Julian Wilson Stepping Away From the Championship Tour

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

Overnight, Aussie Olympic hopeful and ten-time CT qualifier Julian Wilson announced he'll be stepping away from the tour.

"I would like to take this time to let you all know I'm taking a break indefinitely from the WSL world tour for my own well-being and that of my family," Wilson said on Instagram.

"By no means am I calling it a retirement from professional surfing and the decision I have made is in line with what I value most in my life and that is my family," he continued. "The inability to travel internationally with them now and for the foreseeable future is enough for me to take a step back and be there for my wife and children."

"This is not over for me but just the beginning of a new chapter," he added.

 

Comments

Brad Ferrier's picture
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Brad Ferrier Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 9:04am

Good on you Julian. Life has its priorities, and it’s not always about making a buck or holding a trophy above your head. Quality time with your wife and children will be beneficial to all of you.

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 9:11am

Thank you for the memories Julian. Best wishes to you, your family and your future endeavours.

MRsinglefin's picture
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MRsinglefin Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 9:34am

See you back @ 2291 soon. Sensible decision too

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:06am

felt like it's been coming for a while.

he's been making noises all season that there's conflict between being a family man and a full-time pro surfer.

That really leaves Aussie pro surfing stocks stripped very bare.

Only Owen Wright left from the "next wave" of title contenders after Parko/Fanning retirement.

All the best to him and his family.

Certainly from the time he came on Tour as maybe the best all-round surfer of his generation- not quite as sizzling as Dane Reynolds but with a much better heavy water game- there always seemed to be at least one World Title in his future and probably 2 or 3, so from that perspective he's left Aussie surf fans feeling a bit deflated.
Lots of highlight moments though, pretty good career in context.

He couldn't quite keep pace with JJF and Medina, and just seemed noticeably less hungry than the new crop of Brazilians.

Would love to see him do a really good profile film ala Searching for Tom Curren.

I reckon he will surf heaps better now he is away from competition.

calk's picture
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calk Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:29am

Agreed re. Julian surfing better away from competition. Without a major sponsor the financial incentives (bonuses, specifically) for results in the immediate future would surely play a part in his decision.

Almost the entire Men's tour lack hunger alongside against the the Brazilians. It's such a stark contrast. Admittedly, the Brazilian's more eccentric personalities play a part but the laconic surf culture that comes through in a lot of the US and AUS contenders seems to be completely lacking in their makeup.

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 11:30am

FR > I concur with all that: very concise and accurate, especially the nod to future context. Julian should feel excited, given your knowledge of/writing on surfing culture.

Wishing you well Julian - IM experience, sometimes tough decisions have incrediblly positive results, in ways we couldn't possibly have imagined at the time. Go in peace.

Sprout's picture
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Sprout Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 12:27pm

He's always surfed better away from comps, boring as bat shit in them.

wax-on-danielson's picture
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wax-on-danielson Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 10:06am

I reckon it will be about 5-10 years before Oz is back in the world title conversation. Tour surfing has had a kind of evolution in the last few years and JW was probably at the forefront and probably the only Ozzy in the mix, but still couldn’t quite get on top. There are some really good teenagers coming through but it depends if anyone growing up in Oz is going to have the same drive and hunger as guys from Brazil to go all out and single focused Kelly Slater style where comp surfing is the only thing in life that matters.

sunhil's picture
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sunhil Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:00am

You only get one opportunity to be there for your kids....they will always remember that time. Looks like you're having fun:-)

jacksprat's picture
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jacksprat Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:02am

If you're cut loose from a major sponsor it is less of a difficult decision.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:35am

which major sponsor cut him loose?

geek's picture
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geek Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 10:46am

Hurley

frog's picture
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frog Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 11:21am

Totally understandable. I couldn't imagine being away from my kids at that age for long periods. And looking at their smiles nor could he.

A Covid chaos frustration tour for most right now. A long way from a dream tour concept that existed for a while.

OHV500's picture
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OHV500 Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 11:43am

I couldn't help think of another champion - Casey Stoner - when I saw this post.
Leaving for all the right reasons.

spiggy topes's picture
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spiggy topes Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 12:12pm

The right, proper and smart decision by Julian. Nothing matters more than family and these are critical years for his little ones. The world has bigger issues than the WSL and there will always be more waves.

mowgli's picture
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mowgli Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 12:51pm

Good call. He would've made well and truly enough coin by now. Pretty sure the first time I saw him was in the first or second Kelly Slater & the Young Guns vid? If he's managed his takings well he'd definitely be setup strong enough to just be a sponsored/semi-sponsored freesurfer for the rest of his days, especially in the days of paid promos on Instagram. Plenty of hungry young talent up here too that could do with a coach with elite level experience (not just competing but also pro-athlete life management chops too).

Plus, why not? The WSL is a shit show thanks to COVID. No point dealing with all that circus until regular programming resumes, and honestly a regular looking season is unlikely to happen until 2023. Might as well just grow his hair out and send it! Get into property management like Owen ;)

Balbero's picture
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Balbero Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 12:54pm

Thanks for designing those great fins mate. Have always enjoyed watching you draw amazing lines on waves, in and out of the barrel. Would of been a hard choice to make and you've nailed it. Family first always. Look forward to seeing you down the line. Keep ripping!!!

PeteWebb's picture
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PeteWebb Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 1:14pm

Plenty of time to ride the dirt bikes now. Let's go ride some trails out the back of the Sunshine coast hinterland.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 2:00pm

He made Gabby bawl like a baby and he's prioritised family over the Wozzle. Sickest bottom turn too....and he sprint paddled at that shark that was poking around Fanning's feet..
That's a world champion in my books. And he's a nice fella to chat to.
Legend and charger. Good on him.

crg's picture
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crg Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 2:11pm

Agree with above comments and his decision. Family is daylight in front of wozzling solo around the world.
Have to disagree he’ll be back in any seriously competitive way in the future though. I think the current crop of talent has already passed him by.

NDC's picture
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NDC Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 2:32pm

I agree with all the positive and encouraging remarks here
Best of luck to Julian and his loved ones

But am I the only one who craves a little more honesty and less virtue signalling in the public pronouncements generally ..that not every public figure who steps back from the spotlight/their career doesn't just cite their family and neglect to mention anything else... I have a family, I love them dearly but there not the sole and only rationale for every decision I make in life, I have my own aspirations and frustrations - "I got fired"..."I fucked up" ..."Im no longer at world tour standard"... "I'm bored/confused/defalted/depressed ....and I don't know why"... ... "I used to love this but I jus don't anymore" ... "I feel I've squeezed this lemon for whatI can and it's time to move on" ...."I don't know what I'm going to do next... I just can't keep doing this"

Maybe none of these things apply to Julian - who am I to say. Maybe he did make this deciison with almost nothing other than his family in mind, does he owe me or anyone else any explanations - probably not, maybe that's the only way to survive in a digital world where the smallett miss-step results in vitriol and trolling...

but please ... a few who calls it simply as they are feeling and seeing it... maybe that was part of Andy Iron's appeal ...

guess I am that grumpy old white dude after all

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eel Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 2:40pm

Agree with NDC. A bit of brutal honesty would be nice. He hasn't won anything since 2018 (and only 3 wins in his entire career). He's passed it, which is probably why Hurley dropped him and Julian himself realises he isn't winning again and it's time to leave.

eel's picture
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eel Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:07pm

* Edit: 5 wins

savanova's picture
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savanova Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:34pm

I'm sure a few million in the bank and real estate portfolio eased the decision.

Higgo's picture
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Higgo Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 5:21pm

Liz Cambage

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 4:44pm

Best one ever was Alan Border when he retired "to spend more time with my family" and the went on a walk around Australia from memory.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:14pm

Ha... funny hey

In similar and at the same time different territory

The irony of the publicity for Tom Carroll’s most recent autobiography a few years back ... Tom did a bunch of press releases, interviews and so on. He told several self revelatory anecdotes and if I remember right explained he had been diagnosed as a narcissist. Several of the anecdotes involved the difficulties this condition had created for him and poignantly the suffering it caused for people close to him - his kids, his first wife etc

A big thread of his narrative was how he was now able to better manage his condition, to his own betterment and that of people around him

I imagine it all helped sell a few more book copies - it was all pretty uplifting and feel good redemption story ... until you reflect on it and think, “Right, diagnosed as a narcissist and then to work through the condition ... writes a book about himself, and goes on a national tv and radio tour to talk about, you guessed it ...himself.

The definition of narcissism;
- Belied that you're special and more important than others
- Fantasies about power, success and attractiveness
- Failure to recognize others' needs and feelings
- Exaggeration of achievements or talents
- Expectation of constant praise and admiration
- Arrogance
- Unreasonable expectations of favors and advantages, often taking advantage of others
- Envy of others or belief that others envy you

From https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/personality-disorders/sym...

So yeah, the redemptive tone of the story sort of lost its resonance with that reflection .... and was replaced by the feeling that public figures often seem to get into a descending vortex of desperately trying to find a way to stay relevant and continue to make a living from the prior sporting prowess-

I find myself admiring people like Laurie Towner (tiler) or Kai otton (chippy) or Toby martin (real estate) ... who when there time in the spotlight was up ... knuckled down and found a way to make a living and a contribution without having to maintain/re-create a profile and image that they can monetise

I’ve read that pro athletes die twice in a lifetime ... the first in when they retire ... it cannot be easy but props to those who seem to be able to look back and be happy for the good turns without necessarily expecting the to last forever and becoming entitled

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 9:40am

Yeah in AFL these days they always encourage plan B when they retire. Many study at uni' or get a trade even the are top tier ones, pro surfers definitely need to take this up.

david de Figueiredo's picture
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david de Figueiredo Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 3:51pm

NDC, good read!!! One thing was forgotten on that list, regarding Tom : dropping in

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 4:05pm

Ha, he was legendary at that I wonder if he talked about that in his book.

joesydney's picture
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joesydney Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:07pm

I still owe you for burning me at Maccas ya prick……I haven’t forgotten…….I will have my revenge……I will……..bwhahahha

hairmick's picture
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hairmick Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 8:34pm

WTF have any of you critics ever achieved in or out of the water that deserves mentioning and puts you in a position to criticise? Plenty of keyboard warriors and trolls still in these forums aiming to cut into anyone happy and successful. I've never met or surfed with Julian but am full of only admiration and respect for all that he has achieved and wish him and his family all the best. Well done. Everyone else [email protected]#k off! You must be miserable

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:49am

I don't think there's been too much in the way of trolling going on here. Just some interesting discussion as far as I can tell. NDC made the point that many of these kinds of announcements are highly airbrushed corporate doublespeak. Seemed like a valid and pertinent point to me.
Let us not forget that these characters are basically paid entertainers. Being talked about on the internet is what they signed up for.

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Robo Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 1:58pm

Like the time JW had a shot at KS for going to Fiji for a big swell and missing a contest lol

megzee's picture
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megzee Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:11pm

I've got a fair idea who the Coolum Boardriders 2022 Club Champ will be.....
Julian is another Aussie legend surfer in my books..

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:19pm

Good life choice Julian. It seems Hurley are cutting everyone off. Machado lost his hurley sponsorship too.

eel's picture
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eel Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 7:52pm

Are Hurley just dropping older guys who are past their best and don't move product anymore? Machado, Wilson, Buchan

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 7:56pm

seems like it with the new owners. The other guy who owned it before was cool as, let Rob M just surf anywhere and get paid for it. Now they're all getting dropped.
It doesnt seem like Machado's boards are that popular either so hope hes got a decent amount of money saved.He earnt a hell of a lot in the 90's and 2000's.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 6:25am

"The other guy who owned it before was cool as".

Hurley?

"The Other Guy" was Nike, who bought it in 2002.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 6:28am

Think he meant Bob Hurley?

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 6:34am

Of course.

Just pointing out that the parent company to "The other guy" who "let Rob M just surf anywhere and get paid for it" was an American multinational corporation, whose 2020 revenue was US$39 billion.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:32am

Yeah Ben i meant Bob Hurley.. i didnt realise Nike owned it either but i dont know much about American pro surfers just read little tabloids every now and then.
I could also be wrong about the popularity of Machados boards, i bought one Almond butter(waited 5 months for it) when i weighed 95 kg and it was a fat pig, no rocker lots of volume quad fish. It was hard to ride because it was so bulky and couldnt get under the lip in throwing peaks at the bay in Kalbarri (learners and intermediate spot) that has a strong rippy current. Only got one tube on it and that was on my guts.
but i was an over weight kook drinking 14 beers a day every day and eating cheap meals like coles lasagna twice a day..Anyway my point is i couldnt be a good judge of the board as id never been 95kg before and couldnt figure what dims would suit my body and slowing paddle fitness. The board just didnt click with me with the fat chunky rails and wobbly nose that bounced a lot (even in Machados vid in clean fun beachbreak conditions the board does the same thing).Sold the board with fins and a board bag for $400 i paid about $200 for the fins 10 years before and the board was $950 and the board bag was $120
The waves in kalbarri are mostly rogue, not for beginners, not for fish no easy takeoffs unless you go to bowes or up north to echoes which is hard to get to,.Jakes at 3ft is good for fish.
Im waiting for a rasta torus twin in bio flax resin which will be a great board for bowes and echoes.Just taking months to get here, they said 6-8 week waiting time but ive been waiting since march 15 or 16
Im a lot fitter now than i was 3-5 months ago and have had only 3 or 4 beers in that time and no cigarettes,maybe one or two at the pub.But feel the RTT will work well on the speedy yet relatively soft walls of bowes and also other waves down SW.
I wish Rob Machado all the best, im sure his boards will catch on. Shaping was probably a really good move for him.In any case he has led a fruitful life to be proud of imo.
Since cyclone Seroja im making a plan to move somewhere else if the builders and tradies who will fix my current joint, with water leaks in the roof tiles lots of tiles missing, gyprock ceilings caved in, water leaking through walls in shower causing mold on the other side of the wall.
Been in touch with real estate about it all and they dont want to know anything about it.
there are no other units or houses available in Kalbarri, we're full.
So i may move back south again or north if tradesman are going to be re-renovating my place all over.
Im just hoping my land lords have paid insurance.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:36am

Righto.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:53am

Would you please elaborate on that Ben

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 8:04am

I will. I didnt know Nike owned Hurley and i might be wrong about Machado's boards being not popular.
The one i had was a bit of a dog but then i weighed 95kg. eating takeaway and lasagna every day.
So sold the board for a rip off price as i didnt like it.sold board for $400 including brand new fish board- bag,worth 120$ controller fins set worth 229$
even Rob himself riding the board had the nose bumping around everywhere up and down on a clean mellow beachbreak.
I may have to move towns again as there just so much cyclone damage to my place i cant see my brother and i living here while the tradies are working on the roof,ceiling gyprock etc and bathroom, new carpets in all rooms etc etc.
I prefer south coast nsw anyway.

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mowgli Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 2:56pm

hahahaha, Goofyfoot

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goofyfoot Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 7:36pm

Glad someone picked it up mowgli hahah

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 8:29pm

That was the lasting effects and final doses of Duramine.(legal speed).have to take a break from it for a while but im 74kg now and stoked.Still have a beer gut for some reason though.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:22pm

yeah, he's done on the Wozzle.

No way he's coming back through the QS.

And he won't get an injury wildcard.

unless he picks up a Rip Curl sponno there ain't no wildcards for him either.

megzee's picture
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megzee Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:28pm

I reckon he'll be on the podium for the Olympic medals handout...
Not usually a gambling man, but will put a carton on it.....
Any takers?

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Supafreak Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:55pm

He had a beautiful style of surfing and his air game outside comps was pretty dam good. He peaked a couple of years ago though in my opinion and unfortunately missed his shot at a title . If he was top 5 , I don’t think he’d be making this decision. Good on him , he’s got lots to look forward too .

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Jof Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 3:55pm

Fair call. No sponsor, worse than usual travel with quarantine and it’s not exactly the dream tour. Hasn’t been for a long time. Lotta good surfers will Be off tour after this year of shitty surf. Big loss for surfing. He charges and rips with style. Pretty unique.

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zenagain Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 4:23pm

I've always liked Julian and his surfing is beautiful to watch and of course I wish him all the best in his new chapter of life but...

I'm glad you said it NDC, Julian's star hasn't been burning so bright recently and his pro surfing career has definitely reached the twilight. Citing family reasons is always the easiest excuse and that's why most politicians use it- because it's a reason that's pretty much above scrutiny.

I was disappointed to read that Jules threw his heat in El Salvador or wherever the hell it was, regardless of how much of a non-event it was. He was wearing green and gold and representing Australia. Call me old fashioned, but to represent ones country is a great honour and an even greater privilege. To be able to do that so flippantly kinda tells me that maybe the time had come to step back.

Good luck JW, you have a lovely family and can't blame you for that but I would have loved to see just a touch more honesty in your decision too.

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lucky-al Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 5:48pm

Julian was a great surfer but he had it too good. The next generation of Australian competitive surfers who are grommets today should be hungrier from growing up in the time of coronavirus, a time of untold suffering and fatality all across the land.

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memlasurf Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 4:51pm

Bit of relativity here lucky "untold suffering and fatality all across the land" ahh..nup. I think the 1930's depression and WW2 were that I think now it is just tough.

lucky-al's picture
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lucky-al Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 11:31pm

Oh I thought relativity just went without saying these days

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 9:31am

Good point.

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wbat Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 6:17pm

If I had to pick one wsl surfer who would walk away from it to be with his young family it would be Julian. He is just that type of nice guy.
IF he was hungry I could see him competing with the big three. He's just not hungry.

I would love to see him do free surf stuff. Big and perfect or long and lined up with high production values, it would be spectacular.

Good on you Julian, I can't wait to see the next chapter.

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dean maddison Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 6:22pm

I really cant think of any ozy surfer that could put it to the brazzos in the last ten years than Julian.
Its fucken sad but true . Good on ya Julian. Legend.

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eel Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 7:57pm

Didn't Parko and Fanning win world titles in the last 10 years? Julian peaked in in 2017 & 2018 with a 3rd. That's as close as he has ever got.

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servant Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 6:47pm

Well played Julian, in and out of the water and this big positive move.
God Bless you and your family.
P.S. Ace Buchan next?.... Also has a young family, dropped by Hurley and perhaps over it all too as he ages gracefully?

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goofyfoot Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 8:13pm

He’s had an epic life to date.
Teenage years and early twenties travelling the world as a highly paid good looking surfer living every young guys dream shagging willing participants all over the world.
Fuck he’d have some stories...
It would be good to see him turn into a hard charging slab freak like Russ B, but as far as high performance clips go I’d rather watch a Torren Martyn film

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mikehunt207 Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 9:05pm

Getting old, going bald , wife wants him to do his part with the tin lids, world tour is a fucking joke , travel is fucked, no sponsors (got paid too much too young and got too much smoke blown up his arse so was never, ever going to reach full potential re Freddie Patacia syndrome ) , looks like he,s got the credentials to become a swellnet commentator !

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nickca Saturday, 17 Jul 2021 at 11:21pm

With a sense of giving the guy a "fair go", I reckon a pat on the back on a job well done and an acceptance of what he given as an underlying reason is appropriate. Does he need to detail all the mitigating factors? I don't think so! Would you ?

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andy-mac Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:14am

Good on him.... Sure he will go only enjoying life, and he would not be short of $$$$
Crappy time to be a pro surfer....
A lot worse places to hang than Sunny Coast....

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:26am

Pretty sure he moved to Newcastle a few years back.

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andy-mac Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:33am

Ah ok.... cheers.
Nice there also... :)

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thermalben Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 7:34am

Will be interesting to see what kind of direction Julian takes from here, if it's within the surf industry or a strategic shift away. The old well-worn former-pro-surfer pathways seem to be less readily available these days.

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ringmaster Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 8:17am

What?

You mean A. Work in a surf shop or

B. Start a surf school

are no longer valid options for these people any more?

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:04am

Sure, they're valid options, but the surf school market is pretty busy these days, and the viability of opening a surf shop ain't quite what it used to be.

I also meant jobs that keep pro surfers with their label (which isn't relevant for Julian) - i.e. sales and marketing, team manager, product tester, brand ambassador etc.

A few surfers have gone on to do motivational speaking (i.e. Mark Mathews), but I can't imagine there's a lot of demand.

Not sure if I've got him confused with someone else, but I'm sure I heard Julian doing some WSL commentary at an event and thought he was pretty good. Perhaps he could head down the Lleyton Hewitt path - who's a bloody good tennis commentator, I reckon - and do something in that capacity?

But again, supply, demand etc.

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memlasurf Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 4:54pm

Yeah pretty small market for another talking head. Does he need to work?

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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:27am

I found a track on youtube last night that was quite a hefty throwing cavern (solid 6ft)with none other than Julien Wilson taking the massive air drop into the pit -as its song-photo among other photos...cant for the life of me find the song again.
I think i was listening to Years around the sun but cant be sure.

views from the cockpit's picture
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views from the ... Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:30am

Julians paddle response when Mick had the shark encounter lifted my esteem for him to a very high level.
I was watching it live.
All the best to him.

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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 9:30am

3:39 in

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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:06am

maybe 5ft

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memlasurf Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 10:34am

Friggin heavy 5' look at that lip.

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Standingleft Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:03am

'made Gabby bawl like a baby' haha nice one BD, (glad someone made a joke in this thread, missing Gra) yes he did and if a nasty Jules turns up, opens a can of Brazzo arse kicker, tears the bag out of Shitnshita and knocks Gabby off at the big O there would be a massive rotating aerial dummy spit. (Julian can do it, he's seriously talented, world number 3 to two superhuman freaks, climbs to No2 the following season before gromlet No2 and the damned pandemic arrived)
Like Roger, Medina has already got sponsors round the block waiting for the O.G. photo opp, that's pressure and Julian's now, in what can only be described as an inspired competitive move, free of all expectations and seriously dangerous. Nothing to loose, everything to gain, doesn't care. Perfect. He's got a good woman he respects, adorable little sprogs who love him to death and he's a farkn legend. This thing is wide open, why wouldn't you get on him? Leonardo same.

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Greenfrog Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 10:44am

Groundswell get back on the piss ditch the pipe grab your brother and please fuck off to south coast nsw

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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 12:23pm

Where you from Greenfrog? i do like lopes a lot so ill try to stay if i can.

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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 12:38pm

I also have some good friends here who i trust with my life..if i move id lose contact with them. I dont smoke tobacco any more by the way, especially a pipe..ruined my lungs.

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 1:37pm

Lopes......

Now there's a nasty, shallow slabbing end section to test your reflexes on.

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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 2:18pm

When it finally breaks hey Ringmaster ive had one wave out there this year and i waited for 45 minutes for it. Sammy Barton, Kane Perkins Jake Perkins and gye Perkins all have it dialed in...always happen to be there when it occasionally turns on..there all very good to watch too throwing laybacks into the end bowl...they have a lot more local knowledge about lopes than i ever will.But they are teaching me.

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ringmaster Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 2:53pm

Too unpredictable and crunchy for my ageing carcass when I was there a couple of years ago.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Sunday, 18 Jul 2021 at 3:46pm

Yeah it probably wasnt a classic day or whatever it gets super perfect sometimes but hasnt been good in months. Its a good way to get some lacerations.
Marzo has it wired better than anyone though and even then he only surfs it if its really on, and no ones out.

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garry-weed Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 4:33pm

Speed , power, flow personified.The best linked turns with few transitional pumps. Always hungry with a tendency to overthink heat strategy. Sad to see him go. One less reason to watch the circus (though I will inevitably)

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dean maddison Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 4:56pm

Too true Eel, its amazing how quickly one can forget, specially when they arent competing. Probably wont remember Julian in a year or two. Now where did i put my beer. Fuck.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 5:42pm

Here's a question. Who was the best retired Aussie to not win a title? Cheyne? Taj? Julian? I'm backing Taj but open to debate.

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 6:09pm

Taj hands down.

Unlucky for him he copped Slater & A.I in their prime.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 6:11pm

100 percent agree RM

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 2:57pm

Cheyne was every bit as good as Taj in/for his era. I'd be leaning more towards Cheyne, especially for the fact he was runner up 4 x in a row. Watching old footage of his surfing, he was ahead of the pack in his looseness, style and power i reckon. Taj an incredible surfer too obviously. Tough one.

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Supafreak Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 6:19pm

@surfalot67 , you could throw kong into the mix as well

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 6:20pm

Shit yes! Knew I would forget someone

Remigogo's picture
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Remigogo Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 8:00pm

Taj..

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 5:52pm

Terapai Richmond in my book. or Speg. i dont think they competed though, Stu Net might correct me on that though

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Surfalot67 Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 6:10pm

Sorry I should have been more specific, I meant guys who were on tour and got close.

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Supafreak Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 6:35pm

I think taj was the most talented, kong was great at big sunset but overall had a ugly style , most unlucky would be horan , jw lacked the knockout punch later in competition

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 12:45pm

Nailed it SF

views from the cockpit's picture
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views from the ... Monday, 19 Jul 2021 at 9:32pm

Def Taj.
Ripped off at that final- cloudbreak maybe against Slats or JJF

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freeride76 Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 2:59pm

Def not Taj.

Had no game in heavy water lefts, which is why he always came out of the blocks like a scalded cat at Snapper/Bells and faded after Teahupoo.

Yes, he won pipe when it was 3ft.

If he'd figured out how to ride hollow big lefts like Fanning and Parko did, he'd have won a Title.

JW is heaps more talented and well rounded than Taj.

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ringmaster Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 3:16pm

I know it's not Chopes but.........

I was at Gnaraloo one Winter when Taj was in his prime and watched him up close at Tombstones on a couple of solid (8ft) days. Now that joint isn't as heavy as Chopes but as most of you would know it's right up there with some of the gnarliest chunks of surfing reef in the world......... especially that first 30 odd metres.

Fair dinkum, he was toying with it!

Sure, by world tour top 5 standards in heavy water lefts he might not have made the cut but he was only a bees dick behind those guys.

*and yeah, Cheyne right there as well. He was probably the Taj of the late 70's/early 80's

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 7:29pm

I’d say 8ft Gnaraloo is every bit at heavy as 8ft Chopes.
Haven’t surfed chopes but have surfed Gnaraloo. And fuck it was scary

OHV500's picture
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OHV500 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 12:54pm

Surfed both and IMO Chopes is way heavier - so much more water coming at you - to beat the living crap out of you.

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 12:54pm

Surfed both and IMO Chopes is way heavier - so much more water coming at you - to beat the living crap out of you.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 3:22pm

Surely you only mean in a contest rashie FR?

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mowgli Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 3:07pm

Whot.... It's Taj by a thousand leagues. It's near unanimous amongst his title-winning contemporaries that they (1) were genuinely inspired and pushed by his surfing (2) shat themselves when having to face him in a heat because of #1, and (3) said he'd have multiple titles if he didn't peak during the KS-AI era. There are others but none jump to mind as staying at/near the top for so damn long. Maybe Cheyne but that's just what I've read as he's before my time so idgaf...

All this chat re. Julian reminds me of similarities with Parko. He also attracted very similar comments re. style and skill but never quite showing the hunger to get at it. And then he did. I feel like without COVID we may have seen that in 2020/2021 with Julian as he was heading that way.

Surprised Dane's name has only come up once. Julian seems to be heading down that path/could. Would love to see him in some Search style (or Torren Martyn) style vids.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 2:38pm

Just saw an interview with Dane on Stab citing Taj as his major influence. Says a lot hey?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 3:34pm

JW will be joining Ace Buchan in the C suite. There’ll be no careers pushing soft top straddling Veruca Salts into whitewash for those two. Give him a year fluffing around with the indulgence of a free surf path before he gets bored silly and lured through the gilded doors of business which open wide for former Aussie pro athletes who can string a sentence together.

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Trentslatterphoto Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 4:50pm

the male version of Sally Fitzgibbons.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 5:02pm

Sally will move into the well remunerated world of elite sports administration . Future Australian Olympics committee member ?

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 12:01pm

Good call. I hate to say but I cant see Sal winning a title while Carissa and Tyler and Steph are still around. Can't remember Taj or any of the fellas having Sal's incredible run of quarter final or better finishes though, so consistent.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 7:31pm

Luke Egan is very unlucky to not have won a title. But yeah I’d say Taj too

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 8:35pm

Luke Egan won a g-land pro on solid days which is almost as good as a world title imo.

Standingleft's picture
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Standingleft Tuesday, 20 Jul 2021 at 9:06pm

Julian (Owen also) ran smack into the damnable Brazilian Storm too. Imagine 10 years on tour with that chest thumping, claim making, look at me circus. Those two were so opposite of all that shit but ya gotta compete.
Cheyne must've spewed when the thruster turned up, he might've torched MR but for those fucked up singles he rode. Taj most influential surfer but didn't love the tour and comps etc

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Surfalot67 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 12:08pm

True SL. Showing my age but I sat on the Rincon rocks drinking tins watching the '84 final at Bells with Cheyne and TC. Cheyne did some of the fastest, most beautiful flowing surfing that day, despite the weirdo Laser Zaps and winged fin, to outscore TC's savage backhand. Was amazing surfing to watch. Its been said a millions times but I wonder what he could have done on equipment that the judges understood...

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 12:13pm

Cheyne needed to do more snaps and stuff….

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 12:16pm

Agreed. But I don’t think those boards allowed vertical surfing

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 1:07pm

That was a little piss take of Cheyne’s coach during the movie Scream in Blue. Cheyne’s coach told Cheyne that if he wanted to win more heats he had to do “more snaps and stuff”. It appeared to myself, as a casual viewer, that Cheyne’s coach didn’t know what a snap was and that he didn’t actually know the names of other manoeuvres so that they all fell under the “and stuff” bracket during his shambolic post heat debriefings.

I remember it being a great movie with an epic soundtrack. If anyone knows where to find it on the internet please let me know.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 2:40pm

Oh haha right, that guy. The non surfing guru with no clue. I remember that now!

Standingleft's picture
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Standingleft Wednesday, 21 Jul 2021 at 2:44pm

The details are blurry indeed going back to the start of obsession with competition surfing. Maybe you guys remember better, I was 14ish. Cheyne & MR surfed off at Bells in what I thought was a final and it was televised prime time maybe 6.30 on a Sunday night. The Stubbies? 1979? Anyway to say those two had a rivalry is an understatement. The waves were messy and onshore at Bells but Cheyne got a barrel. I still don't know how and I remember thinking even as a grom, he's better than MR but his equipment is holding him back. We were deeply divided at the time. It was twin or single, one or the other, no crossing over. Twins were the work of the devil if you loved the rail game so Cheyne's loyalty to the single actually cost him I think. Haha good times thx

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Judy Scrase Friday, 30 Jul 2021 at 10:33am

Your mum and dad raised a mighty fine young man. Good on you and may your years ahead be full of joy.