By Will H-S
Rossy snapping his way to a win in Newquay.
Dan Ross is the complete model for every honest Aussie battler in surfing. After a few years slogging it out on the WQS he qualified for the 2008 Dream tour, and as the story goes for most rookies, at year’s end he was sitting below the cut. This year, Rossy bounced back in truly intimidating style, taking out the six star prime Drug Aware Pro Margaret River WQS event at the start of the year, and not looking back. Since then he’s put together a string of consistent results, before taking out his second event of the year the Relentless Boardmasters five star WQS event in Newquay England earlier this month to become the first QS campaigner to shore up qualification for the 2010 World Tour. Here’s what Rossy had to say about his dream run this year.
You’ve just come back from England after winning your second event of the year. Tell us about the event.
It was an unreal feeling heading back home with a win. For an event that you'd usually expect to get the worst waves on tour, it was the total opposite, with five to six foot peaks for the first two days. It finished up with smaller waves on the final day, but still really fun. There were massive crowds, they love it over there.
Rossy after winning in England and booking his spot on next year's World Tour.
You’ve pretty much qualified for next year’s World Tour. How does that make you feel?
I've definitely qualified and it feels great. I can start my preparation for next year and just really enjoy the rest of this one. It’s a great position to be in as surfer, really rewarding.
These days it is so hard to even get through a heat on the WQS. You look at the round of 96 at each event and every heat is stacked.
You finished 38th on the Dream Tour last year. Did failing to re-qualify push you to try harder on the QS this year?
No it didn’t really. I was happy with the way I surfed all year and I was living my dream as a kid to be on the WT (World Tour). I enjoyed every minute of it and learnt a lot. I guess that’s what I took into this year back on the WQS; experience plays a big part on the WT. Surfing against all those guys teaches you so much about your own surfing, every aspect. Even traveling with the guys and being around them at events, not just in the water, you learn from them.
Rossy training the Red Bull groms.
Whose surfing is inspiring you right now?
Julian Wilson’s surfing inspires me at the moment; the guys that are linking all their turns, whether it’s huge carves or massive airs, when they link them together it looks amazing.
Also I’m really inspired by Mick and Taj, it’s ridiculous how good those guys surf, but also how much fun and enjoyment they get out of what they do as well. They really give a lot back to the young crew and all the people that idolize them. They also take the time to chat along the way. Those are the kind of things that inspire me to take a similar path and learn from those guys.
Speaking of inspiring others, tell us about your mentor/coaching gig with Red Bull.
Red Bull asked me to be part of their Surf Program for this year, the role was to coach their Women’s WT athletes and work with a couple of the guys on the WQS. The Surf Program that Red Bull has in place is incredible. It’s awesome to be involved with a group of people that really support their athletes and help them achieve their goals.
I'm learning more and more about coaching and also applying it with my own surfing. It feels great to be able to pass that on to the athletes that I'm working with. It’s all heading in a really good direction.
Rossy ripping up the flowrider in Durban.
After having a couple of wins and a really consistent year on the QS, does that give you more confidence heading toward next year’s World Tour?
It definitely boosts my confidence to be standing up on that podium at the end of an event. Although I think that the experience from doing the tour last year will be more of a factor going into next year.
Does not having a major sponsor push you harder to achieve big results? Even in terms of feeling the need for the prize money and exposure?
No that’s not at all what pushes me to achieve big results; it comes from inside. I have done a lot of work over the years to get my mind and body to where it's at now and because I do put in the work, I feel that the results that come my way are well deserved.
I spoke to my brother and some of my close mates straight after my win in England. They were back home on the beers at three in the morning celebrating because they were just as happy as I was that I'd won. That’s the sort of thing that pushes me to achieve big results. The prize money is a good bonus as well, haha.
F1 racing car; couldn't fit my big arse in the seat haha. Dan.
Are people on the WQS sweating these new tour rumors?
Nah, I don’t think so. I think it will be better for the sport. All the surfers currently on the world tour won’t let it fall apart. KP (Kieren Perrow) definitely won’t! It’s in those guys’ hands and they will make the best decision for the sport. It might just mean that everyone will have to push their surfing to that next level in order to be in that group of "the best of the best".
Thanks for your time mate, stoked to see you back on tour next year.
Yeah mate thanks for that. I’d also like to say thanks for the support from my latest sponsor www.surfsnowhousexchange.com it’s an awesome idea for a website; a perfect way to check out new places and get some waves in the process.