Two weeks ago, Eric Geiselman released Lark, a project that had been in the works with talented cinematographer Victor Parkour since last October. Three weeks between Bali and Sumbawa proved enough time to produce a better-than-average surf flick for the duo. Geiselman, who is undoubtedly in the upper echelon of high-flying surf talents, is extremely passionate about the progression of our sport.
We called him while he was at LAX, en route to Nicaragua, to hear more from the talented Floridian about his air game and what waves he seeks out in order to try new maneuvers. Below is Geiselman’s overall advice on how to approach airs-plus five waves he thinks you should visit if you want to improve your technique above the lip.
“There are a lot of different approaches to doing airs, it’s kind of endless,” says Geiselman. “What it comes down to depends on your approach and angle towards the lip, combined with perfect timing. If you’re going to go for a really inverted air, it all starts by coming low and off the bottom of the wave. Tail-whips, inverted airs and flipped or corked-out airs need to come off the bottom too, instead of approaching the lip from the mid-face of the wave.
“For big straight airs, full rotations and alley-oops, it’s more of a mid-faced approach to the lip. You don’t want to start your approach to the lip coming off a really fast bottom-turn because you’ll go out the back.”
Now, here are the waves you should surf if you’re looking to reach new heights:
New Smyrna, Florida: “Being from Florida and growing up surfing beach breaks in general, a lot of times you’re running into closeouts sections and learning through repetition. In New Smyrna Beach, we have a lot of short waves with dumpy and wedgey sections. From a fundamental and developmental standpoint, these types of beachbreaks are great for learning airs. Plus New Smyrna is very consistent, it gets surf year round. It’s a great training ground. Aaron Cormican is from here, and we looked up to him growing up. At one point he was considered one of the best air guys in the world. Overall it’s a great place to get the basics down through repetition.”
Lower Trestles: “The wave is high performance. Christian Fletcher called the left one the best air waves in the world. The pace of the wave and the power is a perfect balance for doing airs. Plus, it’s a pretty pillow-soft landing there. You’re not necessarily going to land on a huge and crazy explosion-those super hard landings that can cause injuries. The lip-line is almost like skateboard coping. The left and right right offer great sections alike. You can find sections out there that offer all types of maneuvers. The key is speed. The faster you go here, the bigger the air you’re going to do. Hit the section as fast as possible.”
Anywhere On North Shore With Tradewinds: “From a backside standpoint, The North Shore offers a great arena to practice backside airs when the trades are blowing into the lefts. That’s where you see a lot of John John’s biggest airs. Just because of the power and the wind factor, you really have to be on your game to land airs over there. Look at John John, or even the kids coming up like Kalani David and Barron Mamiya, all those kind of guys. I feel like their backside air game is a little stronger than other surfers from other regions because of the power and wind mixed with the sections they get. It plays a huge factor. From Gums to Rockies, the North Shore is a huge training ground. The air sections just come at you. I didn’t have a ton of speed on a lot of the airs I’ve felt really good about landing over there, because I was just trying to harness what was coming at me.”
Karamas, Bali: “My favorite wave, should be #1 on this list. Keramas is the best regular foot air wave in the world. It’s shorter, but it’s our version of a Macaronis. It’s got that really tight transition, plus a lot of juice. It’s almost like a big kicker quarter pipe, but the landing level is not as easy as Trestles. It’s more about your approach. In a nutshell, it has everything. You can work on barrels, airs, carves and turns. It has it all. Karamas is a great place to practice your inverted airs and do those airs that start at the bottom turn.”
North Point, Western Australia: I always want to go to West Oz but I’m so freaked out about sharks. I do feel like I could do the biggest air of my life at North Point probably. I’ve only been there four times. That region gets a lot of open ocean swells and heavy wind. The waves’ lips are more raw. There’re like these ribs that stick out of the waves because of all the chop. It’s almost like you do your air prior to even hitting the lip. The whitewash is so fluffy because the wind breaks the wave down so quick, which usually makes the landings easier as opposed to say, France, which is so dense. You just get blown to smithereens out there. You can do full rotations at a lot of waves in West Oz. Jordy did that huge one at North Point a couple years ago that completely freaked me out. Cobblestones is sharky as shit, but guys like John John do backflips off wind chop there. Kinda like how guys in Maui are using the waves and wind together.