The New York Times Says: Aerial Surfing Is the Future

| posted on March 12, 2010
Pat Gudauskas pulls the first recorded rodeo flip in ASP competition. Photo: Ahmed

Pat Gudauskas pulls the first recorded rodeo flip in ASP competition. Photo: Ahmed

Checking out the latest in world news today, I stumbled across this video on an homage to progressive, aerial surfing that claims the current criteria for judging the sport is antiquated. Aside from now-stock airs from Modern Collective/Stranger Than Fiction/etc…, the video also features Pat Gudauskas and vintage Christian Fletcher flipping the camera the bird. Fletcher went on to say, “They wanted an asshole, and I gave them the best one I possibly could.” Clearly not your everyday New York Times fodder. It was pretty amazing stuff, and also dead-on when it comes to addressing the changing climate of professional surfing. Take a look here. – Zach Weisberg

  • e

    Christian wasn’t shunned (causing him to not be published, loose sponsorships, and spiral into drug use) for doing airs. The problem was that his style was so ugly on the beginning of the wave that it didn’t matter how impressive the eventual air was.

    Ozzie Wright had/has the same problem; Joe Primo likewise.

    Rewatch the video. Ugly, stinkbugging, open mouth style vaulted over any air attempt.

  • James

    …the ASP has been out of date for 20 years. It has a vested interest in ridiculously boring and anti-progressive judging format. Its main interest is promoting old school surfing to keep the status quo happy and the bank account full. The door on innovation was shut long ago. Old schoolers see the new aerial antics as a threat to their icon status. Its time to leave the beach guys, your days have passed. Tricks are the new life blood of surfing. In the future, surfers will be spending more time above the waves than on them. Let the aerial games begin and forever shut the door on power bottom turns and vertical lip hacks.

  • RH

    Yeah, that’s it. Penalize Dane and Jordy for flying off the bottom into airs and making them look good. Bring back Christian’s trim-hops. It’s a conspiracy against the weak! Down with the powerful! Let’s make it so regular Californians (rebels without a clue) can succeed, already.

  • charliep

    christian fletcher’s style was misunderstood too. soon everyone will have a style just like his.

  • anon

    Maybe 99% of the people at these contests could not pull of any air maneuvers. I don’t think its a conspiracy. Still, if these new young bloods can consistently pull of the moves then the more score power to them. Maybe todays equipment is better too.

  • Steven

    Like you surf any better e? What a hater. CF may not have the best style but he went bigger, did more different styles of airs and didn’t do weak rail grabs. Pat Gudausaks at the forefront? Please. What a joke.

  • jojo

    what about matt meola?
    matt meola?!!
    how the hell did he get in there?

  • Sand Sock Girl

    This is pretty amazing huh! Looks like we’ll gonna be having a very promising future in the field of surfing eh. Good job Pat Gudauskas.

  • Bill


    go have a look at Matt’s other edit, pretty obvious why he’s mentioned.

  • jojo


    are you his dad or his shaper?
    i’m just joking.
    i don’t care how you know him.

    i was just a bit surprised to see his name mentioned.

    you’re right, though, the kid’s surfing is futuristic and fun to watch.

    it’s just that he surfs like an anorexic from the future.

    maybe when he gains a little weight,
    his turns and airs will come to resemble those of a man.

    until then, run a google search of the following names to whet your appetite:

    not in the same league!

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  • Lover Boy


  • Dating

    Thanks great stuff as always