SAN CLEMENTE, California / USA (Thursday, April 7, 2011) – Aside from establishing himself as one of the best goofy-footers of his generation, Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan (AUS), 28, has also emerged as an important voice among his peers. Buchan, who is a leader among the world’s best surfers as a representative on the Board of Directors, has played a key role in the development of the new ASP World Tour format and recently Ace sat down with SURFING Magazine to talk about everything from how the ASP World Tour has changed, why he thinks Slater has been able to stay on top for so long and what his personal goals are for 2011. This… is their story…
The son of a Rhodesian-born (now known as Zimbabwe) English teacher, and educated at one of Australia’s most prestigious private schools, it’s no surprise Ace Buchan has developed into one of the finest ambassadors of professional surfing we’ve ever had (not to be confused with great ambassadors for surfing in general, which you’d more likely attribute to Archy/AI/Ozzie).
At 27, Ace is already a key player in the World Pro Surfers union and the decision making process that charts the future of competitive surfing. He’s also the published author of a children’s book and last year finished equal first with Owen Wright for the World Tour’s “goofy-foot world championship” (or equal 7th overall). Here he discusses the handicap of having just one lefthand wave on tour, the Kelly effect, why Freddy P is wrong, and what we can expect from the tour in 2011 — if Dane Reynolds doesn’t return.
SURFING: One event down. What did you take away from it?
Ace: The standard has definitely gone up a notch. There are no easy heats anymore. You’ve gotta work hard for your points and for your wins. Everyone is really comfortable with the spots on tour and the wildcards that are coming through are getting better each year. Also, the guys that make it on tour are much better because there are fewer of them. That also probably reflects the WQS, which is held in a variety of waves now rather than pretty average beachbreaks.
Kelly is the front-runner to claim an 11th world title. What will it take to stop him?
It’s so early in the year but he’s obviously confident right now and having fun competing. They’re two elements that are pretty lethal. He’s so experienced when he gets into those [high-pressure] situations; he doesn’t get flustered, and younger guys get flustered. I was excited when I had him needing an eight with five minutes to go (in Round 5 at the Quik Pro) but he got an eight. You’ve gotta be able to come through those situations and have what it’s gonna take to beat him and produce your best surfing when you’re under pressure.
Is he that much better than the rest of the tour or are there other factors to his success?
Talent wise, I don’t think he’s that much better than everyone. Obviously he’s an extremely talented guy and he’s got that experience. I think it’s amazing that he’s had that longevity. He’s physically in great shape. He doesn’t actually look like he’s getting older. He still looks very fit and you’ll look at peers that are his age and retired a few years ago, not naming any names, and they look ten years older than him.
For the full article on Buchan, including video, log on to SURFING Magazine.
For more on Ace view his full ASP WORLD TOUR PROFILE.