Ocean City's Vince Boulanger will have locals' advantage surfing his home break at the Dew Tour's surf competition along the Maryland coast. Keep an eye out for the talented surfer at the Nike 6.0 Expression Session. Read on to find out more about Vince, like his soft spot for freezing barrels and preference for the small town feel of things.
What can we expect to see from you and the rest of the guys in Ocean City for the Expression Session?
You can definitely expect to see some technical airs. The jet skis will allow us to do airs even on really small waves.
Do you ever watch the Dew Tour on TV? Is it crazy to be a part of it this year?
I don't watch much TV but the Dew Tour is a big deal for Ocean City and it's all over the radio and everyone is talking about it. It's been the buzz of the town since Spring. I'm just really excited to see some of the best skaters and BMXers in the world come to my town and do what they do. To be a part of it is an honor and I'm just happy to be able to compete in front of my hometown. I'm also really stoked to watch my brother compete in the skate qualifier on Thursday. I want to see him do well and I feel like this is a chance for both of us to showcase our talents.
Vince Boulanger photos courtesy of Osiris Torres
What are your thoughts on surfing with pro surf brothers Evan and Eric Geisleman at your home break?
It's going to be cool to be able to share my spot with some really good surfers. Ocean City doesn't have many world class surfers passing through so it's pretty rare to have two of the best in the water here at the same time. I just hope that we have some waves so that we can all flare up for the contest.
What's it like growing up surfing in Ocean City?
Growing up in Ocean City, I see a lot of diversity. In the summertime it's warm and there are tons of people and in the wintertime it's cold and the waves are bigger and there's nobody around. It's really cool to see the town so packed with people in the summer and so empty in the winter. It makes it so that the surfers who live here year round all know each other and share a lot of memorable sessions. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I prefer the small town feel that Ocean City has in the off season. Summertime is so fun but at times the amount of people can be overwhelming. I enjoy surfing the warm water in the summer but I’d trade it for freezing barrels any day
What are some of your best memories surfing there?
Waking up early in the winter when it's freezing and the waves are firing. I like surfing when there's snow on the ground and the beach is empty. Sharing empty cold waves with a few friends. The best memories I have are of the rides themselves, but I can't really describe them. Surfing is something you have to feel.
How did you get into surfing and decide to focus on that?
I was into skating and some kids that I skated with were also surfers and they took me surfing one time. From the first wave I was pushed into I fell in love with the ocean and the feeling of riding a wave. After that I just surfed every chance I got and I still do. I just focus on it so much because it's my favorite thing to do.
What's the East Coast surf scene like there?
There's definitely a lot of surfers that live in Ocean City. We might not have as many surf shop rivalries and contests as Jersey or the Outer Banks but there is still a sense of community between the local surfers. The ESA contests definitely help bring everyone together. It's cool to surf with the same people because over time you see peoples styles develop and there's less hassling in the water. The amount of surfers in Ocean City has grown a lot since I started. The scene is always growing and becoming more of a “scene” especially in the summertime. In the winter it's tight knit and it's all about good waves.
What do you do to pass the time when there's no swell?
I really like to skateboard. I have a mini ramp in my backyard and friends who are always skating. My friend Tron has a sick ramp and is always having skate jams. I try to stay busy doing surf lessons and side jobs too. Sometimes it's fun to just hang out with my girl and some friends and just go out in town. The summertime is a blast in Ocean City.
What are your goals right now when it comes to surfing competitively?
I just want to get better as a surfer. I don't care about proving that I'm the best surfer in a heat. I mean in the moment I want to win and it would be great to get some results but I really want to be known as a well-rounded surfer. I would rather put out a sick video part than win a contest. My goal is to get better and surf better waves so if competing will give me that opportunity, then I want to win more than anything.
What are some of your best results that you're proud of?
I won the Reef pro am contest in Ocean City 3 times and I got 2nd at ESA Easterns two years in a row. I also won the OC Beachfest pro am two years ago. I've just recently started competing again this year and I had a 4th place at the Arnette Cash Pot contest and I've made a couple of semifinals at other events. I'm learning with each contest and I plan on competing a lot more in the future.