Owen Wright hasn’t lost a single heat on the ASP Pro Junior Series this year. He has a record for most prize money. He has a spot on the 2010 World Tour. He has sore ribs resulting from repeated angry jabs with the nose of a surfboard. Owen was assaulted by some California locals on a recent surf trip heading south from San Francisco. They were very mean to Owen. This is strange news, because Owen is among the friendliest of all human beans.
SURFING: What happened, slugger?
Owen Wright: Australian Surfing Life magazine did a Hot 100 trip, where they took six guys and we went from San Francisco to San Diego in RVs. We didn’t get great waves, but we did a fair bit of sightseeing. Went to the Golden Gate Bridge and that. A few amusement parks.
So when did things turn grouchy?
We’d extended our tickets because we knew a swell was coming, and we ended up scoring a wave we’d seen a few days earlier that looked fun. But we just ended up getting kicked out. [Laughs] Dean Bowen and I paddled out, and Deano took a little left that no one was paddling for. I went right, and when we got back out this one little Mexican dude started yelling…then another…and pretty soon there were, like, 15 guys screaming at us to go in and get out of there and go back to Trestles and all that. Everyone else went in, but I sort of sat there for a little bit and was saying, “We don’t want the good ones, we’ll just catch the leftovers,” because it was pumping.
They started stabbing at me with their surfboards, started thrusting them into me. I dodged a few of ‘em, but yeah, they got a couple in my elbow that hurt for sure. Still a bit sore. And a couple in my side. Got a little cut and that. I guess they hit me pretty hard.
Did they follow you in?
Yeah, after that I said, “Alright, alright, we’re going in,” and as I paddled away one of them was all, “We’re gonna rip your fins out!” He grabbed me and was trying to bust my board up. It was pretty brutal, really. I can understand maybe just talking to us and working it out, but they didn’t want a part of it.
Then they smashed our car window, in the back of the RV. We lost a fair bit of the deposit. Lost all of the deposit, actually. It was about $1400.
Have you ever dealt with anything like that at home?
Ummm…nah, never anything quite like that. I mean, there are always a few blowups if someone does something wrong. Fair enough if you’ve dropped in on someone, but we hadn’t even done that. I think they were just over the stickers and the cameras and everything. It was only that one spot. They were just really off us. Really off the stickers, I guess. [Laughs]
Owen joined by the rest of the Ripcurl crew shredding in Costa Rica.