Friday, 1 February 2019 4:26:09 pm Australia/Sydney
Coming into the showdown at Pipe, with the most challenging road in our sport standing between him and even a shot at the World Title, you’d think Julian Wilson would be feeling the pressure. From a surfing mad nation, as its best shot at the crown. From family, friends and fans, willing J-Dub on to the win. From himself, as Julian’s ultimate career goal looms large, almost within reach.
What we saw however, and what Julian’s best mate and filmer Jimmy Lees has captured here, wasn’t quite the pressure cooker you’d imagine. It was just Australia’s best surfer, almost the world’s best, going about his daily routine. Taking care of his young family first and foremost, hanging with friends, surfing and training at every chance he’d get.
Among these were several historic performances on the North Shore, from some of the thickest Backdoor waves ridden during the biggest comp day run in years, to a huge victory against Kelly Slater at Pipeline to make the final.
We’re honoured to have been along for the ride as Julian closed out his best year yet on the WSL Dream Tour. 2019, here we come.
Jules throwing one to the flats, not far from his second home. Photo Peter Boskovic
Now living part time on the Sunshine Coast and part time in Newcastle, J-Dub's been scoring plenty of fun waves between CT events. Ever since we sent his first batch of boards down south earlier in the year, he's managed to keep things fresh by surfing just about everything in the quiver - from a HYFI Psycho Nitro on the smallest days (set up as a quad) to regular PU Air 17s in preparation for better waves and contests. With a rippable little beachie on the cards this day, Julian's weapon of choice was his new step down, the Air 17X, in HYFI. Board breakdowns below (he's 6'0" / 80kg):