Every surfer has a story and this is the latest installment of our Surf ATL Community Spotlight series where we will feature surfers and those part of the surf culture in the Atlanta area. Check out our previous spotlights on Thomas Roginsky, Spencer Broome, Anthony Kennedy, Nick Bramwell, the Merlo Family, Mike Dobbs, Kristian Erik Bjerke, Jamie Eichler, Doug Paul, Brandon Spivia, Robert Hanson, and Liam Spoon.
Introduce yourself (Name, bio, etc.)
My name is Eric Ilustrisimo.
Do you ocean surf, wake surf, river surf, paddle surf? Any or all of the above?
I ocean surf, wake surf, and race standup paddle.
How did you get into surfing? In Atlanta or somewhere else?
I grew up in Orange County, California, and started surfing in middle school.
Where and how often do you surf?
I usually get a few surf trips on the East Coast, a trip back to SoCal and if I’m lucky, one to Central America each year. Every few years I’ll get out to our timeshare in Kauai. During the summer I wake surf on Lake Lanier. Most of my water time is spent on the Hooch training on my standup.
What do you do to advance your surfing/what is your favorite thing about surfing?
The biggest thing I do now is eat well and stay in shape so I can maximize the time I have in the water. My favorite thing about surfing is the feeling you get when you ride a wave well — speed, power, and flow! I also love to travel and the friendships I have made along the way.
What are your hopes for the Atlanta surfing community in the future?
I look forward to meeting other surfers in the area, go on trips, and one day be able to surf in a wave pool here in ATL.
Any surfers in the Atlanta or Georgia community who should be spotlighted/catch your eye?
I have a group of friends that I met through the old Atlanta Surf Posse meetup that I go on trips on with — Ray Gideon, Neil Woisard, Dean Gower, Reggie Simpson, Katy Harrison, Suzanne Bailey, Carol Butz, and Mike Yankus. Also my wake surf crew — Tim Muenchen, Ed Frayer, Kristian Bjerke, and Matt Reese.