ADRIAN BUCHAN LEADS GOOFY-FOOT CHARGE
Adrian 'Ace' Buchan / Image: Hurley Pro
Adrian Buchan, surfer, surfing, surf, Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast, 2011, interview, profile, ASP World Tour, backhand, goofy footer
BACKHAND ACE LEADS GOOFY-FOOT CHARGE
EXCLUSIVE - Goofy-foot surfers have tasted little success in comparison with their natural-foot counterparts at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, the season-opening ASP World Tour event underway at Coolangatta’s Snapper Rocks. One man determined to throw such history out the window this week, is backhand enthusiast and top-ranked goofy-foot surfer, Australia’s Adrian Buchan.
10 of the 34 surfers on the ASP World Tour are goofy-footers – meaning they stand with their right foot forward instead of the more common natural-footers who surf with their left foot forward.
The Quiksilver Pro’s venue - Snapper Rocks - a righthand breaking wave that requires goofy-footers to surf with their back to wave (backhand), has traditionally been far more prosperous for natural-footed surfers.
In the history of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast only one goofy-foot surfer has every won the event (Mick Lowe, AUS - 2004).
As competition resumes with the arrival of fresh swell, the goofy-foot minority will unite behind Buchan, their highest ranked World Tour representative, as they look to rewrite their victory-starved history at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.
mesurf caught up with 28-year-old World No.7, Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan, of Avoca, to get his take on the goofy-foot cause.
What’s your take on
Snapper as a break and what approach are you taking to the wave this
year to maximise scoring opportunities on your backhand?
"Snapper’s great because if you read it properly it doesn’t matter
what type of surfer you are, you can do well there. With me being on my
backhand the big scoring moves are obviously getting tight in the pocket
and being able to get vertical and throw fins plus getting big carving
turns in the pocket as well. If conditions lend themselves, obviously
being able to boost at the start or the end of a wave is valuable.
You’re a little bit more limited on your backhand as to variety but I
think definitely you’ve got to be able to mix it up a bit. Every year going up there you’ve kind of
got to know where to sit, cause the sand’s always different, the
backwash – lots of different little things. For me it’s just about being
as progressive as I can on my backhand, that’s how I’ve done well there in
the past, so I’ll be just trying to step that up a bit this year."
(Buchan has showed consistency year-on-year at the Quiksilver Pro, and
reached the Quarter Finals there in 2008).
Buchan surfing on his backhand at the Quiksilver Pro / Image: ASP/Kirstin
Does your home break at Avoca (a righthand point break) make an effective training facility for a righthand pointbreak like Snapper and have you spent much time there in the lead-up to the Quiksilver Pro?
Yeah definitely. Avoca’s not as consistent or world class but it’s a really rippable, fun wave when it’s on. Definitely having that there has helped me over the years for sure - to tune my backhand and my equipment. Being at home here surfing before heading into the two righthand points at the start of the year definitely is an advantage. I’ve just always tried to work on my backhand. Since I got on tour I knew that I was going to have to be really strong backside to stay there, so I’ve really tried to work on that over the past. I’ve been on the tour five years and I do enjoy surfing on my backhand – it’s a different kind of challenge."
Adrian Buchan surfing in Round 1 at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2011:
What are your thoughts on the current crop of goofy-footers on tour?
"I think there are some great goofy-footers on tour, especially on their backhand. If you don’t have a good backhand on tour as a goofy-footer, you don’t last because we surf on so many righthand points - you’ve got to really strong back-side as a goofy to actually hang around. The level last year definitely went up again in terms of the guys on their backside on the righthand points. Having Wilko (Matt Wilkonson, AUS) and Owen (Owen Wright, AUS) was really interesting - just seeing their approach as well, it was something fresh for guys like the Hobgoods (Damien and CJ Hobgood, USA), Bobby (Bobby Martinez, USA) and myself to see and there’s a cool little push happening - we all motivate each other and cheer each other on when we’re surfing against the naturals. It’s a fun little rivalry. It’s probably about time one of us stepped up and took it to some of the bigger names – and a lot of those guys are natural-foots. I think if you look at the top 5 – they’re all naturals."
Buchan and fellow goofy-footer Heitor Alves (BRZ) were beaten by natural-footer Julian Wilson (AUS) in their Round 1 heat at the Quiksilver Pro last Saturday. Buchan now faces Australian Wildcard, Mitch Crews, to avoid elimination in Round 2 when competition resumes.
Should things not go to plan for the Buchan and the goofy-footers at Snapper Rocks, their contingent must then set sights on the second ASP World Tour stop in April, the Rip Curl Pro at Victoria’s Bells Beach – another righthand pointbreak.
- Michael Bellamy
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