In the ever-evolving world of water sports, professional athletes often seek new challenges and avenues for their talents. Eric Geiselman, renowned for his prowess in surfing, has emerged as a prominent figure in the realm of hydro foiling.
Eric has become a familiar name on the Foilhub feed, captivating the audience with his foray into hydro foiling. Geiselman stands out as one of the few professional surfers who have embraced foiling with utmost seriousness and dedication.
Foilhub reached out to Eric to see if he would be interested to share more about his journey transitioning into the world of hydro foiling and his views on the sport.
Can you share your experience transitioning into foiling from surfing? What sparked your interest in foiling?
I started prone foiling end of 2017 then fell off for years. My pops (surfboard shaper) was going to team up with Cloud9 foil brand making foil boards. He’s a big kite-board enthusiast. Unfortunately he didn’t take to it trying to prone. I ended up grabbing his gear and that’s how it all started - prone foiling into waves getting smoked. It took about 3 days to get it in the surf and then I was dialed.
Finding sponsors in the surfing world can be competitive. How did you approach finding sponsorship support for foiling?
I’m still currently making my living surfing full time so this has been a great parallel that goes hand in hand to surfing and water culture lifestyle for me. This year I re-signed with Unifoil and I’m completely honored. I love the brand and everyone involved there.
It’s all been a fun process. Foiling is my outlet from surfing so I love the balance. It’s great to have backing to help take my journey with foiling into new and bigger territory. I also love the direction of Unifoil and the riders behind it. Very surf minded and I like that.
Could you describe the setup you use for foiling? Who are your main sponsors currently?
I ride the Unifoil Progression 125 (daily driver) x 4'2" board.
- Monster Energy
- Gorilla grip
- Softech surfboards
- Orion Surfboards
What specific features or characteristics do you look for in hydrofoil equipment, such as boards and foils? How do these choices impact your riding style?
I look for most surf able/efficient setup for prone. In my area (Unifoil). I also like the stuff that doesn’t look like Power Ranger gear. Everything to me in foiling looks super loud and not much sense of style or appeals. Not digging at anyone but yes I’d love to see more appeal in design.
How does foiling complement your surfing and vice versa? Are there specific aspects of foiling that you find particularly enjoyable compared to surfing?
Foiling is an extension of surf, skate, snow feels. They all have similar approach. Knowing how to tune your gear will help with that.
As someone known for their expertise in surfing, how have your peers reacted to your transition into foiling? Has there been any curiosity among your surfer friend group?
Surfers hate foiling and it’s going to be hard to change that spectrum from what I see and hear on the regular. Guys are not stoked watching you pump through the line ups and I agree. I think we should do our part and be away from popular surf breaks or at least comfortably to the side.
In what ways do you think foiling could influence the future of surfing?
I believe it should have some influence but also should stay in its own lane of wave riding and progression. Sure take surf approach flow into consideration for prone style and wave riding. It’s like surfing in the 60s right now for foiling. Wild to think the gear is still dialing in and getting better everyday. The future is wide open!
What advice would you give to aspiring foilers who are looking to improve their skills and potentially transition from surfing?
Stick with it and learn about proper setups and placements for your foil. Stay out of populated surf line ups.
Are there any notable differences in the physical demands or techniques required for foiling compared to surfing? How have you adapted your training regimen to accommodate these differences?
Yes, different weighting points when learning but then it all come back to surf feels for me. Stamina is big increase for me on the foil. I’ve lost over 10lbs so far. Board time on foil might have overtaken all my years of surfboard ride time as well.
Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations within the world of hydrofoiling? Are there any particular challenges or achievements you hope to pursue in the near future?
I want to push myself with the journey and all disciplines of foiling. I also want to have a positive voice to keep the sport growing while maintaining an unspoken foilers code of knowing proper etiquette in the surf line ups between foiling and surfing. I don’t ever want to see us get banned or rules set in the future. Foiling is here to stay and I will be “loyal to the foil” lol.
Thanks to @carolsearsphotography for supplying us with the cover shot
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