Frame grabs from footage shot by Jack Taylor
Ryan Callinan shouldn’t need an intro, but for some of you he probably does. That’s because the low-pro 23-year-old from Newcastle, NSW, prefers to let his surfing do the talking. Perhaps that’s not the best strategy in the self-promotion-obsessed business of professional surfing. But here at SURFING we think it’s Ryan’s job to surf and our job to bring it to you — hence, Ryan’s 12-page profile in our latest issue, on newsstands now, and a four-months-in-the-making SURFING video production featuring Ry dropping hammers from his Newcastle backyard to exotic Indo reefs. Look for Ryan’s SURFING edit to drop on our site July 29 and premiere to a rowdy crowd during the US Open that same week. But for now, enjoy these tasty morsels from his latest filming adventure to the far corners of Sumatra and a few words from our reluctant star.
SURFING: Tell us about your recent filming mission to Indo for your upcoming edit with SURFING?
RYAN: We went to Simeulue in North Sumatra and it was a really cool zone. I had never been there or heard much about it before, but it was uncrowded, which was amazing because I didn’t feel at all like dealing with the crowds on Bali or somewhere crazy like that. We had fun waves. Nothing super crazy good, but plenty rippable.
Who did you go with?
There were only four of us in our little posse: Jack Taylor (one of my best friends and the filmer), Kai Hing (an up and coming surfer from Queensland) and Woody Gooch (one of Kai’s friends and a really good, young photographer). We had such a good time. Having no Internet out there meant heaps of surfing and talking about everything under the sun. No one just zoned into their phones, which is what most trips feel like these days. It was refreshing.
How has it been filming for this edit with SURFING? What are you hoping viewers take away from it?
I actually had a fair bit of footage saved up before we started this project, so I got to start with a good base and it kinda kept the pressure off a bit. But in saying that, you always want more and better stuff. I just want viewers to see what I can do. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the stuff we got and I just want people to watch it and be pumped to surf.
You’ve been working on this filming project while competing full-time on the QS. Now that we’re about halfway through the year, how are you feeling about your QS campaign?
It’s going great so far. I’ve had some good results, but still haven’t had that breakthrough one yet — in a prime, anyway. I want to win one so bad. That’s the goal this year. I’m sitting at 10th at the moment and part of me would love the year to finish right now, but it’s going to be an exciting end to the year and I’m looking forward to finishing strong.
What areas in your surfing do you think are your strongest?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one. I hate talking about myself. Pass?
OK, at least tell us a bit about that patented backside whip you’ve become known for. What’s your secret?
I don’t know, I think practice is the secret. And rotation. But I don’t think it’s as good as it used to be. I used to do better ones. I guess I’ve been slacking lately [laughs]. I still have moments though. They feel so good and I’ve been trying to mix them up a bit more lately. There’s a few good ones in this new edit, that’s for sure.