Sory by Jason Motes photos by Terry Reis / Surf Shooter Hawaii @surfshooterhawaii
Another ESA All-Star trip to Hawaii in the books, another group of incredible groms, a ton of waves ridden, amazing memories made that I’ll reflect on all my life, and bonds created that will most definitely last lifetimes.
The 2021 Hawaii trip was the most challenging yet. Covid has made life tough on each of us but especially the kids. So much has been taken away from them that ESA top executive Michelle Sommers was going to exhaust every possibility to make this trip a go. Krissy Torelli and I were right by her side and were going to give it our all as well. Following many phone calls and zoom meetings, and after a couple months of heavy planning, it all came together!
On February 17th, Krissy Torelli (ESA All-Star Mom), my son Josh Motes (new ESA All-Star mentor and assistant coach) and I set off for the North Shore of Oahu. Michelle was already out there with her family getting everything in tip top shape for our arrival. We started with the boys the first week, and what a crew it was; Jesse Hulsart, Kai Sommers, Landon Wood, Nic “the Charger” Gardella, William Forrest, Ty Jansen, Mason Mott and Zach Starr, along with a few of our developmental team members Athan Robertson, DC Lewis, Mako Musilunas and Gunner Snead all came out and were ready to get after it.
Another incredible part about these trips is that who on a daily basis we are sharing the water and waves with. This year the boys were treated to sessions alongside John John Florence, Kelly Slater, Josh and Sierra Kerr, Balaram Stack, Luke Swanson and many more ripping local Hawaiians. Absolutely incredible stuff!
Our All-Star boys shined during their week and I couldn’t be prouder of each of them. We shared meals, stories, had a couple good wrestling matches (which of course Josh and I dominated ?), surfed, surfed and surfed! Each are amazing young men with big futures ahead of them. The week went by too fast and before we knew, it was time for their departure and time to welcome the ESA All- Star girls.
This was the very best group of young ladies that we’ve ever had on the North Shore! Anyone who knows me and my passion for this All-Star team coaching job, that I am so blessed to have, knows that yes, I want to help them reach their dreams of becoming professional surfers, but also that the bonds and relationships that these kids make while out here mean even more to me than anything.
This group of girls, many of who didn’t even know each other prior to this trip, bonded and got along so well that it was like we were living with 9 of the best friends in the world!!! Led by Mentor Abigail Remke, Grace Knoechel, Kiley Kaiser, Audrey Iglay, Carly Coble, Emma Binder, Chloe Wienert, Lanea Mons and Krista Grace Hammel, they made it so easy on Krissy, Josh and I. When it was time to cook or clean, they were ready to help. When it was time to surf, that is when they really stepped up even more than I could’ve ever imagined. These girls truly embraced the entire experience to the fullest.
We had sessions with Tamayo and Emilia Perry at Sunset point in which the girls all absolutely charged. We had a session with Shane Beschen at Haleiwa, in which Shane had young Hawaiian phenom Erin Brooks come along with us and help the girls in the lineup. We had Gallagher coach them up at some super fun Rocky Point and we even had a really awesome time at Laniakea.
These kids mean the world to me, and as I’m sitting here on this plane heading home thinking of all the fun we had, it’s been an incredible journey for me personally. Having the love of my life in Krissy Torelli share this with me and love each of these kids as much as I do, and my son Josh stepping up big time to help his old man out and share his passion and love for surfing with our next crop of East Coast Legends in the making, I sit here with a tear in my eye and a huge smile on my face that no one can or will ever be able to take away from me!
Thanks to Michelle Sommers for giving me this opportunity, Josh Motes for being my best friend and my right-hand man, Krissy Torelli for being the reason that I am able to do any of this. Special thanks to the parents who trusts me with their children and allows me to have what I hope is a positive influence on their lives.
We all need a purpose in this world and these kids are my purpose! We are already making bigger plans for 2022!! It’s going to be siiiiiiiiiick!
Until next year, Aloha Hawaii!! ? – Jason Motes – ( please scroll to the bottom of the photo gallery to view the video wrap-up’s of both the girls and guys trips )
Gunner Snead, three fins firing! Surf Shooter Hawaii/Terry Reis @surfshooterhawaii