Eric Taylor, 18, Vero Beach, FL This Month’s Grades:
Junior Pro Champ, 40th Annual East Coast Surfing Championships Remarks:
One of our Generation XBoxers is already on the move. Eric Taylor, East Coast representative in Surfing’s list of America’s top seven amateurs [October ’02], recently proved that he’s ready to take on the big guns when he won the Junior Pro division of the 40th Annual ECSC at Virginia Beach. Oddly enough, it was a 15-year-old water pistol named Adriano Mineirinho who proved to be the four-time ESA champ’s biggest threat. "I’ve never seen someone that young surf so well," said Taylor of Adriano. After the Brazilian beat ET in the Men’s Round of 32, Taylor took a different tack in the Junior Pro final. "It was a 25-minute final and they counted the top two waves," he said. "So I was super patient. After I got my second good score with about 10 minutes remaining, Adriano needed, like, a seven to beat me. So I went and sat on him ’til the heat ended." A veteran’s tactics at the ripe age of 18? Excellent. Taylor’s metamorphosis to pro world is almost complete.