When he was five, Julian Wilson’s mum, Nola, had breast cancer. It ain’t a secret. In fact, it’s something that Julian ensures is well-known. Why? Because it was his mum’s experience that prompted the Sunny-Coaster to become an ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. “It’s something that affected our family,” he says. “At the time, I didn’t really understand what was going on. Mum just wasn’t around as often. I didn’t really know, I was just going to school, and… not til I got older did I realise how scary it is and what she went through, and how strong she was to get through it. But then it came to a point where I could start giving back. This is the perfect time and the perfect event to do it. It’s as close to a home event as it’s gong to get for me, being from the Sunshine Coast, it’s a great place for me to raise awareness for breast cancer and encourage women to go get checked. It’s a really easy thing to do.”
So, what does Julian do for the love of breasts? When he was riding for Quiksilver, the company gifted Julian a wildcard into the Quik Pro, Gold Coast three years in a row. With these wildcards in his back pocket, he’s ridden pink boards, had competitors sign them and auctioned them off. At the start of last year, howevs, Julian qualified for the World Tour and, at the same time, jumped ship to Nike. Wanting to continue raising money, Julian appropriated his idea for 2012. This comes in the form of a pair of signature Nike Legacy GS Boardshorts. “Mum actually cam to me with the idea and I was all about it,” he says. “She’d never call herself an artist, but she’s always fiddled, drawn and made stuff. It’s kinda a collaboration of her artwork and Nike’s together. She sent over a bunch of her artwork that she’d drawn up, then Nike put their twist on it. So it’s a collaboration. It’s not the first pair of boardshorts that she’s designed for me, but I’m into what she does, obviously, otherwise it wouldn’t be happening.”
Pink’s a fruity colour, sure, but Julian’s proud to wear it and will happily take the barbs: “When I was younger and first started wearing the pink boardshorts, I copped a bit of grief from the older guys,” he says. “But now it’s my colour for this event. And yeah, I’ve been able to raise some awareness for the breast cancer foundation and give a little bit back. It’s fun to be a part of.”
The shorts themselves use Nike’s gap seam construction, which basically means they’re taped not seamed – less rash, less gaps, less water. And in keeping with the do-good vibe of the trunks, they’re made from 88 percent recycled materials – 11 water bottles per pair. The only place they’re available from is Cafe D’Bar, and there’s only 100 pairs available. All the proceeds from those sales go towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Ride smooth and stroke your conscience at the same time. Easy.