Stab Magazine | Pre-Game with a local rookie: Mitch Crews, Gold Coast

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Pre-Game with a local rookie: Mitch Crews, Gold Coast

Stab welcomes Mitch Crews to tour with the most open of arms, because Mitch is a rookie who deals in honesty on land and aggression in a jersey. He owns a mean frontside dissect and some pretty fly airplay. He’s handsome too, a real media dream and goddamn it if we ain’t gonna be seduced by his […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Stab welcomes Mitch Crews to tour with the most open of arms, because Mitch is a rookie who deals in honesty on land and aggression in a jersey. He owns a mean frontside dissect and some pretty fly airplay. He’s handsome too, a real media dream and goddamn it if we ain’t gonna be seduced by his game. Below is as real as you’ll ever find a world tour rookie before their first event in the big show (the Quik Pro starts tomorrow). Currently, Mitch is a perplexing mixture of terrified and murderous, an “emotional rollercoaster” as he puts it. Peer through his endearing transparency below!

Stab: Is this just another contest, or the scariest competitive experience you’ve ever had?
Mitch: To be completely honest, I’m really nervous and I’m really scared. I don’t know if I’ve really been enjoying the whole ride so far (since qualifying), with all the eyes on me and what not. In saying that, I’m really excited to see what happens cause I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Maybe I’ll do really good? Maybe I’ll do really shit? Who knows, but I’m excited to see.

Thanks for trimming the sugar. I’d be terrified. I’ve been having freesurfs out at Snapper, and I’m a full on emotional rollercoaster. I’ll get a sick one and think, “Fuck, I could do pretty good in the comp.” Then next wave I’m like, “I’m a piece of shit, how am I supposed to surf against these guys?” But I’m just trying to walk to my own beat. Get in my own little world and play video games or whatever I need to do to switch off.

Tell me about your video games. I’ve been playing this game called Skyrim. It’s a full medieval role-playing game where I kill dragons and shit. I buy property. I can do anything. It’s an escape for me. I really like to be productive, and I find that in my downtime, if I’m progressing in the video game I feel like I’m doing it in life, even though I’m not. I get this feeling that I’ve accomplished something. Y’know when you take the rubbish out and you feel like you did something productive? (Laughs). If I paddle out in my first heat and get combo’d by Kelly, at least I can go home and know that I’ve slain three dragons on my video game. It’s a dumb thing but whatever.

Of all the WCT events, does Snapper feel like it’ll be one of your stronger? Statistically, yes. It seems that way on paper. I live here, I’ve grown up here, I’ve surfed the wave heaps. But really, anyone that gets the right wave… it’s like anywhere. I could paddle out at Hossegor and get a sick barrel, get a nine, and beat Jeremy Flores, y’know? I feel Snapper should be somewhere I’d do good, and I’d love to kick things off well. I think maybe at Bells and J-Bay I’ll have a decent shot at making a heat or two. My confidence levels will adapt accordingly after this event.

So, what else about Snapper? I’m just looking forward to being out there with one or two guys and being able to surf properly. It’s that crowded, you rarely get to give a wave what-for. You can’t hit the first section ’cause there’s three guys in the way. So that, and the possibility of knocking someone high profile out of the event would be nice. It’d be cool to knock Mick or Kelly, and everyone goes “oh, shit.”

Like, “I’m here and I mean fucking biz.” I think that’s kinda becoming my mindset, I don’t care too much anymore. I’m usually the sort of person who cares if people hate me, and that goes for world tour guys hating me too, ’cause I’m still a full-blown surf fan. But, I’m caring less and less now about ruining any reputation I have of being a nice guy. I’d love to beat guys.

Rookies always drop the “It’s hard surfing against all my favourite surfers” line. But, you just did the dogfight QS. And you earned your spot on tour in a time when It’s never been harder to qualify. I’m slowly starting to realise that. Yeah, all my heroes are on tour and I still get starstruck when I see Kelly Slater and he says hello to me. But in terms of competition, I feel like my headspace has changed from last December when I found out until now, to like, “Hang on a second, fuck these guys. This is the playing field I’m on now. I wasn’t all starstruck and not wanting to win on the QS last year, why should I be like that on the world tour this year?” On the QS, all you think is, “I wanna kill this guy in my heat.” I’ve gotta keep that mindset on the World Tour and not get all psyched out. – Elliot Struck

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