Matt Wilkinson Wins 2016 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach

Processed with VSCO with a8 presetMatt Wilkinson. Photo: Corey Wilson

You probably didn’t see this coming. We’ll forgive you for that.

We’re two events into the 2016 WSL season, but we’ve only seen one champion. His name is Matt Wilkinson and he, very apparently, has a backhand to be reckoned with — which is nothing new. The results to show for it, though? Those are new.

Credit it to the coach, call it a coming of age, say he’s more focused, or just blame it on some mystical force of the universe — we’re not exactly sure where Wilko’s rise to the top came from, but we do know that we’re happy about it. And you should be too. He’s one of the realest, most fun guys on tour and his surfing has been world class for quite a while. Now he’s got the trophies to show for it. And he doesn’t seem to want to slow down.

Congrats, Willy. We’re proud of you.