There aren't a lot of surfers in the world that truly move the needle in terms of pushing the sport and culture forward. Julian Wilson is one of them.

When we put him on his first cover of Surfer Magazine back in 2008 he was a toe-headed grom rocking a puka shell necklace and sick board art from his mom. From the initial batch of photos that were thrown on the light table to his early video clips, it was clear that Julian was intent on taking his surfing in a new direction ... and bringing us along for the ride.

Growing up riding both longboards and skateboards, when he jumped on a shortboard he was able to fuse the two styles. He was smooth and graceful thanks to his log training, while also capable of explosive airs that nobody was regularly doing on a surfboard.

Part of Quiksilver's "Young Guns" crew, he came up alongside freak talents like Clay Marzo, Jeremy Flores, and of course, Dane Reynolds. About this time, Julian put off joining the Championship Tour to cut his own surf film, "Scratching The Surface," released in 2010.

The next year he was on Tour dropping hammers. A perennial world title threat, arch nemesis of Gabriel Medina, a decade since his CT debut he's still one of the most dynamic surfers on Tour as his power and big-wave games caught up with his air game long ago.

Earlier this week, Julian released an edit entitled "Africa" on his YouTube channel. It's a great reminder of just how good he was when he was still on his way up…and why he's still one of the most fun surfers in the world to watch. After a fitful break at home with his young family, it's going to be epic to see that competitive fire reignite as he continues to chase that long-sought World Title.

Julian Wilson (AUS) eyeballing the surf.  ASP/ KIRSTIN Julian Wilson back in his boy band days circa 2011. - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz
World Surf League
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