ASP Australasia called Mitch after his trials win in California to find out the secret of his success.
Hi Mitch, you seem to be putting it all together this year. What has changed from last year?
It’s weird. I really don’t know. I’m just applying myself more, this is my first year having a solid crack at qualifying for the ASP World Championship Tour. I’m also trying to not think about it too much and just being in the right mindset. I’ve applied myself more to my surfing and my career, I’ve never given it 100 percent in the past, I’ve just gone with it. Now I’m treating it more like I’m a professional athlete and it’s working for me.
Tell us abut this year so far?
I had a great summer at home on the Gold Coast, but was keen to get back into surfing events again so I went to China and got second at the Hainan Classic, which was pretty much the ideal start of the year. Then the past four events have been a unreal! Japan was great, to get a win was like a hit in the face saying that I can do this, then South Africa was a big one for me knowing that I can make heats at Primes now. Now here I am, winning the Hurley Pro trials has filled me with confidence going into the Vans US Open of Surfing.
From the outside looking in it seems like one of the hardest times ever to qualify for the WCT.
I was talking to Mike Parsons the other day and we were saying the same thing. You only get to count six events, the WCT guys count two of their WCT results, so it’s hard for guys like me to qualify when making the Semifinals in a Prime is the same as Round 4 in the WCT. I’ve had to realise that rather than complaining about it, if I want to be on the WCT I have to beat these guys on a regular basis and that’s what I was referring to earlier when I said getting into the right mindset.
The Hurley Pro Trestles in September will be your second WCT event, how will you approach it?
I’m over the moon, I’m so happy to win the spot in the Hurley Pro Trestles. Last time I was in a WCT was a few years ago at Snapper, I was really young. It was a great experience, but this one is going to be a good chance for me to compare myself against the top guys. I’m going into this thinking that I’m one of these guys, and I want to be there with them next year. I’m not just going to try and make a heat or two, I want to make the finals.
Surfing can be serious stuff nowadays, are you still having fun?
Oh yeah, I’m loving what I do more than ever. I’m having the time of my life. I’m in California and I love it over here. The Vans US Open of Surfing is one of the craziest events of the year and I’m hoping for another good result. It’s unbelievable where surfing has taken me and I want to keep this roll going.
More info on the Vans US Open of Surfing – http://www.usopenofsurfing.com/