Ryan Callinan (AUS) at Oakley World Junior Championships last year. Pic ASP/Robertson
COOLANGATTA, QLD/Australia (Wednesday, May 22, 2013) - The Novocastrian coast can lay claim to being the training ground for some of Australia’s most influential surfers with the likes of 4-time ASP World Champion Mark Richards, Luke Egan, Matt Hoy and more recently Craig Anderson. But over the past few years there’s been a fresh face from Newcastle on magazine covers, in hi-fi video parts and posting competition results here and there.
At almost 21 years-old Ryan Callinan’s surfing career has seen some extreme highs and some deep lows. In 2011 Callinan graced the cover of Surfing magazine, and finished an impressive 3rd place at the ASP 6-Star event in France, the world was at his feet. In 2012 Callinan spent more time on the couch than on a surfboard after suffering back-to-back knee injuries, halting the young star’s momentum.
2013 is a new year and Callinan’s star is back on the rise – ASP Australasia caught up with Ryan to find out where he’s been, where he is and where he’s going…
2011 was a big year with some impressive competition results and magazine covers, tell us about it.
It seems like such a long time ago. It was such a big year, I haven’t thought about for a while, but it all happened so fast. I won an ASP Australasia Pro Junior event in South Australia, got a magazine cover and it was all going smoothly. Then I was supposed to go on a Kai Neville trip, which I pulled out of last minute to go in the 6-Star in France and I ended up finishing third. I was pumped on that result, and also happy that I did well because I would have been bummed to pull out of the trip then lose in the first round.
2012 must have been a frustrating year for you with all the injuries.
It was a really slow year. It was hard, but it’s something that a lot of people go through. I was always confident I could get back to where I was and that’s happening now, my fitness and my joints are back to 100% but my ASP seeding isn’t back up where it was, but that’ll come. I’m starting to surf the way I want to surf and I’m on really good boards right now. Before I got injured I had done some training here and there, but I didn’t do too much. Now I know how important it is and it was a real eye opener for me. I’ve been doing heaps of training and fitness work and I’m stronger than ever.
Do you ever go for big airs and think ‘oh no, this one might hurt’?
I definitely think about it, I don’t always hit crazy sections like I used to, I’m smarter than that now. I do really like hitting crazy sections though so it’s hard for me to hold back and I’ve done it a couple times lately that have felt good. You just have to find a balance.
Who’s inspiring you lately?
John John Florence and Chippa Wilson have been doing crazy stuff! Matt Meola and Albee Layer and Craig Anderson all have movies coming out that will be good to watch over and over. Then there’s all of the usual guys like Dane (Reynolds), Jordy (Smith), Kolohe (Andino) and Jack (Freestone) who I always like to watch. I like combos and big airs and I think those are the best guys right now.
What are you plans for this year?
I’d say all of my focus is on competition at the moment. This year I really wanted to work on qualifying for the ASP World Championship Tour, but I couldn’t get into the Primes and a few of the 6-Stars have been cancelled so in some ways I’ve been forced to freesurf more. I’m really looking forward to going to Japan, and Mexico this year, the waves and cultures just look amazing. I leave for Japan on Monday, which is also my 21st birthday!
Happy Birthday for Monday from the ASP, who are you travelling with?
I travel with heaps of different people, my coach Richard Marsh comes sometimes, he also coaches Frederico Morais from Portugal so we travel together. Cahill Bell-Warren has been good fun to travel with and I also like doing my own thing sometimes. I’ve been surfing at home so much lately I haven’t been able to do much else, I’ve been skateboarding a little bit too. I’m just really enjoying my time at home right now, I’m on the road so much that home time is really special.
Before we let you go, who’s going to win the up-and-coming Volcom Fiji Pro?
I think that Parko is due for a big result, I think he’s got two 13th’s in a row and that hardly ever happens. Kelly Slater won last year and he’s always a threat. I also think a young goofy footer could do well like Nat Young or Miguel Pupo.