Julian Wilson, last seen attempting a 720 -- two full revolutions in the air -- in surf sessions for Jordy Smith's film 'Bending Colours,' had a breakthrough year in 2012, winning the U.S. Open of Surfing and jumping up to number nine in the World Tour rankings.
Now, the 24-year-old Aussie wants to put himself in serious title contention alongside new Hurley teammate John John Florence. And he'll start his campaign next weekend in the final pre-season warm-up at the six-star Newcastle Surfest.
With the start of the 2013 ASP World Tour season -- at Snapper Rocks in Australia -- just two weeks away, we caught up with Wilson ahead of Surfest in Newcastle, Australia, to talk through preparation for his third season on tour.
Red Bull: Jules! What have you been up to over the break that we haven't already witnessed through a range of filters on Instagram?
Julian Wilson: (Laughs) I've been getting really good waves at home. There’s been some really fun waves at Noosa and some great waves over Christmas. I've been surfing heaps. I've surfed a lot more this off-season than previous ones.
Red Bull: In offseasons past you've tended to take a little break, get away and work on your fitness. What's changed?
Julian Wilson: I've really been loving my surfing and I'm really surf-fit as a result. The swell kept coming so I've just been loving it like a little kid again. I've been surfing eight hours a day, three times a day and tried a heap of different boards. Throw in a few trips and I couldn't be happier.
Red Bull: Speaking of trips, you obviously have a home in the States and have been back-and-forth. You've just come back in time for the Newcastle six-star, yeah?
Julian Wilson: Yeah. The Newcastle contest will be a good warm-up for Snapper. It'll be my first contest. I've been back in the States to go and meet all the new fresh faces at Hurley now they've taken over from Nike but I'm back and ready for competition now. I can't wait.
Red Bull: Ahh, and here's where it gets interesting. All of a sudden you've found yourself sharing a schedule and hotel with another young prodigy in John John Florence. What sort of effect will that have on your surfing?
Julian Wilson: I'm pretty excited. John John has come on board and Hurley has a huuuge team now. But it's a great group of guys and traveling with John John is going to be good for both of us I think. We'll be able to do some trips together and push each other. It's going to be fun.
"Winning a world title is always the driving force and you need to be consistent at every round and win one or two to be there. Parko's the perfect example." -- Julian Wilson
Red Bull: Obviously Snapper is the word on everyone's lips at the moment. It was an average event last year swell-wise. What are you expecting this time around?
Julian Wilson: The waves at Snapper were pretty mediocre last year. It definitely wasn't pumping. But this year’s been pushed back a week to catch the swell. Usually the swell picks up the week after the comp so hopefully we catch it, but who knows there? But I'm really excited for Snapper. I've spent a lot of time in Queensland over the break and it's as close to a home event as I get.
Red Bull: And your preparation has changed, too, we understand. No more traveling partners? Not even your girl? That's an indication of a driven -- if not crazy -- man...
Julian Wilson: (Laughs) Yeah, I've decided to fly solo on tour this year. I'm going to do a lot of the training on my own. I've been everywhere now so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing and where to go. I'm very focused.
Red Bull: So your goals aren't getting any smaller then...
Julian Wilson: Definitely not! I had a couple of really big highs last year with a couple of big wins. I took a lot out of it and I'm really looking forward to the year coming. It's my third year now so my approach is maybe a bit more calculated. I finished ninth last year and my main goal was to win a World Tour event. I finished better than I did the year prior. So this year, I want to go better again of course and get in contention for that title.
Winning a world title is always the driving force and you need to be consistent at every round and win one or two to be there. Parko's the perfect example.
Red Bull: And tell us the 720 is still on the agenda. In 'Bending Colours' we saw countless attempts at it. Tell us we'll see it in competition this year...
Julian Wilson: Haha. I'll try to get a 720 down this year for sure! I'll be trying to get to a couple of waves where I can have a go of it. That's always in the back of mind. But I'll do it at some point in the right conditions. One of us is gonna have to throw it out!
Red Bull: Lastly, can we expect any new clips this year?
Julian Wilson: Yeah! I'm actually working on a new clip for the X Games now. It's a 90-second clip that will get voted on through the X Games. Jimmy and I have been working on it, getting waves here and there to do something pretty cool. It should be sick.
- Watch 3 minutes of Pipeline porn
- Julian Wilson in some big air slow-mo
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