I observed a calmness, a focused serenity that seemed to surround Owen just prior to his heat with best friend Matt (Matty) (Wilko) Wilkinson in the final of the WSL Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast. With new mum and talented musician Kita Alexander and baby Vali in Owen's life, a whole new purpose seems to now allow him to explore fresh levels of focus. Prior to Owen's injury in Hawaii, I regarded him as one of the greatest surfers I had ever witnessed, this next phase of his life and career will hopefully take him even further.
PRE HEAT SERENITY
Owen and Vali, a calm focus, a sense of purpose after a tumultuous year - Owen seems to have not only survived but grown as a person and an athlete. I'm looking forward to an exciting year for this young man. A year that will demand depth of talent from all those who content on the WSL tour - it's almost unprecedented. With the incredible John John Florence as the ever present measuring stick, with legends Kelly Slater and the strength of Mick Fanning, not to mention the strong lineup of rookies like Connor Oleary; every surfer on tour has the ability to win an event.
In elite sports it is the little things that can make a big difference and Glen (Micro) Hall has had a massive influence on the WSL tour. Micro is one of the most affable characters you would ever meet. I've known Glen from his days as a pro surfer and it’s his ability to refine some of the worlds best surfers that is now attracting massive recognition. With communication skills, he has this great ability to instill an insight and self belief in those he coaches, thus producing remarkable results.
Whilst at the same time allowing the athletes to be themselves.
Congratulations to Micro, Owen, Kita, Tyler and the entire Wright family and close friends and the Rip Curl family.
Connor Oleary, the leader of the new pack of rookies that are going to shake the shit out of the existing status quo.
A demeanourthat suits pressure and a talent that is just about to blossom I predict Connor's rise to blow some minds before the season goes to far. And the same applies to all the rookies.
It is going to be a spectacular year of CT pro surfing tour.
NO ONE EVEN COMES CLOSE
Every time, without fail that I witness Kelly Slater surf, I am blown away, I cannot say how much I respect his incredible ability to remain at the top of competitive surfing. He does not just surf good, each year he surfs better. Having ten years on even the more senior guys on the tour is beyond phenomenal.
I will categorically state that Kelly is the greatest athlete of any persuasion.