There aren't many blokes on tour with this much poise and power on rail. Photo. WSL
Tyler Wright Discusses Kelly's Pool, Women's Surfing and The Next Generation
A conversation with the reigning women's World Champion on the path towards her third straight title.
There's worse ways to start a season than a Quarterfinal finish at Snapper, and with Bells only a few hours away, defending World Champ Tyler Wright will be hungry for a strong finish in Torquay.
But it's not just Tyler dominating the competitive surfing world for the Wright lineage either. Owen's been in title contention for years, and now younger brother Mikey has recently been taking down QS events, as well as John and Gabs at Snapper.
Years ago, it may have seemed like a pipe-dream, but today, the prospect of seeing three Wright siblings simultaneously on the CT is a very real prospect.
We sat down with the 2x Women's World Champion prior to the event, to talk about what's currently running through her mind, in the lead up to chasing her third consecutive title. Aside from the Wright CT bombardment, Tyler spoke about her excitement towards the first wavepool event on tour, coaching with Micro and advice for those young up and coming surfers.
We'll take any advice we can get from someone who won World Title on a torn MCL!
"You need to be more ruthless" Micro told Tyler about surfing amongst a crowd. Don't be surprised by the deceiving smile when a heat is incoming.
Stab: Hey Tyler, thanks for having a chat, any highlights when reflecting on 2018?
Tyler: Almost too many to remember, sometimes it's hard to recall specific instances. The France trip was definitely a standout—the waves, and the people I met on that trip were simply amazing.
I also made my way over to South Africa last year, outside of competition, and it's honestly one of the best trips I've ever been on.
(Author's note: Not a bad idea, considering the women will be joining the men at J-Bay in July this year)
Any change in your plans towards competition this year?
Glenn's been coaching me for two years now, and it's going to be a similar competitive approach this year. We built a solid foundation in 2016 and we've continued improving my heat strategies and relationship with Glenn throughout 2017.
There's a naturally occurring ebb and flow when working with Glenn. He never forces any of us to do anything that we're not motivated to do, he's calculated with his coaching techniques and our approach towards surfing.
Any different approaches?
Maybe little bits and pieces will be different, but overall my strategy hasn't changed much. Essentially just to win every heat and final I surf ...(laughs) – which is everyone's goal really. In the longer term I'm obviously aware of changes with growing older too, these are inevitable though and I guess we'll just deal with that as they come.
I'm happy to roll with different situations as they arise though, and so is Glenn.
Tyler may have lost to Lakey at Snapper, but her surfing was as dialled as ever
What about the upcoming comp at Kelly's pool?
I've surfed there before, and I'm excited to surf the comp there! It's definitely one of the most interesting experiences I've had. Really looking forward to it.
What will be the difference between the pool and a normal comp?
It's hard to know. It adds a whole new element to competitive surfing. The interactions of everything at the pool are so different to my normal experiences surfing in the ocean. I'm just excited to see how the event turns out, it has the potential to be one of the most exciting things to ever happen in competitive surfing.
What are some of your views on the future of women's surfing?
Working with a coach these past few years has changed my opinions on women's competitive surfing, slightly.
Regardless of coaching though, women's surfing – both competitive and outside of comps – is naturally progressing and will continue to do so in the future.
Any advice for the up and coming generation of young girls?
If you're naturally really good at surfing, just continue focussing on improving and the rest will come naturally. The girls are improving so rapidly, that you need work hard to stay near the top, you can't become complacent with your surfing performance level or people will just overtake you.
People always talk about not getting enough media exposure when they're younger, though, but I've never really focussed on media stuff too much, and it's worked out for me I guess (laughs).
My main advice would be to just focus on your craft. Figure out who you are. Don't focus on the other parts too much and it will all come naturally. Be yourself and do your job!
Thanks for the chat, Tyler. Good luck this year!
Don't be surprised if you see Tyler back in the Yellow Jersey following the Oz leg. She's come second twice at Bells before, she's up against Malia Manuel and Paige Hareb in Heat 4 of the opening round, there's significant swell on the forecast, and Tyler's tops when it comes to honest power surfing. With last year's winner Courtney Conologue out of the event, there's every chance Tyler will be ringing in her maiden Bells trophy in the coming week.