Stab Magazine | Craig Anderson talks aerial judging criteria for King Of The Groms
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Craig Anderson talks aerial judging criteria for King Of The Groms

Photos by Bosko | Words by Elliot Struck Quiksilver recently launched King Of The Groms 2015; a search engine to find the world’s best under-18 on a surfboard. Round one is an Instagram play, in which entrants upload single-wave clips to IG with @quiksilver, #kingofthegroms and either #kingoftheair (if it’s above lip), #kingoftherail (if it’s a turn) […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Photos by Bosko | Words by Elliot Struck

Quiksilver recently launched King Of The Groms 2015; a search engine to find the world’s best under-18 on a surfboard. Round one is an Instagram play, in which entrants upload single-wave clips to IG with @quiksilver, #kingofthegroms and either #kingoftheair (if it’s above lip), #kingoftherail (if it’s a turn) or #kingofthecombo (if it’s a multi-move wave). While Dane Reynolds will be picking some favs for #kingoftherail and Jeremy Flores will scoop a team from #kingofthecombo, it’s Craig Anderson who’s keeping a close watch for the best #kingoftheair posts. Despite being best known for his silky style and nonchalant limb placement, Craig has one of the world’s most exciting air games. It should come as no surprise then that he wants to see style, flow and smoothness ruling #kingoftheair. (Get a full breakdown over at King Of The Groms, here)

“On Instagram I’ve been getting tagged in probably five or 10 posts a day with little kids just swinging themselves at sections,” Craig tells Stab. “It’s an amazing platform, I think it’s really well done by Quiksilver. There’s so many kids out there that rip, and now with social media, people can see it – you don’t have to have stickers on your board and get a big surfing website to post your shit. I was stoked that Quik thought of it. It’s only been going for a few days but I’ve been tagged in a couple where kids were really ripping. I’ve been watching all the ones I’ve been tagged in, throwing a little comment out here and there, it’s cool!”

Stab: What makes a good air for groms?
Craig: To me what makes a good air is having good flow. And, good style. I really don’t like when people land and layback, and bounce around in the foam before standing up. Style for me is the most important. But a big part is uniqueness. Look at the way Ozzie Wright approaches an air – he has one of the most amazing, unique styles. But if you compare him to say, John John Florence, who’ll do an air and his arms will stay pretty tucked in, they’re two amazing styles that are both totally different – so having a unique style is a big thing.

What about the technical side? The technical side of an air is about how fast you spin, how big the section is, the grab – all that kind of stuff. You know a good air when you see one. It’s timing, flow, with nothing out of place. When I do the motion, if I feel something is off, and then I watch it back I can tell. Everything needs to be smooth. A hard air that’s made to look easy. Anything that looks like they could do it in their sleep.

How do you rise above the rest? Everyone can do air reverses these days, so you’ve gotta have something unique about it to stand out. I see so many kids hitting sections and doing frontside grab air reverses on tap, but it’s just about having a different approach. I remember that air Dusty (Payne) did in Lost Atlas, where he rotated really slow, landed backwards and spun around. But when he was lofting up, it was just… like a snowboard spin. Just not your average.

What do you wanna see? I want to see anything that’s a bit surprising. Like, Noa (Deane) is doing those really tweaked, boned-out airs, I think those look great. But it’d just be cool to see young kids going for it. Not necessarily huge sections, but seeing a kid throw themselves into a three foot section with good air wind and really going for it would be sick.

Style, flow, tweak. Craig's essential ingredients for #kingoftheair

Style, flow, tweak. Craig’s essential ingredients for #kingoftheair

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