Surfing has been littered with landmark progressions and trends throughout it’s history. The introduction of guns, the introduction of fibreglass, the introduction of shortboards, new changes in shapes and fin set ups, more new materials, bigger turns, and now airs! Yes the latest trend in surfing is boosting high and spinning loads. With plenty of young talent exploding onto the global surf scene the verdict on what is possible on a surfboard is being rewritten.
Athletes like Oxbow team rider Matt Meola are really pushing the limits of vertical surfing. Huge airs and indescribable rotations are beginning to be the norm and it is the new blood of surfing that are showing us how it’s done. The old view of slow cruising surfers with big longboards hanging ten is being blown out of the water (very literally) by the ‘new school’ manoeuvres. Needless to say the new moves are taking hours of water time, not that the pros mind, chilling in their sponsored Surf T-shirts!
Another young rider seriously pushing the surfing world into the air is Gabriel Medina. The young brazilian is a youtube sensation thanks to his flawless backflip!!! This shows the level that airs are reaching now in the surfing world. Sure the awesome wave riding and barrels are still part of the skill set, but these new young riders are adding an entirely new element to the surfing experience, above the wave!
As a result of this new approach to surfing, manufacturers are having to design and build new boards and shapes to suit the radical style. Shorter, wider and fatter seems to be the general approach with almost all board makers taking the same route. Flatter rockers in the nose, and more rocker in the tail for sliding backwards out of airs. Unbelievable is a good word to describe some of the moves these new boys are executing.
It’s not just the youngsters that have caught the flying bug however. Kelly Slater, the legend that is, has trained hard and become a master of arial acrobats himself. In the airs department it seems the new surfers are inspiring the old. It’s easy to be inspired and it’s even easier to watch in awe! The general interest in surfing is growing massively and the new arial approach is doing a lot to get more and more people interested in the sport.
So next time you’re out on the water why not use the inspiration and awe and give airs a go? Ride fast and kick hard to boost high, good luck! Happy Surfing!