Ahead of the premier surfing event on the SA calendar, the ASP World Tour’s Billabong Pro, local hero Jordy Smith talks about life on the pro tour… and the big year he’s having in 2010.
Red Bulletin: You seem to be a man of the world these days, travelling to various exotic destinations on the ‘Dream Tour’. Where do you base yourself?
Jordy Smith: “Two areas recently: first, the Gold Coast in Australia. This works out really well for me logistically as the first two World Tour events of the year are in Australia. The first is the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks. It’s known for clean, warm water and excellent waves. After this I go down to the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in Torquay – a right-hand reef/point break that offers long, peeling waves in cold water. I enjoy both and like both waves.
My second ‘base’ is Los Angeles. There are a few six-star prime surfing events alongside the main Hurley Pro event at Lower Trestles. Trestles is also one of my favourite high-performance waves in the world. LA has an abundance of surfing hype as well, which is great for my media commitments and for all my sponsors. It’s also obviously way more accessible to travel to and from LA to some of the other events in Brazil. I also have a few physical trainers based at Newport Beach, so that’s accessible as well.”
How do you prep for a contest like the Billabong Pro? What’s it like for your body, and mentally when you paddle out for your first-round heat?
“Pre-contest training is done all year round, when time permits. I need to keep my body in shape, and I also have to attain that state where I’m trusting my inner thoughts and instincts when competing. I try very hard not to over-amp in either the physical or mental state – it can definitely have a negative effect on competing. This year I’ve been concentrating hard on having fun and enjoying my surfing. Sounds a bit oxymoronic, concentrating hard on having fun, but there you go…”
What about all the travelling? It’s an incredible challenge to juggle World Tour events, World Qualifying Series events, photo shoots and sponsor trips as well as organising boards and equipment all over the world. Do you have help with this?
“I always try and enjoy the grind of travelling. If you have all the logistics worked out, which my mom does, and you travel with friends and family, travelling can be good fun.”
For the full interview see the new edition of the Red Bulletin.