Sunset Pro Junior

Young Australian Riley Laing Is Stepping Up His Game

Anna Dimond

Riley Laing Wins Sunset Pro Jr.
Catch the best waves from the up-and-coming Aussie at his first big win.

Riley Laing scored the first major win of his career last month at the Sunset Pro Junior. In the clean, 6-to 8-foot conditions, the young Aussie looked comfortable dominating Sunset's large playing field. It was clear that his big-wave game is up to par.

Indeed, you may recall Riley's first whiff of the limelight four years ago, when he was just 13 and became the youngest surfer ever to surf Tasmania's infamous slab, Shipstern Bluff. He'd only been surfing for three years at the time.

Now 17, the newly minted Sunset winner revealed a little more about his life outside of surfing.

WSL: When did you know you wanted to go pro?
Riley Laing: When me and all my mates use to watch surf films the night before we went to surf in the morning to get us all pumped up. All the surfers seemed to have the best lives: They had heaps of boards, pumping waves all the time and heaps of hot girlfriends.

Riley Laing (AUS). Pro Anglet 2015.QS 1500 And his small waving surfing is solid too. Riley Laing, France. - WSL / Laurent Masurel

WSL: What's the best surf trip you've ever been on?
RL: A trip to West Java. I was 14 and there were some of the widest shallowest barrels I've seen in Indonesia. I broke my shoulder on my first wave on the big day and had to watch from the boat the next two days. Was so worth it but...!

Riley Laing (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Christopher Bluthardt (HAW), Noa Mizuno Behind the sense of humor, Laing was touched when his parents threw him a surprise party to celebrate his big win. - WSL / Freesurf/Heff

WSL: What would you be doing if you weren't a pro surfer?
RL: Working for the old boy. Pouring concrete all day, every day.

WSL: If there was a zombie apocalypse, what three things would you want to have to survive?
RL: The Rock (personal body guard), private jet, girlfriend.

WSL: What's the last song stuck in your head?
RL: Ásgier - King and Cross

WSL: When was the last time you cried?
RL: When I won my first WSL junior contest. When I got home my parents threw me a little surprise party and when my mum and dad said a speech about me, I got a little teary.

Taking on Shippies
The surfer from Central Coast, Australia, became the youngest person ever to have surfed the slab.