From Liberia With Aloha
On the border of Liberia and Sierra Leone exists a hidden epicenter for surfing. Robertsport, Liberia, a previously war-torn beachside village, is now home to a thriving surf community.
The 5th Annual Liberian National Surfing Championships is a huge milestone for not only the young Liberian surfers, but for the country as a whole, which is celebrating 10 years of peace and reconciliation.
Elijah Browne put in the hours practicing this year. It paid off when he claimed first place in the junior division.
Morris Gross gets some love from the boys for advancing to the finals of the junior division.
The trophies were made from wood from the nearby rain forest by local carver Isaac Mitlon.
Morris Gross & Elijah Browne
Morris Gross and Elijah Browne show off their hard-earned hardware.
Ester Teah throws her hands up on this smooth left.
Teah steps up to claim her first-place trophy for winning the women's division.
Alfred Lomax, Liberia's first surfer, celebrates upon hearing that he advanced to the finals of the men's division.
Peter Swen, the only surfer from the capital of Monrovia, throws down a carve on his way to his first-place victory in the men's division.
Last year's junior champion, Adama Browne, was edged out of the winner's circle this year, but is still a fan favorite.
Liberian surf groms enjoying the day's festivities.
Samuel Gellie on an epic little left. Rides like these carried him to a second-place finish in the junior division.
Adama Browne airdrops off a floater with style.
Unfortunately in surf contests points aren't awarded for a great dismount.
The 5th Annual Liberian National Surfing Championships brought approximately 1,500 spectators to the beaches of Robertsport.
Surfing and the business which surrounds it in Liberia represents opportunity. It is new to the West African nation, but the positive changes are already becoming apparent.