Pro surfing doesn’t get much better. Two surfers at the top of their game throwing knock-out turns in classic Bells Bowl conditions. In their see-sawing round two battle Conner Coffin and Zeke Lau dragged each other into that realm where only your best surfing will let you survive and ultimately Zeke Lau needed a pair of nines to get through (9.0 and 9.4). The WSL is in a good place when round two battles are this enthralling.

Zeke is one of the heaviest surfers on tour but his muscular brand of surfing is still light-footed, crisp and dynamic. Too easily pigeon-holed as a power surfer, he is good in the air and demonstrated on the Gold Coast his propensity to ride the barrel with a ten-point – tunnel in a heat he ultimately lost.    

Fans tend to get a rookie crush and last year Conner Coffin was the new fave, dropping the wallet in the bowl and reminding us why we love to see surfing on rail. Ironically, it was in a heat against Conner Coffin, that Zeke Lau just made himself the rookie to watch. Tracks caught up with Zeke right after his win this morning.

Obviously it’s nice to cruise through heats but is it also satisfying when you are pushed and have to be at your absolute best to win?

Yeah, for sure. I felt like every heat I was in, I was going to have to surf perfect. Every mistake that I’ve made, I’ve been capitalized on. I really just wanted to focus on surfing a perfect heat­ – just for myself and in my head. And to be able to stick to a game plan that I’ve created prior to the heat.

What was that game plan?

Be on the best two waves. We knew exactly that there was going to be at least one wave that was going to be substantially better than any other wave in that heat and I really wanted to be on that wave at least and I feel like I did that right off the bat.

How much experience do you have surfing at Bells?

That is my second heat surfing at Bells. That was my first time I’ve really surfed it like that. Every other day has been small and onshore. I just tried to watch as much as I could and be in tune with the ocean in that heat. And be more in the moment and feel it and try and create that rhythm with the ocean. 

Is it a wave that suits your surfing?

Yeah, I feel. I feel comfortable in this type of wave. It allowed me to open up. All I needed was to get myself on the right kind of wave.   Photo:WSL


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