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, Liam Spoon, Eric Ilustrisimo, Susan Bond, and Jason Smith.
I am Garrett Gilfillan. I was born and raised in the north metro Atlanta area.
Do you ocean surf, wake surf, river surf, paddle surf? Any or all of the above?
I have been wake surfing on Lake Lanier for about 5 years.
How did you get into surfing? In Atlanta or somewhere else?
My Dad bought a 2007 Malibu in 2010 and in 2015 we discovered wake surfing by using ballast bags and makeshift surf gates. I bought my first professional-grade wake surfboard in 2019 and upgraded to a new 2021 Malibu Wakesetter last year.
What do you do to advance your surfing?
I surf almost every day on Lake Lanier (about an hour outside of Atlanta). To advance my surfing, I spend hours behind the boat getting up and falling more times than I can count. I try to follow tutorials, talk with the pros, and stay consistent.
What are your hopes for the Atlanta surfing community in the future?
My father and I have been ambitious about starting a wake surfing school business. Essentially we would take people from the Atlanta area out on a day-long tour, showing the life on the water, how to wake surf and more. This was put on hold due to covid and other logistical issues.
I love meeting people and I think wake surfing is an amazing lifestyle to get into if you are like me and don’t enjoy team sports.