Eric Geiselman, 14, New Smyrna, FL This Month’s Grades:
Boys Champ, 35th Annual ESA Eastern Surfing Championships Remarks:
His mom, Gina, is a former ESA champion. His dad, Greg, shapes his boards and even won an ASP/East event or two. So why should we even raise our eyebrows at Eric Geiselman’s accomplishment – eight straight heat wins and this year’s ESA Boys title? Because Geiselman took this year’s Easterns with a hardliner’s approach rarely seen in the youth divisions. "I didn’t try an air the whole contest, I don’t think," says the New Smyrna regular. "I sort of got caught up in that for a while, but my dad coached me a lot for this contest and told me just to focus on solid surfing." It paid off. While many of his peers flew out the back on the wedgy, Hatteras A-frames, Geiselman dug in his heels and attacked the long, left walls with maturity well beyond his 14 years. Not that he doesn’t still like to play. Geiselman normally surfs in Gorkinland, home of Aaron Cormican. And if you don’t boost in this springy atmosphere, you’ll probably hear about it. "There’s just so many good sections at our Inlet," says Geiselman, who runs with fellow young New Smyrnans Jesse Dyer, Jeremy Johnston and Devon Tresher. "You can’t really help but push it." The only difference is, Geiselman knows when to listen to his parents. And when it comes to winning contests, he’s already aware that work comes before play. "I have no problem focusing on turns and trying to complete my waves," he said. "It’s actually a lot easier."