How To Surf Your First-Ever-Second-Ever World Tour Event With Kael Walsh
The trials and tribulations of one contest in two countries.
Kael Walsh’s CT debut was canned.
It was south of his home, Yallingup, in Margaret River.
There were sharks.
The WSL deemed the event too dangerous to run, and now, along with Jack Robinson, Kael is headed to Uluwatu to make up the remainder of the event (which will take place following Keramas). Lucky for the West Oz folk, Indo might as well be a second home.
After he took the wildcard spot at Margies, we jumped on a call with him to see how the 18-year-old felt going into his first-ever CT event. He told us how if he could beat anyone on the CT, it’d be John Florence, “Just because everyone sucks his ass.” We used that as a headline, knowing all-too-well it could stitch him up. The quote, however, was too good to not super-impose at the top of Stabmagdotcommerical.
The rest that followed was a candid and refreshing interview.
Now, that Kael’s about to be surfing his second-ever-first-ever World Tour event, we asked him for some words of, er, wisdom.
Stab: Kael, did you ever cop any heat for that John John quote?
Kael: Ah, Jordy was like, Woah, how was that interview? Saying it was kind of heavy I said that about John John. I was like, mate, I suck John John’s ass too… [Laughs]
What was your first CT event like?
The CT is weird. It feels like you’re in this big arena, like it’s an actual sport. Whereas the QS there’s just one tent on the beach. There are so many skis in the water and the whole production is sick. It would definitely be a goal to do that full time. But, I can see how it’d get old after a while, like being in that gnarly of a competitive mindset pretty much year long.
Was it weird at all in the competitor’s area?
To be honest, I tried not to spend that much time in there. I just dropped my stuff off and bailed. The competitor’s area was kind of awkward. I think everyone was like, Who the fuck is this kid? [Laughs] I didn’t really care though. People just need something to talk about.
How’d your few heats go?
I did alright. The first round was pretty annoying. Gabriel [Medina] was trying to sit on top of me and chase whatever waves I was chasing. That bowl I went down on, Gabriel had priority and I was on the outside of him. I thought he was going to go. But, then he didn’t even look at it and at the last minute I tried to scrap in and just ate shit!
Are you bummed that the comp got called?
It’s pretty crazy they canned it. [Matt] Hoyo made a good point on why they should have kept going. He said that is some of the competitors still wanted to compete they should let them, and those who did want to could just sit out. Like there are sharks everywhere. There are sharks in Hawaii, at J-Bay. Mick got attacked by one at J-Bay and they still go back there.
Does the potential for the event to finish at Padang make you tick?
I’m pretty keen on it! It’s so crowded there, you never really get good waves, so to surf with one other guy would be so sick. It’s supposed to be pumping for the Keramas comp. It’ll just be sick to be in Indo. Although, it’ll be pretty tough to beat Julian [Wilson] there.
Yeah, that’s a rough draw.
Everyone’s pretty tough. Like, they’re all pretty gnarly now. I’m just gonna go have some fun, do some work; get a little action done. [Laughs] I just want to surf and not surf bad because it’s in front of the whole world!
How many times have you been over there?
Ah, I go there heaps. It’s only a three-hour flight from Perth to Indo. If you see a good swell headed there, you just jump on a plane. It takes the same amount of time to get there as it does for me to drive to Margaret River.
I’m going to stay after the event and hang with a few of my mates.
Get some waves. Go out a bit.
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