Ones to Watch - 2017

Monday, 09 January 2017

By braithy

Jordy Lawler is a silky smooth goofy footer hailing from the waters of North Narrabeen. In 2010 as a 14-year old he won a Grom Search in South Oz. It was an epic year of Grom searching which unveiled some premium Australian surfing talent. The other winners that year included Connor O’Leary, Matt Banting and Creed McTaggart.

Surfing Life first met Jordy in Fiji, where he was repping Australia in a Volcom VQS Global Series. He ended up bowing out to the eventual winner, Slade Prestwich in the semi’s, but in a week of epic Cloudbreak surfing, Jordy was front and centre as a standout.

Jordy’s first paddle out at Cloudbreak, the waves were four foot and clean and the competition for them was pretty immense. How immense, I hear you all ask? So immense your esteemed author managed one wave in two hours.

JordyLawler CHRISTIE CHR 4178Jordy, getting his pilot's license in North Narra. Photo: Christie


Not Jordy though, he paddled straight up the point, turned around and somehow found no one on his inside. He swung into a set wave and threw spray all the way down to Shiskabobs. Doesn’t sound so hard, but out there that day was like a who’s who of surfing. The Hobgood brothers – famous for paddling each other up the reef into death set close out territory even in freesurfs, Gab Medina, Freddy P, Ace and Wilko. The goofy footers dominate small Cloudbreak, they can take off deeper, and with all the speed they generate, they don’t miss a section. Literally! So once they’re on a wave, ain’t nobody else getting any leftovers.

A few days later with the likes of Fanning, Alex Grey, Dave Wassel and Slater and again the Hobgoods – deadest, those two sleep out there – and Cloudbreak was a brooding and stormy 10-foot, and it was the same deal. Jordy delivered like he’d spent his whole life drinking the Pacific juice.

jordy1Spelunking in Sydney. Photo Dunbar.


That’s why it came as such a shock that not long after the VQS, Volcom parted ways with the talented grom. Not that Jordy has been the only surfer to lose his main sponsor in the last few years as Billabong, Quiksilver and Volcom have stripped away the fat from their chequebooks in order to survive. Volcom’s loss however, was certainly Vissla’s gain as Jordy spends his offseason focussing on his ultimate goal of WSL qualification.

When Surfing Life caught up with Jordy, he’d just finished a day which involved six-hours in the ocean surfing, followed by a quick lunch and then hitting the gym for a few hours of intensive training.

“It’s kinda boring (my life), but I love it.”

While everyone else is in full summer mode of chasing waves, parties and girls, Jordy is locking down.

“It’s hard knowing all my mates are having fun while I’m going through hell training. But I know one day if I train hard and work hard, it’ll all pay off”.

Talking to Jordy, I’m immediately reminded of a current crop of WSL surfers who are training the walls down with a one-minded focus and a work ethic more suited to a Japanese car manufacturing plant, than surfing.

The Brazilians.

Adriano, Aleijo, Filipe, Pupo and Medina all work and train equally as hard and every single result they’ve ever had, has been earned by gruelling it out in a gym.

It’s refreshing to see a 21-year old Aussie kid putting the temptations to the side in order to get to where he sees himself. Lord knows we here at this fine magazine were not capable of that kind of discipline when we were in our partying prime.

It’s no surprises the surfer Jordy looks up to the most is Mick Fanning. Of course he loves the way he surfs, but it’s Mick’s steel focus and the person Mick is out of the water, which really appeals to Jordy. Not a bad role model to have.

When Jordy’s hard work starts turning into QS gains, lookout! Here at Surfing Life, we predict that will be very soon.


jordyLMore recently SL spent time with Jordy in Samoa, where once again he was flaring, until his trip got cut short after he was clipped on a take off and then went lobster diving in knee deep water onto live reef. Paying to Play. Photo/ Framegrab: Ward





  • Largest Surfer’s Ear Study Needs Your Help!

    Dr Vini Simas is undertaking the largest ever Surfer's Ear study, and he needs our help! 

    more »
  • Sam Hammer – Frozen.

    There's no such thing as a winter wonderland for surfers.

    more »
  • My Saturday Morning

    Next time you think about flagging the early session, think of Mikey DeTemple, and get your...

    more »
  • Burleigh Single Fin – Parko

    Catch each ride of Joel's in the Burleigh Single fin final.

    more »
  • In Between Giants - Albee Layer

    For a guy widely known as one of the best air guys getting around, he also shows the cajones...

    more »
  • The Six Most Interesting Surfers in 2017.

    more »
  • Are the women worth more?

    The 2017 WSL tour is still living in the 1950's. Why?

    more »
  • Is Ethan Ewing Australia's surfing future?

    Who's out and who's in. Looking at WSL season 2017 through decidely Australian glasses

    more »
  • the Shine

    In the leanest year on memory for waves up north, somehow the best swell to ever hit the Sunshine...

    more »
facebook icon instagram icon twitter-btn rss-btn

Get the latest surfing news and photos, swell forecasts, competitions and hilarious trivia delivered to your inbox.