Eric Taylor: Big Man On Campus

How’s it feel to be going back to National’s?

After the last year I was probably so relieved that it was over because it was just Trestles, Trestles all week, especially when you’re in the Open Men’s Division. It was also coming down to making a choice to make a career out of it the next year. I was really happy that I was done with it, and I never thought I’d be back. But now I’m going back with a different mindset, and different perspective, it definitely feels good. It’s going to be fun.

How’s it feel to have Flagler back on top in the East after the one year hiatus?

I think we were just really fortunate to have a group of guys that are really committed to it this year. I think that the talent’s always been there; it’s just getting that core group of guys that are committed to the team. We had a really good group this year that kept the focus the whole time. Everything worked out.

What are the plans for National’s? Any certain goals you guys are trying to reach?

I mean I know the California schools surf on a whole different level from the schools over here on the east coast. They have surfing classes that you can attend and get credit for. The thing about the College Division is going out there on the weekend and taking a break from school and just having fun with it. I don’t think anyone takes it too seriously. It’ll be fun to go back out there with the team.

What’s the feeling around campus?

The people who surf know about it, but it’s really unfortunate because we don’t get a lot of support from the school. Surfing is one of the main reasons why a lot of kids go to Flagler College because it’s so close to the beach. They support their baseball and basketball teams, and I’ve never been to any of the games, but I’ve heard they’re not that great. They have the East Coast Championship surf team from their school and they don’t even acknowledge it, it’s really kind of sad. Hopefully with us winning at Eastern’s, and hopefully we’ll do well at National’s, maybe for next year they’ll kind of acknowledge it as being a Nationally recognized team. Maybe they’ll decide to help us out some. That’d be nice.

Is there any help from sponsors this year?

We didn’t get any help from the school, but Tory from the Surf Station helped us out a lot this year with paying entry fees. He paid for the whole team’s entry fees to Eastern’s. We definitely couldn’t have got it done if it wasn’t for him.

Pretty ridiculous having to get support from outside of the school.

Yeah. We had to go around to area businesses and ask surf companies and stuff like that and ask for help.

How’s the semester of classes going?

Going good. Right now it’s crunch time, We’ve got two and a half weeks left, so everyone’s scrambling to get in their assignments and pick up those grades before finals. I’m definitely stoked to be out for the summer in three weeks and get to relax and not have to worry about anything for four months.

Any big plans for the summer other than National’s?

I’m gonna go to Bali for a month before National’s, in May and June. I haven’t been there before. I’ve been to Indo on a boat trip, but I’ve never actually stayed on Bali. So I’m looking forward to that.

Taken any good trips lately?

I didn’t really go anywhere over winter break. Just kind of stayed at home and hung out with the family. Last summer I went to Australia for three weeks though with the ESA All-Stars. That was the last big trip I’ve been on.

By Ryan “Dirty Jerz” Brower