Bells has been doing its thing for the last few days, free surfs and competition! Most of the Qtr Final matchup’s have been decided with Conner Coffin and Nat Young pushing on, Jordy Smith is waiting for the contest to resume to finish off his Round 5 heat… The forecast is looking great for a dreamy final day, possibly tomorrow!? In the mean time, here’s some action from the last few days of competition & free surfs –
Jordy Smith– 6’1 1/2 x 19 x 2 1/2 32L Girabbit
Conner Coffin– 5’11 x 18 1/2 x 2 5/16 26.6L Fred Rubble
WSL: How are you looking at yourself a couple events in? Do you feel more pressure having gotten a solid result at Snapper?
Conner Coffin: I definitely look at myself as an underdog, but I don’t really get any pressure because I got 9th at Snapper. In reality I don’t think a lot of people count that as a good result. But there is a big point jump from the third round to 9th. I guess going into a rookie year and getting a couple results under your belt that will help keep you on Tour is good. I think if you’re going for a World Title, 9th place isn’t very cool. I’m just trying to do my best in each event. Round 3 is a tough round because you come up against the best guys, so if you can bust through that it’s a good hurdle to get over. Especially with a lower seed.WSL: You’ve won some high-profile heats already this season. How’s that experience changed you?
Coffin: I think I’m feeling more relaxed in my heats. Especially against Joel I didn’t feel any nerves. It’s easy for someone who’s younger to get nervous against those top guys and put undue pressure on yourself. I think that’s why guys like Gabriel and Filipe had such success, they’re just surfing. They don’t put that on themselves, they trust their talent and stick to their game-plan. It’s worked really well for them. It’s trippy because you have a lot of respect for the older guys and you don’t want to be disrespectful, but when you get out in a heat against them you can’t be starstruck. You have to think you’re on their level. Getting used to that and getting comfortable in your heats is a big part of being able to surf well for me. With each heat I’ve felt more and more comfortable. My heat against Adriano (at Snapper) was good to see what they do. Each guy has their game-plan and in surfing you don’t know what’s going to work. Do I stay busy or be more patient? And against Adriano it didn’t work and against Parko it did. You hope that you pick the right one.WSL: What aspects of your approach are you still working on?
Coffin: I think trying to feel super loose and not limiting myself in the heats. Sometimes you get in a heat and surf a little more tense than you do when you’re freesurfing. Getting in that same mindset when you’re in a heat–not thinking about anything and just focusing on the wave–that’s the best spot to surf from for me. Strategy–knowing at certain points in certain heats how to look at priority, where to be, what waves to ride–those little things. That’s a big part of a heat, you have to adapt. With guys like Kelly and Gabriel, they don’t let mistakes affect them they bounce right back. It’s easy to be critical on yourself and if you let that get to you mentally, you might get another good one in two minutes and if you’re still dwelling on the past you’re not going to surf that wave as well. WSL: Next stop in Western Australia is definitely a different type of surf than we’ve seen so far. Have you been out there are you prepared if things go to the slab at the Box?
Coffin: I loved West Oz the one time I went, the waves out there are super powerful. It kind of feels like Sunset or something, different, but a lot of power. If it goes to the box it’s a slab and I’ve never surfer it but it looks super fun, I love those kinds of waves. I’m looking forward to it, I hope we get to go there.
Nat Young– 5’11 x 18 1/2 x 2 5/16 26.5L Rook15
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