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Inside Look - JW at the Pipe Masters

Coming into the showdown at Pipe, with the most challenging road in our sport standing between him and even a shot at the World Title, you’d think Julian Wilson would be feeling the pressure. From a surfing mad nation, as its best shot at the crown. From family, friends and fans, willing J-Dub on to the win. From himself, as Julian’s ultimate career goal looms large, almost within reach.

What we saw however, and what Julian’s best mate and filmer Jimmy Lees has captured here, wasn’t quite the pressure cooker you’d imagine. It was just Australia’s best surfer, almost the world’s best, going about his daily routine. Taking care of his young family first and foremost, hanging with friends, surfing and training at every chance he’d get. 

Among these were several historic performances on the North Shore, from some of the thickest Backdoor waves ridden during the biggest comp day run in years, to a huge victory against Kelly Slater at Pipeline to make the final.

We’re honoured to have been along for the ride as Julian closed out his best year yet on the WSL Dream Tour. 2019, here we come.

A fly on the wall in Hawaii - "No Cigar" shot and edited by Jimmy Lees. Photos below by Ryan Miller and Trevor Moran. 

Pipe prep at the Redbull house, with a few favourites for the day of days. Hawaii quiver breakdown, below (he's 6'0" / 80kg):

Air 17 

6'0" x 18 3/4" x 2 3/8" x 28L

FMNII round pin 

6'0" x 18 3/4" x 2 7/16" x 28.5L
6'0 1/2" x 18 3/4" x 2 7/16" x 28.6L
6'2" x 18 3/4" x 2 7/16" x 28.8L
6'3" x 18 3/4" x 2 7/16" x 29.3L
6’4” x 18 3/4” x 2 7/16” x 29.6L

FMNII Step Up 

6'6" x 18 3/4" x 2 7/16" x 30.4L
6’8” x 18 3/4” x 2 1/2” x 32L
6'10" x 18 3/4" x 2 1/2" x 33.2L

7’0” x 18 7/8” x 2 9/16” x 34.6L 

"When's the last time someone pulled into a wave that size at Backdoor?" - Pat O'Connell and half of the Hurley tent, watching in awe from the sand. We didn't have an answer either. 

No hands, backside. JW's genius going both ways at the surfing world's most dangerous but desirable peak never ceased to amaze. 

There were plenty of moments like this for Jules in 2018, and quite likely, even more coming for 2019. See you soon. 

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