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Jan-11-2012 12:39printcomments

Eric Akiskalian awarded 'Journalist of the Year' by Surfers Village

Salem-News resident big wave rider and writer honored for journalism.

Eric Akiskalian photo of Marcio Freire
Marcio Freire photo courtesy: Eric Akiskalian

(VENTURA) - Eric Akiskalian has made a name for himself over the past two decades as a dedicated big-wave surfer, promoter, photographer, the owner of, Founder of the Association of Professional Towsurfers, 2X Billabong XXL Global Big-Wave Award Nominee, Producer of Big-Wave Addicts, and now an award winning journalist.

Akiskalian recently received the high honors and recognition as the Journalist of the Year for his interview with big-wave surfer, Marcio Freire from Maui, Hawaii. The Award was given by the globally acclaimed and recognized surfing website,

Freire has been building a name for himself as one of the first and leading big-wave riders that has been paddling into Pe'ahi, AKA JAWS, on Maui for the past 6 years. Pe'ahi, best known for it's tow-in surfing and windsurfing due to its size, force of winds and magnitude of the waves is now being recognized for the paddle-in's that the elite big-wave surfers are performing.

Freire is one of the original Pe'ahi big-wave surfers along with Danilo Couto and Yuri Soledad that call themselves the 'Mad Dog Crew'. Last year Danilo Couto received high honors as the winner of the 'Ride of the Year' award from the Billabong XXL Global Big-Wave Awards and put Pe'ahi on the maps for paddle surfers while showing the world what paddle surfers are capable of doing at this famous big-wave location. Also winning top honors for two Billabong Awards in 2011 was Shane Dorian for 'Monster Paddle' and 'Monster Tube' for his amazing ride at Pe'ahi.

Freire is very honored for the interview that was conducted by Akiskalian and would like to thank Rodney 'HandsomeBugga' Kilborn for making this possible and assisting with the introduction for the interview. Freire is currently entered in this years 2012 Billabong Global Big Wave Awards in the Monster Paddle Award category.

Marcio Freire Interview

Marcio Freire Facebook -
Eric Akiskalian Facebook -
Towsurfer Facebook-
2012 Billabong Global XXL Big Wave Awards Website -

Eric Akiskalian - Journallist of the year

Source: -- 2012

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