Twisted Matt Meola

Matt Meola. Photo: Erick Reghard/Tungsten

SURFING: Where were you when you pulled that Cork 360?
MATT: I was in Western Australia, on a trip with John John Florence and Albee Layer.

S: Before you paddle out for a session do you plan out what kind of airs you are going to try?
M: A lot of times, before I go out for a session, I'll have a trick in my mind that I really want to do, so I'll look for waves that are good for that trick. But every wave is different, so if the wave wasn't good for the trick I won't try it because it looks really bad when something is forced. You can only do what the wave allows.

S: Do you do any specific training outside of the water?
M: I do a little trampoline practice but I usually just practice in the water. I also go to a gym on Maui, Up Country Fitness, where we work on endurance, core and balance training. It's not really jumping and flipping through the air. They just teach you how to land properly so you don't get injured.

S: What's the best air wave in the world?
M: There's this wave back home, Lanes, and it's one of the better air waves I've ever surfed. It's pretty much my home break. The wind is almost always strong side-onshore and the wave itself is pretty powerful. From the take-off you get a lot of speed and then it has these sections, especially when it's a northeast swell, that bend in at you. Maui is an insane place to do airs because the wind is so good. It's like a skate park.

S: Do you have any tricks that you're working on or trying to accomplish in the next couple months?
M: I was at the X-Games watching skateboarding and I saw this kid do this crazy air-twist thing, and just the other day I got the chance to try it surfing. I didn't know if it was even going to be possible. I kind of did the same rotation but I haven't landed it yet, so that's what I kind of want to work on over the next couple months.

Look for Matt's "crazy air-twist thing" in future issues. Till then, his Cork 360 should keep you satisfied.