Bede Durbidge is in an interesting position on the 2007 Foster’s World Championship Tour. Currently ranked in the top 10, Bede finds himself depending upon his prize money from event to event because he is currently without a major sponsor.
This situation would cause many professional surfers to become frustrated and desperate. Not Bede Durbidge. Bede handles each heat and situation on tour with calm, calculated precision. He started the year with a bang at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, finishing second to event winner Mick Fanning. He followed that with three 9th place finishes and a 33rd at Chile.
Fantasy Surfer recently caught up with Durbidge at his home in Australia to check in with him before he defends his Boost Mobile Pro title.
Fantasy Surfer: Are you nervous about heading back to Trestles to defend your Boost Mobile Pro title?
Bede Durbidge: No, not at all. Just excited. I love Trestles – it’s the most fun wave ever.
FS: Is there added incentive for you to beat Billabong team riders or to win Billabong sponsored events? (Editor's note: Durbidge was not re-signed by Billabong when his last contract ran out)
BD: Not really. People would probably think so, though. I just treat every comp as important as they are all the same. I just want to do well in all of them and beat whoever I have in my heat.
FS: How is the search for a main sponsor going? Are you getting frustrated with that situation?
BD: Yeah, it’s definitely a bit frustrating because I don’t have an income besides prize money and the tour is so expensive to do. I have a good manager now, so I’m pretty confident he will get me one soon or by the end of the year.
FS: You’re highly regarded as one of the best surfers on the WCT in right-handers. Do you feel there are other aspects of your surfing that are less regarded that you’re just as good at?
BD: That’s funny everyone thinks that, but I feel just as comfortable on my backhand too. I grew up surfing a lot of left-hand beach breaks.
FS: You’re currently sitting pretty solid at 7th in the rankings; did you envision yourself in this position at this time of year?
BD: The goal I set myself at the start of the year was to make top 5. I’m just outside that, so I’m nearly where I want to be.
FS: Were there any events on this year's tour that you were especially looking forward to in particular?
BD: Definitely the Quiksilver Pro on the Goldy. That's were I live and I knew all my friends and family would be watching. Looking forward to Trestles too.
FS: Who are your main travel partners or guys you travel with on tour?
BD: I mainly travel with my fiance Tarryn, but sometimes I travel with Shaun Cansdell and Adrian Buchan.
FS: What’s the heaviest wave that you have surfed so far on the WCT?
BD: After this year’s Rip Curl Search WCT, I would probably say Chile. It was really heavy. That wave was right on the rocks and it was pretty dangerous.
FS: What’s your favorite destination on the WCT?
BD: Fiji. I love going there each year. It was just unfortunate it was called off this year. Cloudbreak is such a sick wave and the fishing is amazing too.
FS: Have you ever played Fantasy Surfer?
BD: I have never played, but heaps of my mates play it and have me on their teams.
FS: Ever had anyone tell you they have you on their Fantasy Surfer team?
BD: People sometimes say like, “Well done – I had you on my fantasy team.” I think it's an awesome idea.
FS: Do you feel that you are undervalued / overvalued on Fantasy Surfer? (Your current value is set at $7,750,000)
BD: I had a look at what the other guys were valued at on there and I think it's pretty reasonable.
FS: If you were to start your own Fantasy Surfer team, who would be your first selection for your team?
BD: Definitely Mick (Fanning). He has been so consistent every event and he is surfing so good.