Reef Heazlewood Wants To Teach You How To Do Airs
Go big and bend ze knees!
Noa Deane mentioned in passing recently that Reef Heazlewood was a deadset loony in the air who tries to stick absolutely everything.
Props from king of the aerial underground don’t come easy, so we thought it apt to touch base with Reef and see what he’s been up to. The god-fearing young Sunshine Coaster has visions beyond the next big section, and he’s been busy making hay whilst the COVID sun wanes, passing on his aerial skills to younger generations and priming for when the world re-opens.
“The idea for the air camp came from just having been dropped (by Billabong) and doing those two viral airs in Hawaii,” Reef tells us. “I was looking at things that might make new sponsors interested and also get a little cash for the QS.”
Whilst his venture is geared towards teaching groms how to soar, Reef admits that his personal ascent to the air was a journey he took solo.
“I was just watching the CT and movies back in the day, and that got me psyched to try them,” Reef says. “I started going for airs on every wave for the next couple years in between the grom contests, and started to land my airs when I was around 17, Before then I had a bad landing ratio.”
Being goofy, Reef’s hit list of inspirational fly boys is as you’d expect (R Cal, Craig, Chippa, Italo), but he also throws Filipe and John in there too. And, when it comes to progression, he states that the biggest mistake anyone makes when trying to emulate their heroes, is trying to run before perfecting walking.
“So many people get sucked into going for spins straight away and they don’t put much focus into getting much height, which I think should be a big priority,” he says. “Once you’ve got height, you’ve got that much more time in the air to spin.” And his number one piece of advice re-iterates that pop is the first things the budding aerialist must obtain.
“Go big!” Reef says. “I wouldn’t be doing the airs I do today if it wasn’t for all those years of blowing good sections going big and falling.”
Reef tells us that he hasn’t added to his show reel recently due to recovering from shoulder surgery (despite some electric surfing in the clip up top), but he’s easing back into it, eyeing up flips and a hefty spin as his next conquest.
“After watching some of the boys in the air camp going for flips, I’ve started trying them and gotten close to a couple,” he says. “I’m also hoping to get some sections to try for a no hands 540.”
But what about safety, does coach (as reported by a man who knows how to get high and land in the flats) have distain for his hinges?
“I definitely land in the flats a bit and I’m always tensing, ready for something to snap,” Reef says. “But landing in the flats is the most critical so I just try to be ready to absorb all the impact. Definitely my biggest fear is landing and having a leg shatter. But I’ve done heaps of leg strength work and so I feel like that’s helped a lot with preventing any knee, ankle injuries.”
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