Julian Wilson has just come off the biggest year of his life. Fighting off a serious shoulder injury at the beginning of 2018, Wilson went deep into the fight for the world title, doing everything he possibly could by making the final in the last event of the year. While Julian fell just short of a world title, finishing second in the world rounded off an incredible twelve months.
Rewinding back to the beginning of the year, there were two other poignant moments that set Julian’s year ablaze. The birth of his baby girl Olivia was one of them, and the other was the Julian Wilson Serious Fun Weekend, presented by Hurley, at his beloved Coolum Beach.
Held back in February at the beach where it all began, the event symbolized Julian’s childhood, and the pathway he took to becoming a professional athlete. Growing up in a family where fun was the most important requirement in whatever he was doing – whether surfing all types of boards, skateboarding, riding moto or playing golf – his upbringing well and truly helped form the mantra for what was a successful inaugural event.
“The feedback I got from parents about the event was amazing.” Said Julian.
It was such an special event to be a part of, and I took that feeling with me all year on tour.”
The second edition of the Julian Wilson Serious Fun event will take place this coming Saturday, 9thFebruary at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Once again supported Hurley, Tickle Park will be turned into a veritable playground of fun with Julian’s sponsors and local businesses setting up stations for the 130 U/13 kids that have already registered for the event.
“All the spots filled up pretty much straight away.” Exclaimed Wilson. No surprises there after see the non-stop smiles on the kid’s faces last year. This years stations will include an Oakley chill out zone, the Sun Bum sunscreen tent, Hydroflask hydration station, Hurley/Posca art tent, the Hurley printing press, mini putt putt and more.
There will also be surfboards and fins to demo from the likes of JS Industries, Thomas Longboards, Catch Surfboards and FCS, while the event will be catered for by the good folk from the Coolum Boardriders Club.
In order to maximize the fun, this year’s event will be run over a single day. Alongside the serious fun going on in Tickle Park, the Julian Wilson invitational will simultaneously take place over the sand dune at Coolum Beach.
Julian explains. “We’ve had a slight change to the event this year, we just want to make sure we keep it really fun for everyone. There will be activities going all day, but the kids will also get to watch the surf comp too.”
The event will take on the same format as a WSL World Championship Tour event, complete with lockers, customized jerseys and live scores. The 16 surfers have been handpicked by Julian; all chosen because of their potential future as professional surfers. This year’s event will also see the introduction of two international wildcards in the field.
“I love seeing who the next kids are coming up.” Said Julian.
It’ll be great to give them an opportunity to compete in a WCT style event. We’re even letting them choose their own numbers for their jerseys.”
While the focus of the event is fun and games, there is a serious side to Julian’s motive. First the underlying desire to give back to the community that has provided unquestionable support for his career, and then there is the cause that’s so close to his heart. Raising awareness for breast cancer.
In association with Hurley, Julian continues to raise awareness for the disease that affects over 260,000 Australians every year – his mum Nola is a two-time defeater of breast cancer. His ‘Keep it Squeezy’ campaign highlights the need for early detection and the message is purveyed via a sea of pink splashed across a host of merchandise, including a special edition Hurley boardshort. (Keep up with merchandise info here)
The Keep it Squeezy thread will again be evident at this years event as Julian elaborates. “It’s still a big part of the event for sure.”
We do it to support and create awareness around a horrible disease that affected, and still affects our family.”
Red jerseys will turn to pink in the surf event, the kids will be given pink rashies to wear throughout the activities and there’ll be a thread of pink evident throughout the day.
With the surf and weather forecast looking good for the week-end, it’s all pointing towards another serious fun day… and no doubt will provide the stoke and inspiration for Julian to make another run at the world title in 2019.