Tim Boal and The Contest You've Never Seen by STAB

SYDNEY, New South Wales - Being a rookie on the ASP Dream Tour is a double-edge sword. On the one hand, you’re flying high, enjoying the spoils of being on the Big Show, women, wine, wealth...On the other hand, you’re the new kid, you’re often lost and/or confused, surfing waves you’ve never seen before and (at-times) getting your head kicked in by your heros. STAB Magazine recently caught up with 2009 ASP World Tour rookie Tim Boal (FRA), 26, to talk about the contest before the contest...the one you never see. This...is their story...

He calls it “the contest before the contest.” In the lead-up to a world tour event, often surfers give themselves only a single day, a single session even, in which to familiarise themselves with the wave.

Forty eight of the world’s most competitive surfers in the one line-up, all trying to iron out their kinks before the contest, can pose a problem for certain personalities on tour.

For someone like Tim Boal, the problem is twofold. Being from the northern hemisphere, he had never even been to many of the southern sites on the first half of the tour. As such, a pre-contest free surf holds more importance to him than most. In the lead-up to Trestles, there was barely a day of rideable surf. Here he paints us a picture of the free-surfing scene leading up to an ASP world tour event and tells us how he approached what is a very important contest for European surfing.

As a newcomer to the tour, and a European, how have you found the free surfs in the lead up to an event?

Everyone is pretty accommodating but it took a bit of time for me to get comfortable. The same as it took me a bit of time to get comfortable on the ‘QS. It’s hard because there are a lot of people in the water all the time for those free surfs. But I learned from it and I feel more comfortable about it now. I look forward to it now, where I didn’t before. The free surf is like the contest before the contest.

So you mean, guys hassle and play mind-games, before the contest even s?

Maybe. I don’t really pay attention to it, but there must be. Everyone gets along really well on tour but it’s good to get away from it sometimes. Everyone wants to get the best waves when they surf. When there is fifty of the world’s best guys wanting to do that, it’s not that easy to have fun.

Who dominates the “contest before the contest”?

Dingo for sure, if Parko’s not...