Interview by Shannon Q, Transcribed by Emily Cheng
Surfing phenom Eric Geiselman (24, New Symrna Beach, Florida) took a minute between heats at the Vans Pier Classic 2012, Huntington Beach, to talk to The Surf Channel about his biggest competitors, shark attack survival, the hottest girl in pro surfing, and everything in-between.
The Surf Channel Editor, Shannon Q: How do you like surfing out in Huntington Beach?
Pro surfer, Eric Geiselman: I love it, but lately I’ve had voodoo out here. I hurt my knee yesterday and then previously at the US Open last year, I injured my ankle. I’ve kinda had a weird relationship with Huntington, bu I’ve done well here in the past.
TSC: What does the Vans Pier Classic and the competition do for you, where’s the potential?
Geiselman: For me, I was trying to use it as kind of a heat motivator, because it’s a four star so I’m trying to make heats and do good, ya know and build momentum. It’s kind of a lower ranking on the QS, it goes all the way to six star but I’m stoked to be here and there are fun waves, so I’m stoked.
TSC: Who are your biggest competitors?
Geiselman: All of the guys are surfing good nowadays. Connor Coffin has been looking strong, I don’t know, whoever is pushing you to surf harder is good. Just trying to have fun and make it.
TSC: Can you give us your best pick up line?
Geiselman: My best pick up line…jeeez, I don’t even have a pick up line. I would just smile and say, “Hello, how are you doin? My name is Eric.” (Gig smile. He is lucky, he can just do that.)
TSC: Are you competitive with your brother, Evan?
Geiselman: (Laughs) Are we competitive? Ahhh, hell yeah. We are super competitive – just battles all day long. He is five years younger though.
TSC: Did you teach him everything he knows?
Geiselman: For sure, he learned it all from me! Nah, but he is surfing good and we push each other.
TSC: You guys travel a lot for competitions. Ever like settling down in a certain spot?
Geiselman: Currently, I’ve been out here lately in SoCal. I’m from Florida originally, but I’ve been lovin just kind of basing out of here. I live in San Clemente; there is just more surf in California generally. The surf industry is definitely here, so I’m stoked on it.
TSC: Frequent Lowers much then?
Geiselman: All the time. I’ve got my mountain bike and board rack. I’m always down there just cruisin.
TSC: Hottest surfer babe?
Geiselman: Yeah, it’s funny – all of the surfer girls are cute nowadays. I kinda think Alana Blanchard is taking the field. She is pretty cute.
TSC: Shark encounters?
Geiselman: I’ve been attacked by a shark in Santa Cruz! I was surfing up there for the O’Neill Cold Water Classic and went to this little beach break further north, and I suddenly got bumped by a shark. I just remember that I got sucked down instead of blasted up. It hit me, there was a whirlpool of water, and I got sucked down. It was wild crazy… I came in crying – my board was broken, so it was pretty heavy. Thank God I was ok, though.
TSC: Did you stay out of the water for a while?
Geiselman: No, I had a heat the next day, so it was a weird night. I was in disbelief – I am still in disbelief. Thank God I survived.
TSC: Any maneuvers or tricks to watch for?
Geiselman: Nah, just keeping up with the young guys, doin what I gotta do, haha.
TSC: Who are the double threats?
Geiselman: In my eyes, it’s my little brother, Kolohe, Connor, Luke Davis and then little Jack Robinson from Australia. They’re holdin’ it down.
TSC: Any surfers that inspired you when you were young?
Geiselman: I was full with Andy and Bruce to the max, and also Slater and Curren, which is weird since those guys were dominating before Andy, but I just remember being psyched about those guys, amp’d.
TSC: Do you enjoy other board sports?
Geiselman: Before I surfed, I was a little skate rat. I’m never gonna stop skateboarding. I just do it for fun and I guess it crosses over to surfing. I’ve only been snowboarding two times. It’s the funnest thing in the world; so sick.
TSC: Best possible day scenario?
Geiselman: Home at Lowers, with my friends and all catching waves, keeping it classic.
Follow his surf travels and everyday life @ericgeiselman