Some Answers with ISC Champ Lee Wilson
After locking in his 2nd Indonesian Surfing Championship title by beating WCT vet Jake Patterson, the newly crowned Lee Wilson refused to safety-surf for the 5-point ride he needed to walk home with every single oversized check on the beach. Was it worth it? —Nathan Myers
SURFING MAGAZINE: Even the event winner admits you were the better surfer out there. Did you really need to be blasting those 10-point airs in the final heat?
LEE WILSON: I wanna impress the crowd. It’s one thing to get points, but it woulda been way better to win the heat on a trick rather than doing turns to chase a score. That’s not the future of surfing. Guys like Dane get scores off one trick, so if you can do it, why not do it?
But to clarify – you just lost to the contest MC? [Event winner Thai Graham also handled the contest’s audio commentary and post-heat interviews]
That’s one of the best surfing MC’s. Thai surfs really good. It came down to that.
Four different surfers could have taken the ISC title in this event — was there a lot of pressure?
So much. Seriously. But about a week ago I just decided to get over it. You can’t always win. The ocean might not cooperate. Things happen. That heat could have cost me the title. I was against an ex-WCT guy. But this is a dream come true.
Is this the really the first time your wife has ever come to watch you compete?
First time ever. She says she’s never coming again either. She’s just too nervous. My whole family doesn’t like to watch me. My mom’s crying right now. If she were here, she’d be screaming…just out of nervousness.
How does the WQS talent pool compare to the ISC talent?
The WQS is the best surfers in the world…but the waves are shitty. It doesn’t do it justice. And a lot of the guys who qualify through the WQS and go on the WCT just don’t know how to deal with good waves. Like, Nathaniel Curran: he won the WQS but he’s struggling to on the WCT. Here we have good talent and good waves…this is how the WQS should be.
So you don’t have any desire to move onto that program?
I’d rather just film and enjoy it more. I’m 24. I’m surfing at my peak. And I’m loving it. I’ve seen people on the WQS and they hate it. Heaps of traveling. Heaps of stress. Heaps of wasted money. They fly halfway across the world to surf 1-foot slop and they might get knocked in the first heat.
The waves out there today certainly looked like a decent way to make a living?
Keramas is one of the best waves in the world. And this is just one of the waves on the Indonesian tour that shows real surfing. No chop hopping on one-foot waves. Real turns. Real barrels. This is what people want to see.