Stab Magazine | Introducing Your WSL Airborne Gold Coast Trials Winner

'Wildcard - The Moana Jones-Wong Story' Premieres December 6

276 Views

Introducing Your WSL Airborne Gold Coast Trials Winner

Anybody ever heard of Aaron Kelly?

news // Mar 18, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

As Northern Hemi ice begins to melt and Queensland’s water dips below 30 C, it’s clear that our yearly hibernation is nearing its conclusion. 

After a longer-than-usual break from the WSL (3 months!), the Quik Pro is just two weeks away and we are genuinely buzzing. Because despite what some “purists” may believe, surf media/news/whatever we do is rather dull without the specter of competition.

We want Slater and John and Medina in skin-tight lycras and we want it now!

But on top of the same-old same-old, this year Snapper will play host to the WSL’s new “progressive” initiative – no, not the equal pay thing – Red Bull Airborne!

For the uninitiated, Airborne is an 18-surfer event, including CTers and “freesurfers” alike, where competitors will attempt to land their best airs for a notable cash prize. The events – of which there will be three in 2019 (Snapper, Keramas, France) – are run by ex-Air Tour World Champion and CT veteran Josh Kerr. You couldn’t ask for a more qualified leader. 

Some of the Airborne competitors have already been decided, including the six finalists from the inaugural Airborne event in France last October (Jack Freestone, Griffin Colapinto, Eithan Osbourne, Matt Meola, Kalani David, and champion Yago Dora), but we aren’t entirely sure who will fill out the other 12 slots. 

That was until just yesterday, when two more qualifiers were decided at the local trials event. 

Finalists BenStagg

Australia’s chock-full of punters. Just ask their disgruntled missuses.

“Yeah it went super sick!” contest director Josh Kerr told Stab. “Fun little wedges at Dbah – kinda soft but a couple. Aaron Kelly won, he killed it! Thomas Woods got second and edged out Coby Perkovich. So Aaron and Tom are into the main event.”

Uhhhh… Aaron Kelly?

“He is from Sunny Coast,” Josh explained. “I had never heard of him either. He must have landed eight or nine airs in the final though, and all of them different. Not super tech, but still sick.”

AaronKelly5 BenStagg

Introducing AK!

Still a bit perplexed, we decided to hit up Aaron Kelly ourselves, just to… I don’t know, see who he is!

Stab: Mate congrats on your win! How’s it feel to be mixing it up with the big dogs in a couple weeks?
Aaron Kelly: Thanks so much! Yeah it feels so epic, words can’t describe it.

No disrespect, but I don’t think many of our readers will know the name Aaron Kelly. Have you just been hiding away on the sunny coast practicing your punts?
[Laughs] Yeah I’ve been hiding on the Sunny Coast at Sunshine Beach. That’s my hometown and where I surf most. 

I get a lot of people who tell me to follow the QS, but as you know it’s very hard when you don’t have financial support. I’ve been waiting for something like this to show everyone how I surf and it’s worked out perfectly.

Fuck yeah! Who are some of the boys you grew up surfing with on the Sunny Coast? And who inspires you? You more into someone like Haz or Ethan Ewing?
I grew up with Hazza and the Cervi boys, but also my best mate Quinn Bruce who has been following the QS and surfing incredible. He’s the one that influenced me the most – he’d always push me and encourage me and he’s one of the reasons I started surfing. All I used to do was skate as a kid, and Quinn would convince me to come surfing with him and I loved it ever since. 

But to answer your question, I like them both. Ethan’s got the best style in surfing at the moment, and Hazza’s punts are crazy. But what Harry’s doing with his career is probably more the path I’d like to take. 

And what’s your plan at the main event?
I’m going to just embrace it all and show the world what I can do!

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry

A digital collage of Backdoor mutants, Portuguese slabs, and of course, bull-riding.

Dec 6, 2022

Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters

3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.

Dec 6, 2022

21:04

‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’

RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!

Dec 5, 2022

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022

3:53

Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022

3:31

Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022

24:32

Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022

4:18

Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022
Advertisement