Wade Carmichael putting his powerful backhand on display at the Billabong Tahiti Nui Pro Junior. Pic Will H-S
COOLANGATTA, QLD/AUS (Thursday, May 24, 2012) ? This has been a breakthrough year for Wade Carmichael, he started 2012 by winning the Championship Moves Pro Junior in classic conditions at the world renowned Bells Beach in the first week of January. Two weeks later he entered the trials of the Billabong World Junior Championships at Burleigh Heads, the third and final stop on the ASP World Junior Tour. Carmichael not only won the trials, but he went on to win the main event, overcoming the best surfers under 21 from around the globe.
In between events Carmichael works as a lifesaver at Avoca beach on the NSW Central Coast. With no support from a major sponsor, travelling and competing can be expensive, but Wade’s Aussie battler work ethic has seen him work hard for his money and achieve some impressive contest wins.
In April Carmichael won back-to-back events in French Polynesia, and overtook Cooper Chapman as the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series ratings leader. Due to the cancellation of two events and the fact that there are no more contests on this year’s calendar, Wade has all but won the prestigious ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series title. There are a couple of potential event sponsors in discussions with the ASP about possibly hosting an event before the September cut-off date, but at the moment it’s looking like Wade will join the likes of Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, Adrian Buchan, Owen Wright and a swathe of Australian surfing stars who have claimed top honours on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series.
The next step for Wade is the ASP World Junior Tour, where the top rated surfers from all of the seven ASP regions (Australasia, Europe, North America, Hawaii, South America, Africa and Japan) will compete for the coveted ASP World Junior Title. Wade’s ability to mix devastatingly powerful carves with innovative aerials will see him be major threat to take the title, not-to-mention the fact that he’s already tasted success at two of the ASP World Junior Tour stops, he won the event at Burleigh earlier this year, and also won the Billabong Pro Junior Asia at Keramas, Bali in 2010.
ASP Australasia caught up with Wade to find out what it’s like being on top and what he can offer potential sponsors.
You won three events this year, what has changed from previous years?
I lost my sponsorship with Rip Curl at the start of last year, but ended up getting a scholarship from Surfing Australia to train with Jeremy Shepherd and Martin Dunn. It has been a big help working with them. Jeremy has been giving me a really good fitness program and I’ve been sticking to that and training hard. I wasn’t happy with my result in last year’s Pro Junior Series, so I wanted to do really good this year. I put my head down and had a good crack at it because I was sick of losing.
You?re number 1 on the ratings, how does it feel?
It’s a really good feeling. I’m happy with the way I’m surfing and everything I’ve been doing out of the water. It’s good to know that my hard work is paying off. I’ll keep it going and try push my surfing even further.
You?d be feeling confident about the ASP World Junior Tour, you?ve won a comp at Keramas, and you?ve won at Burleigh. Will Wade be the 2012 ASP World Junior Champion?
Yeah I’m confident heading into the ASP World Junior Tour. Keramas and Burleigh are both really good waves, I love surfing them and I feel comfortable at both spots. I’m going to try my hardest at both events and put in a lot of hard work to give myself the best possible chance of taking the title. It would be unreal if I picked up a sponsor before then because it would give us both great exposure.
What’s your sponsorship situation?
I currently have no major sponsor, but it’s not really affecting my surfing. If anything it’s made me push harder to try and win more and get better, but it’s harder to get everywhere out of my own pocket. It definitely hasn’t changed what I want to do in life. I’m just going to keep going and give it my best shot with or without a sponsor.
What can you offer to potential sponsors?
I think that I surf different to most of the junior surfers. I don’t just do airs all the time. I love doing turns, big carves and just mixing it up with some airs as well. I try not to be repetitive in my surfing. I’m always pretty happy, I’m surfing everyday, always trying to find the best waves and if there isn’t any waves around I’m always keeping active going fishing and playing golf? even though I’m terrible. I’ll do my very best to promote my sponsors and build a long lasting relationship with them.
What is it like having Barton Lynch in your corner as your manager?
It’s great, he has given me a lot of confidence in my surfing. He’s made me want to push myself more and helped me out with some areas I need to improve in my surfing and heat strategies. He’s made me believe in my strengths and know that what I can do is good enough to win and to just keep it simple.
Do you see yourself qualifying for the ASP World Championship Tour?
Right now without a sponsor I think it’s going to be really hard to do the ASP Prime and Star events all over the world, but I’m going to do what I can and see how it goes. If I can get a sponsor soon it will help me so much! Getting on the WCT is my goal and I’m going to do everything I can to get there.