Surfing Life 307 – Advance Australia’s Champions.
Isn’t this just the best time of year? Summer’s gone, and with it the crowds; swells are lining up again, on all of our shores. This is the time of year when the surfing fraternity’s eyes again focus on our wonderfully dusty rock, as the Australian competition season kicks off. This year Snapper and Bells are joined by Margaret River to make up the Australian leg of the World Championship Tour, which means more high-performance competitive-surfing entertainment, right here on our shores, for us home-grown surf fans.
2014 will see a return to Aussie WCT dominance. We have 13 guys and six gals on tour, including three world champions who collectively hold nine world titles. The only two rookies are from our shores, as six of the current top 10 (the United States is next closest with two in the 10). Mick Fanning is the reigning World Champion, and he was handed the silverware by good mate, and fellow “Coolangatta kid”, Joel Parkinson. There’s never been a better time to be a surf patriot.
To mark the WCT’s return to our shores, and to celebrate the men and women who’ll be surfing for the Southern Cross, we have dedicated this entire issue to the “Class of 2014”, Australia’s WCT warriors. We interviewed every Australian WCT surfer, and wrote up mini-profiles on each. We wanted to see where they were at, at the start of this year, to reflect a little on the year past, and to discover something about these surfers that we didn’t previously know. We want to get to know the surfers as people, a little, before we enjoyed getting to know them as surfers throughout the year.
This treatment of the Aussie pros compliments the more technical appraisal in the Surfing Life Official World Tour Guide, available at the beach, and on iTunes. In the guide we profile all 34 men and 17 women of the tour, but from a more technical, performance based, perspective. In the guide we also get local’s walk us through the three locations on the Australian leg, break down how events are run and won, and once and for all provide the definitive guide to aerial surfing.
Also in Surfing Life 307 we’ve got an interview with the Australian surfers’ main World Title obstacle, Kelly Slater, we travel to Tasmania, San Sebastian and Mavericks chasing big waves, and go free surfing down the coast with Mitch Coleborn, Jack Freestone and Creed McTaggart – the three guys we reckon need to be on tour in the coming years. Surfing Life 307 is a special edition, with a very special cover. It’s all about surfing, Australian surfing to be precise, and is the perfect way to kick off a big year of supporting your compatriots in gnar. Dig in, you little rippas.