Shaper helps KO a champ
A YAMBA surf board shaper played a key role in knocking out nine time world champion Kelly Slater from the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast this week.
Julian Wilson, the 20-year-old wildcard who beat Slater in round three of the international surfing event was riding an LSD surfboard, made in Angourie Road.
LSD surfboard shaper Luke Short of Wooloweyah has shaped boards for Wilson since he was 10 years old.
He has watched him come up through the ranks and on Sunday Luke was standing in the water at Snapper Rocks to see his team rider out-surf the world champion on one of his boards.
“It was probably the most exciting, biggest buzz I've ever got from watching a heat,” Luke said.
“I was standing in the water with about 10,000 people all behind me on the beach.
“When Julian came in he came straight in where I was and there was a moment when there were hundreds of people all around him and he looked at me and we had a hug and a moment.
“Then his brother came in and we had a big bear hug and then he got engulfed by the media and people.”
In the heats leading up to his early elimination, Slater had drawn a lot of attention in the media for the unusual design of his boards, shorter and fatter than his normal boards.
“I don't know if he shaped it but he designed it,” Luke said.
“It's like a stubby four fin fishy thing.”
Luke said it looked like the board made it hard for Slater on the bigger waves.
“That was probably a mistake on Kelly's behalf,” Luke said.
“He was fine on the little waves but anything overhead he was overpowering it and catching rails.”
But Slater didn't blame his board for the loss.
“The waves I got were bad,” Slater said.
“I surfed all right on one wave and I am frustrated obviously, but I would have had the same result with the best board of my life so it definitely wasn't the equipment thing.”
Board choice aside, Luke said Julian won because he was the better surfer on the day.
“He beat him fair and square,” he said.
“He basically out-surfed him but it was also a technical win as well, as far as tactics go.”
Riding his faithful LSD board, Wilson will go on to face American Damien Hobgood in round four, expected to be surfed today.
Big waves are predicted for the remaining rounds of the Quiksilver Pro as Cyclone Hamish heads down the coast.