Eric was with his surf student for a week of private instruction in El Salvador. We crossed paths at a right hand point break, near the border of Guatemala. What struck me about Eric was his easy style with textbook form. His client had an amazing time and appeared to quickly gain confidence throughout the trip. So, I had to find out for myself, who was this surf guru with a surf school in Santa Cruz, CA.
Where did you learn to surf?
I learned when I was 5 or six at Cowell's Beach in Santa Cruz. And my dad took me out there on a longboard that he shaped and pushed me into some waves.
What was your first board?
My dad was shaping longboards. Pretty amateur shaper, but he actually started making okay longboards and it was a green board that he'd shaped. It was like a 9'0". I would say it was kinda my board. That's the board I surfed a lot on.
When did your dad start surfing?
My dad moved to Santa Cruz in the early 80s and started surfing.
What board have you been riding on this trip?
I've been riding a Stretch board that was Wiggolly Dantas's board. 5'10" 2 1/4, thruster.
What'd you do for work?
I'm the founder of a surf school called Santa Cruz Surf Lessons. I'm also interested in working in tech and sales.
What's your favorite part of teaching people to surf?
I love seeing people accomplish a goal they set for themselves. I really like working with someone, figuring out how they learn and giving them the road to get where they want to go.
What's something you learned on the job?
That people put way too much pressure on themselves. The less thinking you do - the better the outcome with surfing.
What's one of your favorite surf days?
Lakey Peak - it was six to eight feet, maybe a little bigger. I was getting double barrels on the right and then went over to Periscopes later, gotta couple, but got worked really hard. I had another day surfing Kirra and Slater and Mick were out. That was back in 2013 when the Quik Pro was in town.
What would you eat for your last meal on earth?
I would eat some salmon, dijon honey-glazed and some homemade bread and really good cheese.
Interview and Photos by Ross Cauvel