Matt Meola first appeared on surfing’s main stage with an out-of-nowhere part in 2011 for Taylor Steele’s Innersection project — which he went on to win, pocketing a wild $100,00.00. That, coupled with a few incredible images by photographer Tom Carey, Matt freaked out a lot of his peers and the surf industry.
He possessed it all. Amplitude. Technicality. Consistency. Creativity. And he showcased it all out of nowhere.
Cut to 2014: Not only has Matt continued to progress his extensive air game, he’s added the unlikely component to his overall act with a serious big wave prowess, becoming a staple out at Jaws. He also quietly continues to push the bar with his air game alongside local pal and 720 stomper Albee Layer. And he’s done most of this progressing in his own backyard, running around like a hunting surfing cowboy aerial gentleman. We joined Matt and his family for a weekend of surfing, fishing, hunting and found nothing but hospitality and friendliness on the valley isle. And a ridiculously good surfer, who, bafflingly enough is unsponsored. (Update: Matt has since joined Mark Healey and Raph Bruihwiler on Luke Egan’s new brand Depactus).
A big thank you to Nancy and Lily Meola for their hospitality, Jeff Kahl for the rad hunting experience and Elliot Leboe for additional filming.