Injured Wilson has a massive weekend planned.
“In surfing that’s the number one objective definitely and I feel like I’ve been working towards it and I’ve put some strong years together… I know that I can put together the year that it takes to win a world title and I feel like I’m getting closer. I feel like I’m in the prime of my career and I’m really going to give it everything I got.”
That was Julian Wilson talking to Tracks earlier this week for an upcoming magazine profile. Jules own personal expectations are mirrored by Australian fans, who increasingly see him as their best chance of reclaiming a men’s world crown (which has not been held by an Australian since Mick Fanning won in 2013).
While his tone was bulletproof-confident, Julian was reluctant to discuss the shoulder injury (incurred while mountain-biking), which has stifled his preparations for the 2018 season. However, he gave every indication he was on track to be fit for the Quiksilver Pro by enthusiastically discussing plans to wear his trademark pink boardshorts at Snapper.
It will be the ninth year in a row that Julian has collaborated with his Mum, Nola, to create a unique boardshort design that aims to raise money for breast cancer. Jules has been a passionate supporter of the cause since his Mum beat breast cancer a number of years ago.
It seems Jules is counterbalancing his intense focus on world-title success with other projects that enable him to relax and enjoy the kudos he already commands.
This weekend Jules is hosting his ‘Serious Fun’ weekend at Coolum, his childhood stomping ground.Designed to reflect Julian’s own youth, the Saturday is dedicated to 6-14 year olds who will roam between a series of stations; skating, surfing, creating art works and playing put-put golf.
The more specific inspiration for the event’s name, Julian explains, is a board that he and his two brothers learnt to surf on. “We’ve still got it. It’s a 6’6” pin-tail, round-nose, and the model of the board was called ‘Serious Fun’.”
The fun gets a little more serious on the Sunday when a hand-selected group of Australia’s most talented surfing youth compete in a WCT style event.
“I also wanted to include the Pro Junior level and wanted to re-create a WCT event type vibe both in and out of the water,” suggested Jules. “I’ve invited 12 kids from Australia that I believe have tremendous talent and potential that will also embrace the event and have fun while going at it for some cool prizes!” The list of Oz prodigies who made Julian’s cut is Caleb Tancred, Oscar Berry, Winter Vincent, Jarvis Earle, Dakoda Walters, Xavier Huxtable, Zahli Kelly, Cooper Davies, Zane Assink, Ethan Stocks, Marlon Harrison, Jay Occhilupo
The event will simulate a WCT event by kicking off with a round four, three-man heat, non-elimination round and follow the format of a WCT contest from that point onwards. Like the CT elite the invitees will be issued with locker rooms, and rash-vests featuring their own names and numbers.
“I want it to be a reflection of my childhood when I started taking surfing seriously, but also what I always did growing up,” indicated Julian.
The ultimate winner will claim a bunch of fun prizes including a dirt bike, a Thomas longboard and a skateboard. In a major career boost, they will also be invited to go on a trip with Julian to Indonesia and appear alongside him in a web release. Finally the winner will receive a fast-track entry into the Oakley battle clips competition with an individually edited clip for submission.
Jules indicated he has employed professional judges to oversee the contest, but assured us that he will be wielding the microphone’ at the event he curated. The world title beckons, but for this weekend at least, Julian will put his ambitions aside and enjoy some serious fun.