And Now, A Few Words From Wilko

posted by / News / May 23, 2011

Matt Wilkinson // 22 // Copacabana, NSW:

I go out for a freesurf in the morning before a comp and think, “How the fuck am I going to beat any one of these guys?” They’re all so fucking good.

You’re never going to go out in a ‘CT and catch the worst waves but out-surf someone. Everyone’s so good that you need to be smart and be on the best waves.

I think the judges now and the changes to the criteria at the end of last year have changed the mentality. They’ve given themselves the freedom to give scores for doing new maneuvers and cool stuff. It’s definitely fun to watch, like that heat with Dane in Puerto Rico last year. He got like a 9.9 for one turn. So good to see it. Back in the day, even if you did that same turn, it would be a 5.5 or something.

On your forehand it’s easier to get scores. If you got nothing, you can just go and do three carves. If they’re good clean, big carves, they’re going to give you an 8.5 or a 9. But if you’re on your backhand if you go up and do three of the same face turns, you’re going to get a 5.

Contests at places like G-Land, you get the same crowd that is definitely going to watch every event. They’ll be watching. But San Fran is going to be a million people who have never watched surfing, and they’ll be really interested in it, which is pretty cool I think. And there are plenty of good waves on tour.

It definitely pisses me off that I’m not in videos and don’t get invited on trips and shit. I’m not gonna go down to Taylor Steele and [beg]. I just kind of got a manager, so hopefully that will help get me into that kind of stuff.

Growing up you’re watching the guys on tour going mad and having a hell time. Then you get there and there are three single dudes on tour. You go down to the competitors’ area and instead of dudes shouting at chicks on the beach, they’re hanging with their families.

I guess if I get a chick or something someday, then I’ll stop having fun like the rest of the guys. I didn’t grow up wanting to become a pro surfer so that I could carry a suitcase down the beach to feed my kids.

Interviewed by Travis Ferré. Portraits by Steve Sherman

Tags: , ,

Related Posts:


  • Chongo

    Hmmm… not so sure about the whole Gene Wilder look. Guy rips though.

  • Mike C

    Best goofy footer on tour by miles. FACT.

  • Joey Stalin

    looks like he’s trying too hard. painted nails are pretty over and done with. as are cheezball fedoras.. oh and faux denim button ups.. good luck though

  • clambacon

    This dude pisses me off. He catches the shittiest waves and gets lucky and pulls a decent air after countless tries. He is pretty much the only goofy-foot on tour that I don’t enjoy watching.

  • Danger

    Oh.. He’s so good in the water but out? Straight out of 2006. Trying waaaayy to hard. I guess you can only go so far, fashionwise riding for Rip Curl.

  • red gecko

    Wilko is a good surfer. Progressive, etc.
    Might not necessarily need to know his life opinions, but he rips.
    Hopefully he can stay on tour. Excellent backhand.

  • Mik

    Wilco: ignore the crows noise above. None of them can surf even remotely as good as you, anywhere.

    Style: i look forward to seeing you do whatever the fuck makes you happy. but then, i’m an ex-hippy, so i’m hardwired that way.

    WTC: pro-surfers and belly-fat do not mix. this part of my outlook wasn’t destroyed by the hippy years. don’t let your be destroyed by yours. besides, when it comes to the chick part of being on tour, a ripped stomach is a more powerful magnet than a vee neck teeshirt will ever be.

  • Usa Forro

    Probably the most exciting, stylish surfer on tour right now. He seems to straddle the line between freesurf and competition quite well in his heats, and that’s why he’s fun to watch.

  • Helen

    Wow, !! Note to Matt, wear what ever you bloody like… I thought this sight was all about surfing.. It seems some people are more interested in scoring you for your dress sense… Keep ripping it up, keep singing out to the chicks, keep having a good time and stay true to yourself….. A great young surfer coming up through the ranks you are Matt !! To clambacon, you dont get to No 14 @ the age of 22 in the world of surfing through luck, his gotta be doing something right….

  • cxz

    lameass overrated surfer. Thats all I gotta say.

  • Benj

    Too cool for school.

  • Careful

    Careful gene wilder 22 year old calling the 30 year olds out for being adults. Lets see if you’re still around in 8 years. I mean, which team you’re team managering on.

  • amos

    clambacon , although you have the right to have any opinion you like, to have one with no basis shows your shallowness ,Wilko has a world title ,came 2nd in the aussie pro jns as a sixteen year old , has won prime and star events and represented australia at 5 billabong world jrs of which he ended as the highest aussie 4 times .So clambacon you have no idea , so my advise to you would be, do some research before you open your mouth cause at the moment it is full of shit .

  • amos

    cmz ,voted most underrated surfer by his peers [ top 34 ] but what would they know .?

  • jack donahue

    hard fact: wilco is a straight up gangster. fool destroys shit. and blade on brother, that was much needed. “I guess if I get a chick or something someday, then I’ll stop having fun like the rest of the guys. I didn’t grow up wanting to become a pro surfer so that I could carry a suitcase down the beach to feed my kids.” uh yeah, that just happened $$$$

  • red gecko

    not overrated at all.
    better than 90% of the California douche crew.

  • x

    i miss andy

  • Matt S.

    Ohhh poor rich pro surfer doesn’t get invited to get paid even more money to travel the world surfing perfect waves for videos. Cry me river Wilko.
    Also, dude, you are on tour with guys in their 30s and yes some have gotten married and have kids. In 10 to 15 years you will be one of these guys… if you’re lucky. Until then the good news is that this leaves more women for you. Where is the gratitude?
    Hey Red Gecko, dial it back, the Californians on tour aren’t having pictures taken with painted nails and stupid hats. That said, Matt Wilkinson is not overrated. He absolutely kills it.

  • bert

    Great surfer, but should hire a stylist instead of a manager

  • jacko sahako

    Wilco is showing a little imaturity, ok he’s only 22. He’s not getting it about the older surfers on tour who crave stability. About his style, he’s trying to get noticed of course, I remember those daya, looking back feels lame, it’s a natural progression. About not being invited for vides in stuff maybe the most telling thing about his personality but I don’t know him and what do I know anyway.

  • Me, Myself and I

    “not overrated at all.
    better than 90% of the California douche crew”.

    Agreed, but sill overrated. Kinda of a Cory Lopez without the balls(and you say brazzos dont have style…).
    Wilko came out as a hot grom, but never delivered, Owen on other hand did. He is just another overhyped kid created by ST.f.A.g.B Magazine.

    What is so “innovating” about this kid? Drinking? Dressing? Airs? Wow, then what should we say about Matt Hoy, Occy, Archbold, Christian Fletcther and many others?

    Cammon, just wearing a hats and pulling airs does not make you surf good. Otherwise, Crimo would be a legend.

  • Me, Myself and I

    Further, It is funny and kinda hypocrite to be crying in a magazine at the same time state “I’m not gonna go down to Taylor Steele and [beg]“.

    Well, what are you doing by stating this? If this is not begging, then I don’t kwon what beg is. Perhaps he should dress up as a homeless(ops, he already does), go toa corner and wave a sign.

    ——————–

    Sorry, for the bashing, Im just so sick of thesw overhyped kids acting like a fag CK underwear model in magazines.

  • sam

    to mat s . and me myself and i ,The taylor steel bit was an answer to a question . do you expect him to say .Nah i’m really happy i’m not in any movies .These interviews are questions sent by emails and answered also by email and they put it out however they see fit . why do you think Andy had such an issue with Stab mag.

  • sam

    sorry, i meant dane not andy ,its just that i had andy on my mind .

  • dfdsf

    Wow. Lots of stuff going on with these comments. Interesting because the guy has gets so little coverage in magazines, videos, etc in the states. Mainly because he doesn’t have the most important thing: LOOKS to be marketable and SELL CLOTHING.

    A little analysis:

    1. Too many people worrying about what he wears.

    2. The rift between the older (American?) surfers and the younger guys is really beginning to show. Whining about how guys dress, how they surf, etc. Jealousy much? The fact is the young guys are making the most use out of every type of wave – onshore, offshore, sectiony, hollow – than ANY generation before them. The air stuff is starting to mingle more and more with the powerful turns, just like we knew it would. If you were around in skateboarding’s small wheel stage you understand.

    3. Wilko’s innocent jab at some of the older guys. If you were 22, single, and a traveling pro surfer you’d be saying the same thing.

    Buncha morons.

  • red gecko

    me, your vagina, and some pliers,
    please lift your face out of your a$$

    this guy does the turns, the airs, puts it on rail, etc

    he’s 22 and is just giving his thoughts once asked.
    Notice how sensitive people are to them. You can tell who on this comment board is from southern california.
    they worry about looks, not actions.

  • Jay

    I was in a good mood today, so I decided to change that by reading surfing mag’s comments. Now I feel shitty and reminded of the void where the soul should be. Cheers!

  • Matt S.

    Damn it Sam. Now I feel like a dick for giving him shit about the video comment. Also, red gecko and Jay are right. Who cares if he paints his nails and proudly takes cocktail waitresses down two at a time, he rips. Now, red gecko, put your pliers down. Jay, your faith in humanity is restored.

  • Steve Shearer

    ” But San Fran is going to be a million people who have never watched surfing, ”

    Fuck, those poor backwards San Franciscans…….thought they had high speed internet…

    and they missed out on Baywatch too.

  • Jimmy aus

    Whoever wrote negative shit about Wilko, who cares if his fashion is bad, its different and hes not boring like the rest of them guys on tour, who are all up themselves. Wilko is a nice lad who will say hello to anyone and not act like hes better than you. Siiiick cuuuuunt. Go out and surf you bitches and stop acting like a fucking joke on the internet.

  • Me, Myself and I

    Look, peers.
    I bashed the kid, guess end up offending a lot of you in here.

    Anyway, let me try explain.
    Nothing against Wilko, of course he rips(I still dont like his style and dont think he’s top material, but he rips) and in fact, I really dont know much about this guy.

    Perhaps Im stereotyping the image of him, but what Im getting tired of is all this hype this kids are living in right now.

    I mean, WTF, why does it seems like all the young kids have to be all artsy LukeStedmanOzzyWrightCKmodel wannabe?
    No, you cant draw for shit! Nom you cant take pictures(Instagram is NOT photography)! No, you are a rock star!

    Someone named Andy. Well thats the type of surfer image I take. Cammon, do we see JOB or BIrons trying that hard to be cool?

    AGAIN I DO NOT KNOW WILKO, DO NOT KNOW IF INTENDS TO POSE AS THE COOLEST KID IN TOWN(If he actually does, then nevermind this post). JUST USED HIM TO STEREOTYPE THE “COOL KID HOLLYWOOD ACT” THAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN SURFING LATELY.

    ——

    No, Im not an old school ass. In fact, Im just a few years older than Wilko and my number 1 sport still is skateboarding.

    ——–

    Damn it, I miss Fletcher, Wardo, Matt, Andy.
    We need more Lost type flicks to contra-balance all this hype bullshit that’s been going on.

    Btw, the coolest brand that the coolest kid use just sold out to Gucci… Wow, how rebel and cool is that!

  • chard

    wilko is exciting to watch. im stoked to have him on tour. loved his comment before rio. he sayed, im going to rio to have a trio. funny guy.

  • Joey Stalin

    surfing is the gayest thing ever. period. surfers are so fucking contrived.

  • sam

    If there is a gay male surfer on tour [top 34 ]he is still in the closet ]

  • C Ockenbalz

    The boy rips, he’s having fun with life, he’s single & hoping to have a few wingmen on tour to go out and party. Why wouldn’t you! He’s got it made, travels the world surfing for a living, visiting new places, meeting new people & surfing new waves.

    I’m jealous of him just like everyone of you here & you can’t say your not otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting at home or at your 9-5 job and reading interviews/stories like this and wishing it were you or at least you had the oppotunity to be in the same position.

    Keep ripping Wilko!

  • Carson Krez

    We sure won’t see him on either Lost Atlas or thesartorialist.com.