Sunday, September 23, 2007

Michael Eppelstun (Eppo)


In 1993 an unknown kid from Port Macquarie, New South Wales pulled off the first double roll ever seen in competition and clinched the Bodyboarding World Title at Pipeline, Hawaii. This was perhaps the biggest win ever in bodyboarding because to win at Pipe that year, ‘Eppo’ had to also defeat the previously unbeaten 8 times World Champion Mike Stewart at his home break! Eppo broke Stewart’s dream run and took the title thus becoming Australia’s first and, so far, only World Champion bodyboarder.
Since then Eppo has consistently competed on the World Tour, always ending the year in the top ten or better. His Reader’s Poll and Peer Poll ratings are unequalled by anyone except for Mike Stewart and Eppo has really earned his worldwide fame by charging hard.
It’s a big task for a young guy with a lovely wife (Krista) and two energetic kids (Bree and Taya) but Eppo is nothing if not up to such challenges. In fact, he’s a handful himself. Known for his larrikin antics on the road, Eppo has driven many a photographer and travelling companion to tears with his merciless teasing and his beloved little tricks! Luckily his heart of gold and his honest smile seem to keep him out of hot water most of the time.
The most well known of Eppo’s abilities is his creative surfing. Very few surfers can say they have invented a new manoeuvre but Eppo has invented and perfected several.
The Double Roll (he’s not done with that one yet!), the Back Flip and the ARS (Air Roll Spin) are all a part of his traffic stopping repertoire. And it’s insane to see him pulling them off in big, slamming waves like Pipeline. Massive, big airs have also been an Eppo trademark for years, sometimes taking their toll on his back but luckily, with a history in gymnastics and plenty of training, he’s still at the top of his form, in good nick and charging.

Fausto Intilla

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