Tyler Wright Talks Titles, Triumphs and Being World Number Two

Will Hayden-Smith

Tyler Wright (AUS) advanced into the quarterfinals.  ASP/ Kirstin Wright would finish second at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

COOLANGATTA, QLD/Australia (Wednesday, October 23, 2013) - 2013 was a breakthrough year on the ASP Women's World Championship Tour for Tyler Wright (AUS), 19, going from 4th in 2011 and 2012 to a runner-up finish this year, in a epic Title race that came down to the final day of the final event. Carissa Moore (HAW) claimed her second ASP Women's World Title after Wright was eliminated in the Quarterfinals of the EDP Cascais Girls Pro presented by Billabong in Portugal. Wright is showing wisdom beyond her years in not focusing on what she missed out on, but celebrating what she achieved in transitioning from member of the Top 5 in the world, to legitimate ASP World Title Contender.

Tyler spoke to ASP as she was boarding a plane to the US for an end of season Californian vacation.

Now that the dust has settled, tell us about your thoughts of your 2013 campaign?
"It was a good year for me, I had a blast. More importantly the 2013 season for women's surfing was incredible. The surfing on the women's tour has been getting better for years, but everyone stepped up and pushed the limits this year and it was awesome to see and be a part of. I changed the way I started to look at things and the way I competed. I started to not really focus on what others were doing and just think about what I want and what works best for me."

What were your emotions on that final day?
"At the start of the year I just said I want to surf and not get caught up with anything else. I was happy with how I went. I couldn't have been happier that day. I was psyching for Carissa (Moore) when she won. She's an incredible surfer I love her power and pretty much everything about the way she surfs, she's a great person too and she deserved to win. I wasn't sad or unhappy, it wasn't even bitter-sweet, I was just happy to be a part of it all."

What was your highlight from the 2013 season?
"I think the first event was a turning point for me, winning the Roxy Pro Gold Coast. I was surrounded by my family and friends at an event close to home. The way I won in a really close final was really cool. I also had a really tight heat against Dimity (Stoyle) in the second round, it was so close. I remember not knowing which way it would go. It was a whole new thing for me, we came back after a long break, with a new strategy, I was so shaky. That heat was a big moment, it was me trying out doing things my way, I felt a bit shaky. I won the event in the end, it was a huge moment for me."

What lessons can you learn from this year to help you next year? "I don't really know, I don't really like planning. This year I did most of my surfing in contests, and I didn't go on many trips that weren't for events, so next year I want to surf more. I'd like to go to Mexico, I've seen videos of Carissa (Moore) and Steph (Gilmore) there and the surf looks incredible."

Give us a bit of an insight to the women's tour, is it all friendly or do the rivalries get intense?
"To be honest I don't really know. I don't pay attention to all of that stuff. I hang out with Lakey (Peterson) and Carissa and Steph. I don't go out and look for rivalries and negativity so I only see the good stuff. We are all competitive, it would be hard to be on the tour and not be, but I leave everything in the water and I'm sure all the other girls do too."

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?
"I'm off to the US for a few weeks, then I come home and do a My Bikini tour with Rip Curl up the east coast of Australia which will be a lot of fun. Then I might have some time off and go to some summer music festivals, I've never done been to one before and I'm pretty excited."

New events, new ASP management, new rookies, what are you most looking forward to about next year's WCT?
"It's going to be an exciting year with Trestles as a new event for the girls, it's a place that can really showcase women's surfing. I can't wait to have a heat out there and surf with just one other girl. There's heaps of rookies too with Nikki (Van Dijk), Dimity (Stoyle), Alessa (Quizon) and Johanne (Defay) joining the tour. It's an exciting time, the new ASP management have really gotten behind the girls, rookies always add new energy to the events and I'm sure the level of surfing is going to continue to rise."