Wed, 9 March 2016

Will the WSL Championship Tour mean another year of seeing Jordy underperform? Craig Jarvis caught up for an exclusive interview with the big guy to see if that is fair thing to think.

ANOTHER YEAR? Looking at this edit that dropped yesterday, Jordy is looking lekker fris (again).

Whether he is injured, has a performance slump, or a strategy falter, something always seems to go wrong with the big lug. It’s a challenge to say anything more about his chances for a world title. He doesn’t want to talk much about it anyway. He wants to let his surfing do the talking, like it should.

It makes no difference to his skills and talents, his performance levels and his amount of vision and intuition when it comes to re-imagining what can be done on a wave. Jordy dreams it and does it.

Either way, it’s a world where hard work beats talent, where repetition beats flair, where consistency beats singular 10-point rides. It’s a world where Adriano is the world champion, and Jordy is somewhere else. We hit him up with the obligatory start of season pokes and prods..


NO EXCUSES: Jordy says this is the year his surfing will do the talking. Pic Red Bull Content Pool

CJ: What did it do for you to see ADS win a world title? To a WSL Pro Tour webcast viewer it would appear that apart from starting each wave strong and finishing each wave strong, all he really did different to anyone was that he crouched more while surfing, and thus fell off less.

JS: I think that’s being a little harsh. The guy won the Pipe Master and Margaret’s, which were both in some pretty heavy surf. I have a huge amount of respect for Adriano and I think so does everyone on tour. It seems the general public might not have as much though, but who cares, he’s world champ and no one can take that away from him. Regardless it definitely fired me up by watching how hard he worked and seeing it pay off.

CJ: It must have fired up a lot of people. What might fire you up more is that there are many people, around the world, who are totally claiming you as their favourite surfer and a definite world title contender, just like they do every year. You have some serious fans out there. What do you want to tell these people?

JS: Ah that’s pretty rad to hear that after my last two years on tour people are still claiming me. While my results might be lackluster my surfing is better than ever and I want to show people the change, and not just talk about it.


MID SENTENCE: Jordy rages to the Gods in a soliloquy from Shakespeare. Red Bull Content Pool

CJ: Ok, so no more talking about it. By the way, do you have anything that you repeat in your head when you really, really, really want to win?

JS: I just tell myself to trust in my ability and trust my strengths and not change my strategy for the person I surf against. I don’t have a chant though; maybe I should get one haha.

CJ: After a few nasty spills, are you planning to get all conservative on us in any way to protect yourself from injury?

JS: No, most definitely not. That’s not going to work. You can’t go conservative on tour and expect results. Everyone is too good these days. I can prevent injury by being more flexible and physically prepared, which I’ve been working on.

CJ: South African junior surfing looks pretty average. There are very few real contests for the surfers to surf against older, more established guys like you did. All they do is surf amongst themselves in junior series. With so few contests, what would you suggest to the South African groms to step up?

JS: It’s a real bummer to see the surf industry in South Africa struggling. When I was a grom, Cheron started the Junior Series and really built a platform for us to succeed and move up to the world stage. It starts at the club level, which it looks like Ann Wright and others are getting back on track now. There’s the South African Surfing Legends and their High Performance Surf Academy now too. I was just home and saw a few kids ripping which made me stoked to see. Hopefully it’s just a bad cycle that will be broken soon.


WALKING THE TALK: Jordy looks as fit - and is surfing as good - as ever. Pic Red Bull Content Pool

CJ: Have you anything to say about the latest Beach Grit Power Rankings? (Written by Steve Shearer) Random quote: “Let us look one another in the eye, we surf commenters, and take the sacred cow of a Jordy Smith world title to the abattoir. It’s time we did so.”

JS: I didn’t actually read it but I could have guessed what he was going to say. Other than a few injuries there’s no excuse for my results the last few years. All I can say is it’s not because of my surfing not being up to par, so I’m going to give it everything I’ve got this year. Adriano showed us all, there’s no substitute for hard work and I’m going to work hard this year. It’s that simple.

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