CARLSBAD, California/USA (Tuesday, June 26, 2012) – Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 30, has been a staple on the ASP WCT for eight years, representing the Hawaiian flag alongside the world’s best surfers. This year, the veteran campaigner is currently battling on the ASP Top 34 as first alternate and is working hard to climb back to his rightful place atop the rankings. Transworld SURF caught up with Patacchia to see what life has been like for the talented goofy-footer and what his future plans hold. This… is their story…
TransWorld SURF: Fred Patacchia, you started the year one spot removed from the world tour but you’ve managed to surf in every event as an injury replacement for Dusty Payne. Knowing he is a friend of yours, is it a bittersweet feeling?
Fred Patacchia: Yeah, it’s definitely bittersweet. Especially because I’m a big time advocate of Hawaii surfing and the future of Hawaii surfing and there’s only two of us on tour right now—me and John John Florence. Dusty’s my buddy and to see a talent like that get hurt early in his career—I’m sure he’ll bounce back 100%—but it’s hard to see things like that. You never want to see anyone get hurt, but it’s just the fact of the matter, the ways that we’re surfing and the things that we are doing these days, guys are going to get hurt and there has to be that injury replacement.
So as an injury wild card, how much lead-time do you have before you know you’re going to be in an event or not?
It’s different for every event. Dusty’s injury was pretty severe but he’s been nice enough to give me a heads up on what he’s doing and whether or not he’s going to be in the event. So I’ve been getting a good two weeks in advance almost every time. At Snapper they called me almost a month before. But now that he’s recovering, who knows if he’ll be back for Tahiti? Either way, my whole thought process is that I’m going to be in every event. I’ve bought my ticket for every event and I plan on staying with the Quiksilver guys. I’m going to have my equipment there and be ready to go whether or not I get in. You see a lot of guys that are somewhere else when they get the call and then they have to rush over, and who knows if they have the right equipment with them. I’ve noticed in the past it’s always a last minute thing. So for me since I’m the first alternate and history has shown that 90% of the time maybe even more like 98% the first replacement gets in. So basically I’m just going to be there, everywhere.
At the next event, the Billabong Pro Tahiti at Teahupo‘o, people get hurt warming up all the time. It doesn’t have to be big, so I guess it’s a good thing to be there and ready to go.
Exactly. People warm up and injuries happen. Just recently at the Volcom Fiji Pro, Raoni Monteiro got hurt, and who knows how long he’s going to be out?
For the full interview with Patacchia log on to Transworld SURF.