Every person 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 here, Spencer Broome here, Anthony Kennedy here, Nick Bramwell here, the Merlo Family here, and Mike Dobbs here.
If you love riding waves or know someone who does, message us via one of our social media channels or reach out via the contact page on our website. It doesn’t matter your skill level or if you are a wake surfer, ocean surfer, paddleboarder, or river surfer. We want to put the spotlight on you!
My name is Kristian Erik Bjerke.
Do you ocean surf, wake surf, river surf, paddle surf? Any or all of the above?
I ocean surf and wake surf.
How did you get into surfing? In Atlanta or somewhere else?
I grew up in Southern California surfing, skating, and snowboarding and started surfing when I was 15. I can still see the first actual wave I caught when I close my eyes, I was hooked! I started wake surfing about two years ago when we moved to the ATL area to be closer to my wife’s family.
Where and how often do you surf?
I live and surf on Lake Lanier and try to get out 3–4 times a week if possible.
What do you do to advance your surfing/what is your favorite thing about surfing?
If I’m not able to get on the water I try to maintain and improve with trampoline training, which I’ve found really helpful.
My favorite thing about ocean surfing is the energy, power, and spontaneity of it. It’s all about making split-second decisions and it’s mentally and physically engaging. My favorite thing about wake surfing is that it’s like a mix of surfing and skating. I love that you can try tricks over and over again until you get them down. Also, the community is awesome and it’s easy to surf with and meet new, cool people.
What are your hopes for the Atlanta surfing community in the future?
I’d like to see the community continue to grow and contests on Lake Lanier, they never seem to come this way.
Any surfers in the Atlanta or Georgia community catch your eye?
Whitley Stewart is probably one of the best in GA in my opinion, one of the few pros we have…I hope to change that one day. Lol.