HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, July 31, 2010) - Owen Wright is a big, rangy, Aussie country kid who smiles his way around the world, punting giant airs, driving through crazy shacks and winning ASP World Tour heats. He’s from the reefbreak-soaked coast of southern New South Wales — think California’s Central Coast with fewer closeouts — and, unlike most of the other surfers chronicled thus far in our CHANGING OF THE GUARD series, he was not in Modern Collective, nor is he working on a signature surf film. “I’m on a different path than those guys,” he explains. “I’ve been competing and trying to get on the World Tour and trying to get myself to a level where I can win a world title.”
Yeah, he said it. “World title.” Not: “video part.” Not: “rad blog.” Not: “exploring my creative side.” Because Owen Wright, under all that genuine nice-guy humility, is a contest warrior. He beat Kelly Slater last year as a wildcard, twice. This year, after two 17ths in Australia, he got a third in Brazil and a seventh at J-Bay, clawing his way to number 11 on the World Tour — the highest ranked rookie behind Jadson Andre. And with Teahupoo’s heaving slabs around the corner, followed by Lowers’ puntable walls — both of which suit Owen’s strengths — 2010 is turning into a damn fine year for Mr. Wright.
GROWING UP, HOW IMPORTANT WERE SURF MOVIES TO YOUR PROGRESSION?For me, surf movies were probably the most important part for progression. I live on the South Coast [of NSW] and there were a few guys that ripped, but they were never there — so we never really got to see guys ripping right there in front of our face. So it was definitely the movies, and I definitely watched them and learned and tried to copy what they were doing. Probably just do a way worse version, but still felt pretty cool.
HOW IMPORTANT WERE SURF CONTESTS?When I was growing up, contests were pretty massive. Basically, I traveled around with my dad and my older brother, and we always did a bunch of the under-12s, under-14s. There’s some really good comps in Australia for young groms, so I did a fair few of them. There’s all…
Full Interview at SURFLINE’s Changing of the Guard
For more on OWEN WRIGHT, check out his ASP WORLD TOUR PROFILE