Eli Hanneman has been a phenom since at least 2013.
I first saw Eli surfing at a below-average day at Salt Creek. Having just launched their ‘block party’ line (ie. the double leg stripes) Hurley had all their juniors in town for the NSSA and US Prime National Championships adorned in neon green, orange, and blue suits. At 10 years old amongst a sea of top talent, why was Eli’s surfing so engaging?
Answer: his size.
For a frame as small as Eli’s, the poise with which he was ripping around on literal one-footers was unbelievable. Blowing tail, throwing airs, you could tell he was something special, a fact he affirmed two years later by dropping this.
Eli has matured quite a lot over the past seven years. Six-figure contracts and lofty expectations of competitive success aside, the kid’s surfing has been getting exponentially better year after year, which he validated by winning the Junior division for our Stab Surfer Of The Year in 2019. When asked about warming up for the Red Bull Airborne in Bali, he caught the attention of one @JohnFlo, who said, “Eli did an alley-oop that was like 10 times bigger than anyone on the air tour. It was gnarly, he just stomped it. He seems to be pretty creative on a wave. He’s putting his own spin on it.”
The video above finds Eli doing what Eli does. Destroying waves around Maui, the North Shore, and Tahiti (with some exceptionally jaw-dropping footage from Honolua Bay). We highly recommend you tap in for five minutes of motivation.
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