There was a time not so long ago that an upcoming pack of Florida rip kids were the future. They were homeschooling, crushing it in the skatepark, charging the NSSA's, performing in Hawaii, and garnering the attention of the national surf media. But today, not many of them are currently in the ASP's Men's World Ranking top 100.
One surfer who veered just outside the main competitive radar was New Smyrna shredder, Eric Geiselman. A few years ago, Transworld Surf ran a feature called "The Rise of the Geis," touting the kid's inevitable climb to the elite ranking. His father was a Florida legend and a shaper. His brother was the hottest grom in the nation. They would dominate. But while his talent was never questioned and his photo and film work were still solid, fulfillment of these expectations wasn't as sudden.
Then a few weeks ago, Geiselman went to the finals at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Tofino, British Columbia, Canada. It was an unlikely place for a Florida kid to make such a statement, but he made it loud and clear, busting a Kerrupt flip in the semifinals before being edged out in the final by Josh Kerr himself. He'd taken out Mitch Coleborn, Tanner Gudauskas, and Shaun Cansdell that day. He was back in the saddle. Could he be filling that prophecy now? He's currently in the No. 26 slot in the Mens ASP North America. I had a little chat with him about things.
Things seem to be going pretty well at the moment. What else is new with you?
I recently moved to California. I came out a few weeks before I went up to Canada with Cory (Lopez) and Nils Schweitzer. We have a tight little crew. I'm feeling really good. I ended up getting second place up there, which I am very happy with.
Who are you living with?
It's me and my brother. We're in S.C. -- San Clemente, renting a house. I got a bike and racks and I peddle down to Trestles every day.
What did you have going on this summer?
I was in Bali, filming for the "High Five" movie. I'm kind of stoked on that footage. I also did a Mentawais boat trip. I was out here for the U.S. Open. It was a good summer.
You had a pretty famous shark encounter last year in Santa Cruz. Was that in your head a little bit this year? (Geiselman was free surfing during the 2009 O'Neill Cold Water Classic California when what was believed to be a Great White rammed him from below, lifting him from the water and breaking his board.)
(Laughs.) I'd been saying I don't want to surf the beach breaks. I did surf a sharky spot while I was up there. I was trying not to think about it. I was pretty freaked out though.
So will you be making a full run at the ASP PRIME Series this year?
I went out to the Canary Island Ocean & Earth Pro event with Corey. I'm not pressuring myself. I'm going to watch for the Top 100, hopefully get a few more good results and keep the momentum going.
Has Corey Lopez stepped up as a bit of a mentor?
We get along. He's just mellow. We talk about heats. He has a positive energy and he's stoked on seeing me do well.
You had to surf against your brother (Evan Geiselman, No.8 ranked Junior by ASP North America) in the Round of 128 at the Cold Water Classic, Santa Cruz. What was that like?
He was more in rhythm. We kind of worked together. He got a decent wave couple waves and we both made it through.
Growing up you were in different age divisions and since then you haven't really had to surf against him too much.
No. Not really. We always ran little heats against each other our whole lives. That's really only the third time I've surfed against him in a heat. He's just great to watch though. All those little young guys; they're ripping and they're confident. I support him 100 percent.