Joel Centeio: air pilot

The Hawaiian Air Show will award 250,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles to one surfer who executes the most exceptional single aerial maneuver of the Vans Triple Crown series.

The new surf event has been announced and put up by the Hawaiian Airlines and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Aerials performed across all three events will be eligible for the winner-takes-all prize, starting with the Reef Hawaiian Pro, at Haleiwa, and continuing through the Vans World Cup of Surfing and the Billabong Pipe Masters.

In a fusion of the most dynamic elements of vert ramp skateboarding and surfing, aerial maneuvers have evolved to heights and intricacies previously undreamed of. Today, aerials are no longer seen as an optional component of a pro surfer’s arsenal, but rather a necessity.

The new frontier of aerialists are a young crop of surfers who have forced the established pro’s on tour to push their limits or be overshadowed. They have taken surfing above the lip of the wave, exponentially increasing their scoring potential.

Leading the way are Dane Reynolds (California), John John Florence (Hawaii), Kolohe Andino (California), Julian Wilson (Australia), Josh Kerr (Australia), Brett Simpson (California), Jadson Andre (Brazil) and Alejo Muniz (Brazil) – all of whom will be competing at Haleiwa this week. Perhaps the most experienced of all is Taj Burrow (Australia), who will no doubt continue to log some of the best airs of the 2011 ASP World Tour season when he hits the waves at all three venues of the Vans Triple Crown.

“We expect to see a level of aerial maneuvers unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in Hawaii,” says Marty Thomas, Managing Director of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

“Especially at Haleiwa and Pipeline. Aerials are getting a lot more attention these days and the judges are really scrutinizing how each air is executed: The technique, the degree of difficulty, the landing, style and height.”

While competition for the Reef Hawaiian Pro is yet to begin, organizers are expecting a 3-5-foot WNW swell in the latter part of the period that will offer ideal conditions for the Hawaiian Air Show.