With the start of the 2013 ASP season just two weeks away, we caught up with current world No.9 Julian Wilson to talk through preparation for his third season on tour.
The 24-year-old encountered some epic battles with Joel Parkinson in his debut season and cracked his first tour win in his second. Now, the Sunshine Coast product wants to put himself in serious title contention alongside new team-mate John John Florence. And he’ll start his campaign next weekend in the final pre-season warm-up at the six-star Newcastle Surfest.
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.
RB: In off-seasons past you’ve tended to take a little break, get away and work on your fitness. What’s changed?
JW: 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.
RB: 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?
JW: 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.
RB: Ahh, and here’s where it gets interesting (Dr Evil pinky to the mouth). 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?
JW: 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 travelling 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.
RB: Obviously Snapper is the world on everyone’s lips at the moment. It was an average event last year swell-wise. What are you expecting this time around?
JW: 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.
RB: And your preparation has changed, too we understand. No more travelling partners? Not even your girl? That’s an indication of a driven – if not crazy – man…
JW: (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 have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing and where to do. I’m very focused.
RB: So your goals aren’t getting any smaller then…
JW: 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.
RB: 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…
JW: 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!
RB: Lastly, mate. Can we expect any new clips this year?
JW: Yeah! I’m actually working on a new clip with 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.