Julian Wilson ain’t Superman (and doesn’t need to be)
What does it take to scalp Josh Kerr, Bede Durbidge and Mick Fanning in the final of the Breaka Pro, Burleigh Heads? Three men who, this time last year, would’ve probably iced 23-year-old Julian Wilson. After a season that built into a steam-train impetus, Julian has, in Stab‘s opinion, never surfed better than he is right now. […]
What does it take to scalp Josh Kerr, Bede Durbidge and Mick Fanning in the final of the Breaka Pro, Burleigh Heads? Three men who, this time last year, would’ve probably iced 23-year-old Julian Wilson. After a season that built into a steam-train impetus, Julian has, in Stab‘s opinion, never surfed better than he is right now. In 2011, Jules did most of his partying at the start of the year which, as he’ll tell you, led to his some of his worst results. But after winning yesterday, Julian jumped straight behind the wheel and burned back up to the Sunshine Coast. Things are different this year.
In the wake of his win, Stab lit up Julian’s phone for the quickest Q and A y’ever did see. How informative it is, despite brevity!
You were steaming through the Breaka. Is this the new, empowered Julian Wilson?
I’m just a lot more in control of what I’m doing and have a much better understanding of what’s going on. Last year I was all over the place, I was feeling a lot of pressure from changing sponsors and doing my first year on tour. I was scattered. I didn’t really know how it was gonna unfold. I learnt a lot last year and… I feel comfortable. That’s it, really. I feel comfortable with where I’m at now.
Have you shaken the intimidation that rookies are prone to? I have. For sure. I found that, kinda after the Billabong Pro, at Jeffreys Bay. I felt like I could finally surf my own heats and not be intimidated.
You get to a point and realise you’re equal with the other WT guys? Yeah, I mean they’re just smarter and wiser than us (rookies).
You showed your grit in the Pipe contest with that big drop, etc. Is your relationship with the wave improving? I obviously didn’t get the result I wanted, but if anyone gets the opportunity to surf Pipe in front of that crowd, you’re not gonna let any opportunities go by. I just made the most of it. I didn’t actually make the heat, but I tried as hard as I could (laughs) and I learnt a lot for next time.
Does Hawaii get easier? It’s always pretty gnarly there. It sorts the men from the boys.
If I’d asked you to describe a WT heat in March last year, and then asked you to describe one now, would your description be different? Nah. I mean, it’s all the same, except at the start of last year, I’d paddle out with a game-plan but I wouldn’t execute it. I’d just be out in the water and think I had to be Superman to get through the heat. But, now I can go out and execute my game plan and know that that’s going to be enough.
That’s quite a defining difference. I guess it is, yeah. Now I can slow things down and make smarter decisions, rather than panic and do something dumb.
Are you gonna win the Quiksilver Pro? It’s my favourite event on tour and it’s one event that I’ve never really felt like I’ve gotten the result I’ve wanted out of it. We’re all in it to try and win it. I wanna give it a good crack. – Elliot Struck
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