Two sides of the same coin. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
Over the years surfing’s seen its fair share of siblings. And, even more entertaining, sibling rivalries. Some rivalries have been more mild (the Hobgoods and Malloys) and some, more cutthroat (Bruce and Andy). Regardless of the circumstances, one thing is certain: Brothers close in age push each other in a way non-blood bros can’t. New Smyrna Beach, Florida’s Eric and Evan Geiselman probably fall somewhere in the middle of the aforementioned sibling’s aggression levels, but watching them interact here in Hossegor filming for their co-profile film — the two are definitely competitive AF. At the pong table, out in the water, in line at the café…the rousting doesn’t stop. Which we feel can only help the film. We sat down with the two shortly before a session to find out what to expect in this upcoming project with SURFING. Ironically, when I found Evan to talk, he was psyching himself up to surf footage of his brother. –Beau Flemister
Going into this movie, do you two have any specific vision for how this project’s gonna look?
Evan: My brother, Eric, and I haven’t been on a trip in a long time so that right there is pretty cool to do a project together. As far as a vision, it’s kinda of hard to put this as a priority for me because of all the comps, but we’ll have a month and a half to finish and film when that’s all over, so…I think we’re just having a lot of fun hanging.
Eric: Yeah, the vision’s probably more about us bonding and having fun together and what being brothers looks like. In my head, when I look at surf videos and look at them collectively, I want you to be able to ask, ‘Is this guy the full package?’ So anywhere where we can get that mixed repertoire of everything, and check all the boxes in our surfing. I just want our movie to be like a surf video where you watch it and it fires you up to surf. Period. So the goal is also to get you stoked to surf. I feel like we’re both pretty real and not gonna fake it, so our personalities will just come right out pretty seamlessly
If Eric isn’t eating, surfing, or playing ping pong, he’s got this bad boy in his hands. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
For two brothers in the surf world, you two have pretty different career paths. Evan’s focused on qualifying, Eric’s on the freesurf tip; is that gonna be hard to link up and blend those paths for this project?
Eric: Yeah, both of our schedules are pretty opposite, and in a perfect world, Evan qualifies and is on tour after this movie…but for me, on the freesurf side, you always just want to better your last part or project, so I’d love for both of us to get better quality waves and solid parts. But you can’t stress too hard; you get what you get.
While both of you haven’t had a profile film like this, you have had parts in movies. Evan, you were in Lost Atlas and Dear Suburbia, right? And Eric, you’ve been in Vissla’s vids and had a banger “Factory Part” last year…Does doing something strictly on you two feel a lot different?
Evan: Yeah, I was fortunate enough to have parts in a couple Kai Neville projects, and while Eric’s been able to focus on creating parts and edits in the last year, I personally haven’t, what with being so focused on the comps. So that actually makes it that much cooler for me to work on a part. I haven’t done a trip strictly for footage in a video in a while, so we’re trying to get the best stuff possible. We’re also pretty critical and never satisfied.
Eric: Yeah, what’s really heavy is how Evan couldn’t have even been a part of this because of the Pipeline injury, so I’m just lucky he’s even here and able to do this with me. I thank God for that. It’s cool for me to watch his mindset too. Like, his head’s in the best place it’s ever been, which is cool.
Evan’s resurrection in 2016 has been grossly impressive. Photo: Scotty Hammonds
Speaking of the Pipe thing [Evan nearly drowned to death last winter there] — that’s going to be a part of the movie; recovering and coming back from nearly dying. Approaching those memories, is that hard to talk about?
Evan: I’ve actually had to talk about it quite a bit [laughs] It was probably a lot harder for Eric. For me it was kind of simple, but I can’t imagine having my loved ones watch all that when it happened. There were probably some images you can’t really forget, I’m sure. But I’m really looking forward to Hawaii and going back to Pipe, actually.
As far as being brothers and that theme in the movie, what’s your relationship like? I feel like if it were the Irons brothers, they probably won’t want to share a movie…
Evan: I think all brothers are pretty competitive and so are we, and even watching The Bruce Movie, I remember Andy in his interview saying how he couldn’t believe that Bruce invited him on the boat trip [laughs] That’s pretty funny to me. But yeah, we’re super competitive but this is also our first trip in, like, one and a half years since “The Factory” in Bali where Eric was ripping so hard and got a cover. I just hope we can get good waves because that’s where we can really show what we can do.
Eric: Yeah, we love to battle each other. There’s always that brotherly competition but it’s because we’re always trying to one up the bar. And that fires each other up. I think our personalities really come when we’re rousting each other.
Evan: [laughs] There’s definitely some rousting.
We’ve been surfing, too! Photo: Scotty Hammonds
Oliver Kurtz is over here filming with you right now; is there anyone else you’d like to be a part of the movie?
Evan: We’d love to link up with C.J. Hobgood to be in it, he’s always been a huge influence for us. Someone young like Griffin Colapinto or something would be cool to have in there, too. Maybe Kelly and his wave pool…?
Is that in the cards?
Eric: Let’s keep our fingers crossed [laughs] You never know what you might get with Kelly. Hopefully a reply [laughs].
Leaving France, it’s not uncommon for surfers to relinquish a pound of sand from their shoes.