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Dee Nachnani, owner of the Coastal Edge chain in Virginia, is still flying high after the East Coast Surfing Championship at the end of August.
It was the first time Coastal Edge was the main sponsor of the event, and Dee is thrilled with how the contest turned out, the vendor support, and the large crowds that attended, including a reported 120,000 on the final day of the event.
Below, Dee answers some questions for me about ECSC.
Is this the first time Coastal Edge sponsored a contest of this magnitude?
Yes, our events or the ones we participate in usually have 500 to 15,000 people in attendance.
What made you decided to sponsor the event this year?
I studied the statistics about the event that has been held for the last 47 years and found that it would be a wonderful way for our industry to stay relevant to our consumer. Any event that has the ability to draw crowds of 50,000 plus to a venue has always intrigued me personally.
The trick was to draw 100,000 or more attendees to the venue. I knew that our entire industry would be able to tell its story in such a compelling fashion that our goals for this event would be met effortlessly.
Did it meet your expectations?
Honestly, it exceeded my expectations. The one contingency I could not plan for was what Tropical Storm Danny would do off of the coast. We had picture perfect weather with waves to boot. It really shows what the power of prayer can do for you.
How will this help Coastal Edge grow?
Our whole philosophy is about giving to grow. This event gave our entire industry the opportunity to give back to the communities who have helped us grow through the past two decades. I can't explain the feelings I experienced hearing all the "thank yous" and witnessing all the smiles on customers that have supported us throughout the years. Watching kids catching their first wave, to seeing them meet the super stars of our industry. It truly was breath taking.
How did the vendors help you with the event?
First of all, Vans, Monster Energy Drink, and Surf Expo helped me financially with the event and for that I am very appreciative. It gave me the ability to truly give back to the entire industry.
With that said, I was able to invite every vendor that we work with in the surf and skate industry to pitch a tent, bring the stoke, and tell their story to the East Coast and they sure did! Every
vendor had some sort of game from a spam-eating contest to hermit crab races.
(Above: Lil Jon with Dee Nachnani, owner of Coastal Edge.)
Will Coastal Edge sponsor the contest next year?
Absolutely. We have signed-on for a long term deal with the Virginia Beach Jaycees.
Was there one highlight of the entire contest that really sticks out in your mind?
The highlight of the ECSC was the look on children's faces.
The look on the child's face who got to skate for the first time with Bucky Lasek.
The super grom who surfed for the first time with the help of his parents.
The little boy whose board was three times his size but yet he still carried his board into the ocean by himself.
The highlight was growing tomorrow's riders today.