Jack Robinson just won the Volcom Pipe Pro. A big first step in what is hopefully the year we see Jack end up on the right side of the qualifying cut-off.

For years the hype surrounding Jack was an intense wall of noise. Being so young it would’ve been hard for even those with the toughest of mental games to zone it all out, let alone a young kid from country WA.

However, over the last few years there has been a much needed drop in volume of that noise.

Due in part to the kid not qualifying as soon as many would have expected, but also due to rumoured tensions between his father and his main sponsor Billabong.

From the outside looking in it seems Jack utilised the time out of the spotlight well, working not just on his surfing, but himself. Among other things he’s got himself a steady girlfriend in Brazilian model Julia Muniz, and when put in front of a microphone during the event he seems a different, more self assured person. Sure the nervousness is still there, but he’s more relaxed, bordering on downright philosophical, musing on topics such as staying relaxed, remembering it’s not all you and that the ocean has to choose you. It was great to hear and shows that Jack has done some real growing over recent times.

The missing hype surrounding Jack began to re-ignite back in October when Billabong dropped its ‘Desert Hilton’ clip in late October 2018. Within it he delivers one of the best performances ever caught on film at Gnaraloo (If you haven’t seen it, click play below immediately!).

Hopes were high heading into the Hawaiian season that Jack might deliver a huge performance, maybe even a Hail Mary shot at qualification, but it wasn’t to be. He managed a round 4 finish at the HIC Pro Sunset, Quarter Finals at Hawaiian Pro Haleiwa, Round 4 Vans World Cup of Surfing, and the one that really hurt - losing in the first heat of the Pipe Masters Trials.

Instead of heading home to wallow Jack stayed on the Island, determined to make up for a less than stellar start to his season. He dusted himself off with a runner up finish at the at QS1000 Sunset Open, and now he has just ridden that confidence to a win at the Volcom Pipe Pro … finally a winners trophy from Pipeline will sit in his pool room.

Let’s hope he can fill it with a few more before the end of the year and get himself on tour where he belongs.

photo: WSL/Heff