Meet the admirable Tarheel, Ty Roach

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Meet Ty Roach, a longboarder with a lot going on outside of surfing.

One of the most accomplished surfers in this year’s Foster’s Belmar Pro is North Carolina’s Ty Roach. The 26-year-old was the 2006, 2007, 2008, East Coast Mens Longboarding Champ and the National Champ in 2009. He added a victory at the 2009 East Coast Surfing Championships.

And in 2009, Roach won the Longboard Pro in Belmar. That was a tough year, as a hybrid hurricane swamped the beach, eliminating an entire day of competition. Consequently, the Longboard and Womens finals were held down the beach without any discernable sandbar. Roach patiently waited for the inconsistent lefts and swung his board in every direction for the win over perennial favorite, Mikey DeTemple. He took third last year in nor’easter conditions.

But in addition to his surfing resume, Roach has an impressive list of accolades from All-American as a high school wrestler to graduating valedictorian from NC State with a triple major in biology, botany, and chemistry. Merely attending college as a pro surfer is an admirable feat, but he finished No. 1 out of 5,820 students, at an institution prided in its science program. He also grappled for NC State.

And just for the hell of it, he got a minor in genetics. The kid also has a Brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. He’s gifted to say the least.

Roach rides for Branded not to Quit, Rip Curl, Anarchy Eyewear, and Action Surfboards. And when you look at his favorite surfers, you see what kind of kid this is. Of course he looks up to Kelly Slater, but he also list his father Bill Roach, East Coast legend Buddy Pelletier and Larry Bertleman among his inspirations.

Roach is soon to be researching the biodiversity of reef-associated microbes while working toward his PhD in molecular biology at San Diego State. In his spare time, he’s working with Branded Not to Quit on a line of his own clothing.

Roach is very excited that this year’s Belmar Pro will feature an ASP-rated Longboard Pro, giving him a chance to compete against some of the best in the world. Here’s a surfer you can certainly look up to this September.