Julian Wilson won the US Open of Surfing in dominant fashion last week. Backstage, after the champagne flew and the celebration was held, we sat down with the young Australian to ask him a few questions about what it was going to take to survive the week in Huntington Beach, California:
First: winning the US Open -- how are you feeling?
I can't even describe it. It's amazing. To surf in front of all those people, there's so much pressure. It's incredible.
Your year seems to be gaining some momentum...
It's going good. It's heading in the right direction, for sure. As of my planning the year at the start, it's on track and it's going good. I'm in a lot better position on tour at this time of the year than I was last year. I'm coming off of a couple really fun surf trips; an Indo boat trip and a trip to Reunion Island to film for Jordy's [Smith] movie, so yeah, it's all good.
What's the best place you've been this year?
My favorite stop this year would have to be Fiji, for sure. It was my first time to Fiji, and you know, we scored. We really scored.
Did you get some bombs?
I didn't chase that big swell because I was still in the event and didn't want to get involved in that. I didn't even go out on the boat. Looking back on it, a little bit of an opportunity missed, but at the same time I was happy with my result there, especially being there for my first time. I got plenty of time to get in amongst that stuff later.
What about the rest of the year, what events are you looking forward to?
All of them. I love all the events. Tahiti, Trestles, France, Portugal -- I can't wait. Santa Cruz is going to be the only dicey one for me at the end of the year. I know from previous experience with the ASP Prime up there that it can be a fickle wave, so they're going to be rolling the dice a little bit on that, but you know, if the waves are good that wave is really fun.
"We knew by the forecast that at the end of the week there were going to be waves, so it's going to be all about airs."
And you're not fighting any injuries or anything right now?
Nah, I'm all healed up. At the start of the year, I was having a bit of grief with an ankle injury, but it's all healed now. I skipped out on the Margaret River event trying to get better, but it feels good now. I'm coming off of those couple surf trips where it got pushed to its limits and it feels fine, so I'm happy.
And your boards, happy with the equipment you're getting?
Yeah, been getting some real good boards. I spoke to (surfboard shaper) Matt Biolos about three weeks before I came over for the Open. I've never really had a good result out here, and I don't really know what kinds of boards work out here, so it's kind of frustrated me. So I just kind of left it up to him to make me something that would work well for me, and it's been working well. It's a couple inches shorter, a bit more foam in it -- it feels good and makes it exciting to go out and surf heats.
Before the US Open even started what did you think it was going to take to win it?
It was always going to be about sticking those airs. We knew by the forecast that at the end of the week there were going to be waves, so it's going to be all about airs. There's no way in the world that the winner at the end of this week wasn't going to be able to do an air, that's for sure.
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