Australia’s first-ever WSL Qualifying Series in a wavepool is now in the books. Xavier Huxtable walked away as the winner in the men’s competition at the Rip Curl Pro URBNSURF QS1000 Presented By Pirate Life.
The event was the first out-of-the-ocean event to be held in Australia and the first to use Wavegarden tech, as so far, only Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch has held competitions at this level.
After his win, Huxtable went on the Ain’t That Swell podcast, where he shared his experience surfing in a wavepool.
“We were just so stoked on how it eliminates all that hassling and stress of not catching a wave in time and the ability to just sit there,” said Huxtable on the podcast. “There’s nothing you can do besides surf your hardest. It was super fun.”
Huxtable says the win felt almost surreal as fans can get close to the pool as opposed to when you’re in the ocean, but at the same time, it’s still a surf competition at its root.
“It was kind of a novelty because it was in a wavepool and not in the ocean, but at the same time, everyone wanted to win, obviously, and everyone was pushing each other super hard. It was sick,” said Huxtable.
Huxtable says he’s spent time at the park below and has trained in a wavepool, as it’s helped him improve his surfing at a quicker rate.
“As far as coaching, you catch a couple of waves and look at the footage, and for instance, your arm needs to come around more,” said Huxtable. “It allows you to get a lot of repetition in and be able to check and get back out real quickly.”
Overall, he says the competition at URBNSURF was a one-of-a-kind experience.
“You’re always going to get a wave,” said Huxtable. “Everyone’s happy because no one’s fighting for a wave. No one’s snaking. Everyone is just in a line chatting. It’s really sick.”
Here’s a look at the complete competition’s results:
1st Xavier Huxtable – 17.4 2nd Jarvis Earle 16.74
3rd Tully Wylie 14.6
4th Michael Clayton-Brown
1st Nyxie Ryan 16.7
2nd Ellie Harrison 15.74
3rd Mia Huppatz 14
4th Sage Goldsbury 10.97
Listen to the podcast here.