He took it back to where it all started, Coolum Beach on Queensland’s sunshine coast – the place he calls home, where he started his surfing career and the venue for the inaugural and aptly named – Julian Wilson’s Serious Fun weekend, presented by Hurley.
This first of it’s kind in Australia, the weekend, the brain child of Julian himself was a way to give back to the community of Coolum and a throwback to his fun filled youth.
The Serious Fun Weekend symbolized Julian’s childhood and pathway to being professional athlete; growing up with fun as the most important requirement whatever he was doing. In addition to surfing – skateboarding and motorbike riding represents his love of many sports.
I wanted to create something that is all about fun, participation and inclusion for the youngsters”.
“Bring them down to the beach and encourage them to ride anything they want… shortboard, longboard, soft board, skateboard, anything!” Julian explains.
The first day of the 2-day event was filled with activities for the participants aged 6 – 14 year old to get involved in. Over 120 kids registered to enjoy the day where Julian’s sponsors, along with local businesses set up a number of stations in Tickle Park, home of the Coolum Boardriders club where Julian has been a member since his youth.
Activations included an Oakley chill out area, board art station, Hurley printing press, Sun Bum Tent, a barbershop by Captain Sip Sops, Hydroflask hydration station and a mini putt-putt golf course. In addition to those, the crew from JS Surfboards, Thomas Longboards and Catch Surfboards had over 100 surfboards for the kids to try out with 3 separate expression sessions and a skate demo by Andrew Brophy and Oscar Berry rounding out the first day.
Day 2 showcased some of Australia’s very best 17-year-old (and under) surfers; where 12 young athletes personally invited by Julian competed in a WCT like event.
I also wanted to include the Pro Junior level and wanted to re-create a WCT event type vibe both in and out of the water”.
“I’ve invited 12 kids from Australia that I believe have tremendous talent and potential that will also embrace the event and have fun while going at it for some cool prizes!” continues Wilson.
The invitational event took on the WCT format from Round 4 giving all contestants the opportunity to surf twice and was held a short drive south at Yaroomba beach.
In fun 3-4 feet peaks, Victorian Xavier Huxtable took out the event (over Ethan Stocks) along with the much coveted prize package, which included a replica of the surfboard Julian and his older brothers grew up surfing on and a trip with Julian to film his next web edit… which will also be entered in the Oakley Battle of the Clips Contest.
The event also ran with a splash of pink, a nod to the work Julian does to raise awareness for breast cancer and something that is close to his families heart with mum Nola being a two times breast cancer survivor.
Usually kicking off his pink campaign at the first event of the World Championship Tour each year, this serious fun weekend was the perfect opportunity to gain a few more supporters and get the momentum started early.
While Julian was unable to take part in the expression sessions as a result of the shoulder injury he sustained on his mountain bike a couple of weeks ago, he’s doing everything possible to be ready for the Quiksilver Pro, which kicks off at Snapper Rocks on March 11.
The event was officially supported by Hurley, Oakley, Red Bull, Pro Motorcycles, Sun Bum, FCS, JS Surfboards, Thomas Longboards, Amazon Power Acai, Hydroflask and Blue Dinosaur Paleo Bars and run by the team at Surfing Queensland.
The 12 invitee’s were: Xavier Huxtable, Jarvis Earle, Cooper Davies, Caleb Tancred, Zahli Kelly, Zane Assink, Dakoda Walters, Oscar Berry, Jay Occhilupo, Ethan Stocks, Winter Vincent and Marlon Harrison.
Images: Mitch Tomlinson, Blake Levett and The Business of Surf