While the WCT hasn’t been so kind to Gabe Kling in his first season, the Floridian has found some reprieve with a run of WQS success. SurferMag.com caught up with Kling to discuss his victory in Japan, his future, and what it’s like transport a big hunk of dollars through international airports.
You’ve been on somewhat of a streak on the WQS lately – most notably winning the Yumeya Billabong Pro Tahara, how good does that feel?
It feels great; you know to get a win under my belt, as the WCT has been kind of rough this year so I’m just doing my best, and it’s nice to have some forward momentum going.
What was the best thing about your trip to Japan?
I don't know. We actually got really good waves this time; there was like a hurricane or tsunami or something over there and we got this left point with good barrels and that was one of the better things of this trip. Besides that everyone there is really nice and funny little Japanese guys are hanging out so it's a funny experience and culture it’s a pretty cool place; I like it.
What was the weirdest thing about the trip?
It wasn't weird, but every time you’d come in from a heat – you know how Japanese guys love to take photos and stuff so you’d have like 500 people getting photos with you so it kind of felt a little weird.
How do you carry that prize money back through the airports? Is it in briefcases James Bond style or what?
I hired two giant guys to escort me around. No, well sometimes they give you travelers checks but they gave us cash this time. So that was kind of funny. It felt pretty weird walking around with that much money. You feel like there’s a target on your back and everybody knows.
Are you doing anything unusual to prepare for Trestles?
I’m actually preparing for Europe a little bit before that, you know? There’s a lot of ‘QS points to be had right now.
You’re at number eleven now, right?
I actually just moved up a lot. I was at 29th before this contest so this result helped a lot – there are three big contests in a row right now, and after that I’m going to start focusing on Trestles. I’ve surfed the wave a lot I just need to get out here and practice a bit and wrap my head around that when it gets a little closer
So when do you leave for the next WQS event?
The next one’s in France, well actually there’s one in England right now, but I’m skipping it. A lot of people are going straight there from here, but it’s just too much traveling for me – too expensive. But I’m leaving on Monday for France.