Eric Akiskalian / Experience

SURFING AND TRAINING BACKGROUND:  

Today at 57, Eric Akiskalian has become one of the most respected big wave tow-in surfers, promoters, ocean safety and international logistics specialists in the industry. Eric grew up surfing in Santa Barbara, CA and has been a local fixture at Rincon Point ‘The Queen of The Coast’ since 1975. Eric also continues to push his personal limits and goals of chasing big swells around the world, all while promoting the sport he loves. Eric currently owns and manages Towsurfer.com which is a website he founded in 1998 to promote the sport of big wave surfing, the athletes, contests, news, interviews and swell forecasts. There is also an online store offering safety components to outfit all PWC’s and a wide range of tow-in equipment. Eric is now offering a list of professional services from PWC training, ocean safety/education, water safety, tow-in training, travel surf guide, commentary to international logistics for television/film/event/sports productions.

OCEAN SAFETY, PWC TRAINING, CERTIFICATIONS, PROJECTS:

Danilo Couto / Peter Conroy – B.W.R.A.G. Big Wave Risk Assessment Group Training – Nazare, Portugal World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Event – Water Safety – Lincoln City, Oregon
Red Chargers Film Project – Water Safety and Shuttle – Nazare, Portugal
Ironman of Surfing – Ocean Safety and Water Patrol
U.S. Coast Guard – Ocean Search and Rescue Training
Ocean Safety Educational Course University of Hawaii State License
Archie Kalepa – Ocean Safety Rescue and PWC Technician Course Maui, HI
Brian Keaulana – Risk Management Course System and Incident Command
Shawn Alladio – K-38 Ocean Rescue and PWC Operation
Certified in CPR & First Aid
PWC Operation and Experience in Lakes and Rivers since 1980
PWC Operation and Experience in Large Surf Conditions since 2000
Vessel Safety Check- U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Eric’s training program emphasizes extensive physical and mental training, healthy diet, drug, and alcohol-free lifestyle, along with maintaining constant respect for the ocean and making safety the number one priority. His expertise and level of safety knowledge comes from his years of surfing and training in locations like Mavericks, CA – Jaws, HI – Teahupo’o, Tahiti – Shark Park, CA – Cortes Banks, CA – Todos Santos, Mexico – Puerto Escondido, Mexico – Nelscott Reef and South Reef, OR – Puente De Lobos, Chile – Ghost Trees, CA – Outer Reefs, North Shore, HI – Cloudbreak Fiji, – Nazare, Portugal and other global locations.

BIG WAVE AWARDS:

2017 WSL XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2016 WSL XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2015 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2014 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2013 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2012 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2011 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Finalist
2010 Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Entry
2009 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2008 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2007 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry
2006 Billabong XXL Worst Wipe Out of the Year Finalist
2006 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Photo Finalist/Winner
2005 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave / Monster Tube Entry
2004 Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Entry

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE:    

Sales, marketing, advertising, business management, sponsorship acquisitions, social media marketing, water safety, international logistics coordinator, commentary, and host.

QUALIFICATIONS SUMMARY:

25 years experience in marketing, sales, advertising, media, event planning, sponsorship acquisitions for-profit and non-profit organizations, commentary and television host personality
• 25 years experience in cable media/video/film productions
• 17 years experience in PWC ocean safety/support and international logistics
• 17 years experience in online product sales, advertising, and news editorial
• 15 years experience in the real estate market as owner, landlord and new residential construction/remodel/fixer projects
• 8 years experience in social media marketing, FB, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Instagram and SnapChat

EDUCATION:

Santa Barbara City College 1983
Santa Barbara, High School 1978

WORK EXPERIENCE:

* Go Big Project Film Company: 2012 to Current

International Logistics Coordinator and Water Safety Crew
Maverick Moments Reality Show – Outside Television

Extreme Crossings Reality Show – Insight Television airing 2017

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* ‘RED CHARGERS’ Nazare, Portugal Big Wave Film Project:

Garrett McNamara and The Go Big Project – 2015-2016

* ‘Big -Wave Addicts Reality Show’: September 2010-2014

Executive Producer/Director/Talent – Documenting big-wave surf adventures in the Pacific Northwest.

YouTube-Vimeo-EpicTV

* Owner Towsurfer.com: March 1998 to Current:

Online sales, services, advertising, website content, ocean education, water safety, event promotions and social media marketing.

* Founder/President ‘Association of Professional Towsurfers’ (APT): 2003-2012

A. This Corporation was a non-profit mutual benefit corporation organized under the Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation Law. The purpose of this corporation was to engage in any lawful act or activity for which a corporation may be organized under such law.
B. The specific purpose of this corporation was to promote and encourage the responsible growth and development of professional tow-in surfing; to encourage safety, in connection therewith; to develop and to sanction events, including championships; and to improve business conditions in connection with the foregoing; all for the benefit of professional competitor members, and other members of the Corporation, and promoters and sponsors of sanctioned tow-in surfing events.

* Founder / President “Whenever You’re Ready,” Inc. (WYR): 1988-1996

 A. This Corporation was a non-profit mutual benefit corporation organized under the Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation Law. The purpose of this corporation was to engage in any lawful act or activity for which a corporation may be organized under such law.
B. The specific purpose of this corporation was to offer support and encourage youths and young adults who were dealing with drug and alcohol issues. WYR offered support groups, supported local fundraising efforts for like-minded organizations and created a speakers bureau with recovery addicts and alcoholics. The speaker’s bureau spent eight years speaking to kids throughout the local school system and colleges. Eric, later on, went to speak to schools throughout the country while sharing his positive and inspiring message and story on being dry free.

*  ‘Blade Across America’ / Fund Raiser 1993-1994 

Logistics Manager / Media / Sponsors / Motivational Speaking

*  American Entertainment Television Group: 1989-1998

Cox Cable, Los Angeles – EXTRA NBC, Century Cable – Producer / Director / TV Host

* Owner Akiskalian Productions: 1987-2006

Special events and fund-raisers / Producer / Director / TV Host
New and used car tent sales / Organizer and Manager
Cable Television Entertainment Show, “What’s Up?” / Producer / Director /Host

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“Eric Akiskalian ‘AKA’ TOWSURFER, what a solid guy, always ready, always organized and forever CHARGING forward!!! I have known Eric of Towsurfer.com for over 15 years and I have traveled to many global big wave destinations with him as well. Over the years, he has demonstrated his dedication, expertise, time and passion to promoting our sport and keeping surfers safe with assisting in water safety and rescue. As of recent, I have personally had him work with me in Nazare, Portugal and Mavericks, CA for water safety, assist and rescue for our crew. I trust his abilities and level of experience with my life in any situation that he is willing to put himself in. He’s very calculated and confident, but he also knows that mistakes and bad situations will happen to the best. He’s mentally and physically prepared for the worst case scenarios. He’s a great friend with a big heart and very easy to work with. Let’s go!!!” Garrett McNamara / Current Guinness World Record Holder for Biggest Wave Surfed Nazare, Portugal / HI-USA

“I’ve known Eric Akiskalian for over a decade now and his dedication to Tow Surfing and PWC Water Safety is 2nd to none. I have used Eric and his services on many occasions chasing swells around the world. I trust him to come and get me when my life is on the line. I know he is constantly keeping his skills fine tuned and doing all the updated courses so he is on his game. Thank you, Eric, for keeping me safe over the years and looking forward to many more sessions to come. Cheers”. – Jamie Mitchell / Professional Big Wave Surfer / AUS

“I’ve worked with Eric Akiskalian throughout the world, on a number occasions, and in very heavy water situations, both paddling and towing. His knowledge and experience on water safety and driving the ski puts him at the top with the best. He’s definitely one of the few I could rely on when the situation gets gnarly in and out of the water.” – Andrew ‘Cotty’ Cotton / Professional Big Wave Surfer / UK

“Eric Akiskalian is one of those guys that’s a team player, always looking out for other people before himself. Very experienced with water safety and especially when the shit hits the fan. I trust my life with him and we need more safety guys like him in the lineup. Eric always has good vibes, very positive energy and we kind of need that around when you’re dealing with giant days like the swells we’re chasing.” – Will Skudin / Professional Big Wave Surfer / NY-USA 

“The more you can learn from trained professionals, the safer our oceans will be. It was great to have Eric Akiskalian in our training program and share his expertise and knowledge” Archie Kalepa / Ocean and Safety Water Patrol / County of Maui, HI

“I met Eric Akiskalian soon after I became interested in shooting big wave surfing nearly 10 years ago.  As a regular fixture in the water at Nelscott Reef, Eric tackles some of the biggest conditions the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Getting out to Nelscott Reef is a challenging affair and takes focus, skill, and knowledge.  Eric is one of the few people I trust to get me and my equipment out in The Zone quickly and safely.  In 2010, I was lucky enough to be able to capture his Biggest Wave of the Year nomination for the XXL Big Wave Awards.  In addition to Nelscott, I have been fortunate to have him drive me at some of the best big wave spots including Mavericks and Teahupo’o. It takes a team to take on big waves as well as document them. It is nice to know Eric is out there and on your team, especially when the swell and conditions are unpredictable.” – Richard Hallman / Freelance Imaging / Bend, OR

When I come to Oregon or California, it’s always good to know that Eric Akiskalian is available helping to coordinate safety and logistics for the swells. Eric is a dedicated waterman that has the global experience, passion, and dedication needed for success in big surf. He’s a good guy, with a great attitude and worth having in your corner on those special days of waves.” – Trevor Sven Carlson / Professional Big Wave Surfer /Oahu, HI

“Eric Akiskalian’s commitment and dedication to the sport has made him one of the most respected surfers, promoters, and leaders of our time.”– Brent Brent Norris ED / Green Collar Technologies / University of Hawaii at Hilo Innovation Center

Industry Letters of Support and Recommendations:

PJ Lungren

Adam Wagner

Scott Eggers

Rodney Kilborne

Glen Gremillion


For more information, contact:

Eric Akiskalian / Owner
Info@towsurfer.com
(805) 443-2045