A Morning with Julian Wilson

2nd Oct 2015

Newly-crowned Pipe Master and current world number two, Julian Wilson was between world tour events and spending some time in his rented apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburb of Bondi. The reason we were drawn to Julian is because we’ve recently learned of his headspace around quality waves and making the most of every session. We’d seen him on tricky boards, riding longboards and generally sporting an open mind about surf craft selection. While we’re all guilty of sitting in the parking lot “waiting for the tide” and whinging about it being “too walled out,” we’ve been inspired by Julian’s positivity to get out there. We wanted to learn more.

"When we organised this day with Jules, we suggested a 7am pickup. “No, no,” he said. “Let’s get up in the dark. Let’s do an early at a proper crowded beach.” He was psyched for what the morning would bring. “Woo! Let’s do this. Is it cool if I bring my Beater?” he asked. Of course, we told him. And, there is no better place to stay open-minded than Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi, on a Saturday morning, buzzing with crowds and fitness fanatics. With mostly closeouts on offer and over 200 guys in the water, we would put the session to test. 

So, we collected Julian and his filmer Jimmy Lees at 6am. On the way out of his room (still in the dark), he kicked over a glass of water in the bedroom and woke his girlfriend, Ash. “Oh man, I’m gonna be in trouble. I couldn’t see a thing and it was so loud.” 

10 pieces of must-read surf advice from Julian Wilson.


1) If it's breaking, you're out there.

"You don't need much. A wave that spills is enough. It's all about getting salty. There's always an excuse but we all know how good we feel after a surf."



2) Lose the shortboard mentality.

"All the kids who are coming up don't look at it with a new perspective much at all. It's just like they want to rip on their shorties and they can still ride ‘em even though they might not suit the waves. They're bouncing around forcing it whereas they could've picked something that was more suited to the conditions."


3) Open your mind and pick the right equipment.

"If it's a closeout shorebreak, you can still try to stand up on a boogie board. Some real fat, slopey, mushy, knee-high wave, you just ride a longboard and it's really enjoyable. There's a board for every session."

4) Your excuse is baloney!

"Guys need to lose the prejudice. Open your mind. I think a lot of people get scared that if they go ride a fish or go ride a Beater or go ride a mal, it's gonna take them a while to get used to their shortboard again. It's such baloney! As if you wouldn't take going out there and having fun rather than not because when you get back on your shortboard, it feels harder to ride. You ride a shortboard 90 percent of the time, you learn how it works again so fast."

5) Suddenly every wave has potential!

"If you go out on a shortboard, even if the waves are looking half decent, you're still looking for a certain kind of wave whereas if you go out on a fish or a mal or a boogieboard or whatever, you're kinda like any wave will be good.

It's not like, 'Oh, I wanna wait for that fun two-turn left" because you're out there on your shortboard and you want to rip. When you go out there on something that's not that manoeuvrable, it's more of a challenge to ride that. You might not even make the take-off on it. You're looking for any opportunity to stand up and have fun. The opportunity to have fun is increased significantly. You're looking at 100 percent of the waves rather than say 20 percent. Have fun, catch waves."


6) It pushes you from the comfort zone.

"It's not easy standing on a bodyboard in a shorebreak. Likewise, the waves might be four feet and there's a rip running through it and it's closing out. You're really testing yourself by trying to ride a finless Beater. And, don't even get me started on how fun it is!"


7) Drop-ins don't matter.

"You're on a fun board, you're catching waves and having a blast. You get dropped in on? Who cares!"


8) It's about managing expectation.

"There are times when the waves are good and you're getting frustrated because it's crowded or you're out of rhythm. That's the thing about riding different boards. You're going out with zero expectation and everything is a bonus."


9) Don't worry, we all make mistakes.

"I'm still guilty. Sometimes I'll put a shortboard in the car, thinking waves are better than they are. Then I start looking for something that's not even there. I won't have a fun board and either, don't surf or have a surf that's not that enjoyable."


10) Earn your breakfast.

"There's nothing better than waking up early, getting salty for a few hours and getting the heart rate up. You set your day up perfectly, you feel like you deserve breakfast and you're on for the whole day." "Two poached eggs, bacon, avocado, cherry tomatoes and sour dough toast please."

For more info on Julian's finless beater board option visit Catch Surf!

Source : Swell.com

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