Matt Meola just keeps pulling money outta the sky. After winning Innersection’s $100k, he cashed the first two Surfline “Punt of the Month” checks (and was people’s choice for #3, but Surfline judges gave it to Mr. Slater) and now he’s on his way to the Mentawais for the Kustom Airstrike Challenge, where the world’s six hottest aerialists (Dion, Chippa, Albee, Callinan and One-John) will spend two weeks in the Mentawais competing for a $50,000 best air prize.
How’s this contest gonna work, anyway? Who’s judging and stuff?
I have no idea. I just know I go surf in the Mentawais for two weeks and whoever does the best air is gonna win $50k.
Fair enough? Think the vibe on the boat is gonna be competitive?
I think it’s gonna be mellow. Most of us are already friends, anyway. But we’re all looking for a certain type of wave, so it should be interesting. Not your typical Mentawai trip, for sure.
Do you have a secret weapon in your bag of aerial tricks?
I’m sure everyone has something up their sleeve they’re hoping to pull, but it’s gonna depend on the waves and the wind.
But what’s your dream air?
I’d like to land another good Hippy Flip (frontside back roll with a kerrupt grab), like I did for the Punt of the Month. Maybe get a bit higher on this one. But we’ll see. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m gonna do until I do it.
What about your friend, Albee – what’s his secret weapon?
Albee’s been dreaming about over-rotating an alley-oop, so he lands past where he’s supposed to then continues the rotation out of it. That would be sick.
If you weren’t in the running, who would you put your money on to pull the best air?
John John. I think he’s the best surfer in the world right now.
What’s his secret weapon?
Being really good. Never falling. I did a trip with him recently and he started asking me about backflips. Next session out he tries one and lands it first attempt. I was like, slow down, buddy.
You just got a sneak peak of your section in Here & Now – what’d you think?
That was sick. I thought I was gonna be embarrassed because we got pretty small waves that day, but it actually came out rad. It’s cool how the movie shows even the guys who got bad waves. It’s more about how surfing really is. We don’t all get perfect waves all the time, unless you’re heading the Mentawais.
Well, I hope it’s onshore for you. —Nathan Myers