The 13th Annual VB Surf Art Expo May 29-31, 2021 is cancelled due to Covid restrictions.

It is with great sadness and disappointment but we have no choice. At this time, the Governor’s Executive Order in the State of Virginia will allow no more than 25 people in attendance on the beach. And the boardwalk is not permitted at all. We are going to miss all our artists and guests this year.

We hope to see you Memorial Day Weekend May 28-30, 2022.


May 29 - 31, 2021


1st - 7th Streets in Va. Beach




Work from 70+ Artists!

Local artist Heather Bautista was our Official Poster Artist for the 2019 VB Surf Art Expo. Heather’s photography has been used by impactful environmental nonprofits like the Back Bay Wildlife Restoration Foundation, the Ocean Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, the US Department of the Interior and now the 2019 commemorative poster for the VB Surf Art Expo.

Limited Edition 2019 posters signed by the artist are still available. If interested in purchasing, please email  The 2020 Official Poster Artist will be announced soon!

Official T-shirts from the 2019 Steel Pier Classic and Surf Art Expo are still available online and at Coastal Edge at 2017 Arctic Ave.

About the Art Festival - Dozens of Artists Along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

The Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo is a surfing competition in conjunction with a surf art show. We get together every Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, the last weekend in May for three glorious days of surfing and surf art on this major holiday that thousands of people enjoy and celebrate the start of summer in Virginia Beach, VA.  Virginia Beach is the largest resort city on the east coast, and is a popular tourist destination on Memorial Day Weekend, which means the weekend generates great crowds for surfing spectators and art sales. The surf spot is affectionately known as The Jetty, and is the best surfing destination in Virginia Beach. Since 2004, the Virginia Longboard Association, an all volunteer organization, has produced the Steel Pier Classic, a professional and amateur surf contest with over 400 competitors. The name of the contest is derived from the Virginia Beach Steel Pier, which was located at the Va. Beach Oceanfront at First Street, circa the 1960’s.  Historical references indicate that the roots of East Coast surfing were born at our very own Steel Pier. This was the surfing hot spot of the early 1960’s, where many learned to surf here, watching the “cool guys” who were the best surfers at the time.  The Steel Pier was torn down in the 1970’s due to damage from the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm. The pier eventually was beyond repair.  To this day it is still the gathering spot for surfers at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. For this reason the Virginia Longboard Federation pays homage to this beloved surf spot with the annual surfing contest. It is the largest longboard surfing event on the East Coast.  However, it is not only longboarding; it is comprised of a variety of events—nose riding, retro surfboarding, tandem, shortboarding, stand up paddleboard (SUP), and Pro/Am surfing divisions.  All of the events encompass the soul of surfing and the heart of the Virginia Beach surfing community.  It allows different generations of surfers to come together.

Jodie Woodward, a longtime local resident of Virginia Beach, event organizer, and sponsorship professional founded the VB Surf Art Expo.  She’s was recruited as a sponsorship sales professional for the Steel Pier Classic in 2006. As time went by, she got involved more in the role of a marketing consultant to offer her expertise to help grow the event. In 2008, Jodie came up with the idea of the VB Surf Art Expo, thinking it would be a nice compliment the surfing competition. This endeavor successfully another dimension the event. To this day, over 70 professional artists exhibit on the boardwalk in addition to the surfing competition.  Our purpose is to offer a professional surf art show that compliments the surfing contest – unlike any other art show in the region with the attraction of the surfing culture – a love of Mother Ocean. It’s a beautiful show in a relaxed setting that embraces the beach lifestyle.We have returning artists every year who are local favorites, and regional artists from Florida to Maine in addition to Ohio and Pennsylvania. The artwork is all about the ocean, water life, sea life, nautical, and tropical themes from all mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, glass, fiber, mixed media, and wood. For more information on how to apply as an artist, click here.

The Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo has evolved over the years as a top surfing event and unique surf art show with great sales for artists who return year after year. Our purpose is to promote the art of surfing through the sport and also as an art form.  The culture of surfing and the wonder of the ocean have stimulated surfers and surf artists for many years to be their best at what they do. The Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo embraces the art of surfing in every form, whether it’s observing the sport of surfing, or featuring surf artists along the Va. Beach Boardwalk.

The Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo is the place to be Memorial Day Weekend in Va. Beach!  Come join us for some great surf art and wave riding bliss!

Watch our Video!

Event FAQS - Find Answers to Your Questions!

Always held on Memorial Day Weekend, the last full weekend in May from 10am-6pm.
We have been maxed out at 70 artists the last several years. However new for 2018 we were granted an additional block so we expect 80+ artists this year.
No, the entire event is free and open to the public.
Artists exhibit on the boardwalk on 3rd, 4th, 5th, and new for 2018 we will have artists exhibiting through 6th Street up to the popular restaurant Mahi Mahs on the boardwalk.
Due to the tourism area we are in, there is no free parking. Parking fees average $10.00 at the municipal lots.  Private lots may be more.  Municipal lots are located at 2nd, and 4th Streets.  In addition to the 9th Street Garage which is a quick walk on the boardwalk. For more information on resort parking go here:

Artist Info - Relevant Information for Interested Artists

Dear Artist:

Greetings from Virginia Beach!  Thank you for your interest in the Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo!

This is a very unique event produced by an avid surf art enthusiast! Since 2008, it has been my passion to create an art show that is different from any other. Unfortunately, the 2020 show was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. It is our intention to move forward with the event this year. As long as the City of Virginia Beach grants us our permit, in addition to the State of Virginia having workable crowd distancing guidelines that makes sense for you to make money, we will have the event. We will know more soon, hopefully from the City of Va. Beach.

For the new artists who have not done this show before, here’s some background history of the event:

The VB Surf Art Expo takes place on Memorial Day Weekend at the largest resort city on the east coast. The City of Virginia Beach prides itself on Memorial Day Weekend as the Official start of the Summer Season. On this weekend, the Oceanfront comes alive with its sparkling beaches, busy boardwalk, outdoor cafes, award winning restaurants, fashionable boutiques, popular nightlife, and family entertainment. This is why we chose this weekend to have the VB Surf Art Expo. Tourists stumble upon the VB Surf Art Expo while walking on the boardwalk. They are pleasantly surprised with the beautiful surf art and become happy buyers. There is also a strong attendance of local Virginia Beach families that live in the surrounding neighborhoods who embrace the beach lifestyle and support this event with annual purchases. The locals have supported this event from the beginning. We feel this is a target potential customer for you, as the locals cover their walls, patios, porches, and decks with surf art. The tourists are so impressed with this showcase of surf art, and want a memory of their vacation to take home. And don’t be surprised if a hotel owner stops by and buys your entire collection for the lobby of their hotel! This has actually happened! Numerous artists are delighted with commission work they have received by participating at this show. We have high rate of returning artists each year – so we must be doing something right!

If you create any type of art from any medium that has a relationship with surfing, the ocean, sea life, water scenes, shells, coral, dolphins, fish, nautical, etc. please apply.  We hope that the VB Surf Art Expo will be something special for you every year, and something different from any other art show you do.  Please spread the word and tell your friends and fellow artists about the VB Surf Art Expo in sunny Virginia Beach, VA —- the largest resort city on the East Coast! Come join us Memorial Day Weekend at the beach!

Jodie Woodward
Show Director and Founder

Download Artist Application and Register Today!

Artist Testimonials - People are talking!

Event Sponsors - Don't forget to check out our wonderful event sponsors!

Become a sponsor

Hotel Information- Please visit our participating hotel partners!

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Mary Barnes, Director of Sales


Schooner Inn

Click here to Book!  Book by May 1, 2020

Discount Booking Code: STLPR20

Reservations: 1-800-283-SAND (7263)


Ramada Plaza by Wyndham

Amy Overstreet, Director of Sales

757-531-7681 (direct)

In The News - Check Out the Press that We Are Receiving!

VB Surf Art Expo Announces Response to Coronavirus ~ COVID-19
Press Release April 2, 2020

The Steel Pier Classic and Surf Art Expo on the Hampton Roads Show.
TV Appearance May 17, 2019

The 2019 Steel Pier Classic and Surf Art Expo announces local artist’s work for show’s commemorative poster
Press Release May 9, 2019

This Memorial Day Weekend at the Va. Beach Oceanfront. Steel Pier Classic and Surf Art Expo May 25 – 27, 2019 Celebrating Surf, Art and Community. Schedule of Events.
Press Release May 4, 2019

2018 Steel Pier Classic and Surf Art Expo.  This Memorial Day Weekend at the Oceanfront Celebrating Surf, art and Community
Press Release May 7, 2018

The 2017 Steel Pier Classic and Surf Art Expo Announces Local Artist’s work for this year’s commemorative poster.
Press Release April 25, 2017

Billabong presents the 2016 Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo
Press Release April 28, 2016

Billabong Presents the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo: Family-oriented event kicks off the summer surfing season in Virginia Beach
Press Release April 16, 2015

Billabong Presents the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo
Press Release May 12, 2014

Billabong Presents the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo 10th Annual Event Supports VA Gentlemen Foundation
Press Release April 11, 2013

Sanction Changes to Steel Pier Classic
Press Release, April 19, 2012

Steel Pier Classic now ASP Sanctioned
Press Release March 19, 2012

Steel Pier Classic Presented by Coastal Edge Gets Set to Get Wet
Press Release, May 20, 2011

Steel Pier Classic Welcomes Coastal Edge as Presenting Sponsor
Press Release April 27, 2011

Visions of a Steel Pier in Virginia Beach:  Surf Expo calendar pays visual homage to historic Steel Pier 
Article from The Virginian Pilot January 2, 2011

Media Advisory
Press Release May 18, 2010

Steel Pier Classic Welcomes Masters of Both Surfing and Art
Press Release May 26, 2010

Beach Surfing Event Memorial Day Weekend
Press Release May 8, 2009

Beach Surfing Event Adds Surf Art Expo
Press Release April 10, 2008

Contact Us - Have Questions? We've got answers!

For more information on the Steel Pier Classic & Surf Art Expo:

For Surf Contest:

Mary Knight

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