, humbling surf as an example. “1982, Virginia Beach with Chris Decker and Brad Harrell,” Jason says. “Put wetsuit on backwards, borrowed fat yellow twinnie. Didn’t stand up but did a few pile-drives into the sand.” And just look at him now. It’s truly difficult to condense in a couple hundred words Jason’s mark on not just East Coast surfing, but on the surfing world as a whole. Not long after that fateful VB session in 1982, Jason became an ESA All-Star, then followed that up with a pro career that led to an ASP East Championship. Next, he became a prolific surf journalist, contributing to nearly every major surf publication on the planet and co-writing Kelly Slater’s 2003 biography, Pipe Dreams. Since, Jason has authored another book, The Kook’s Guide to Surfing, and co-authored The Pipeline. But perhaps Jason’s greatest gift to East Coast surfing is the one that he continues to give today: teaching newbies the ropes at his Surf School camps, which are located in Weekapaug, Rhode Island and, of course, Virginia Beach—where it all began. “My local spot was, is, and always will be First Street Jetty,” Jason says. “Everywhere else is a novelty.”