No disrespect to Matt Wilkinson, but we didn’t see this coming.Not that he won Bells. The dude’s clearly very talented. That has long been widely understood. But that he has kicked off 2016 in such dominant fashion. He’s the clear frontrunner in the 2016 World Title race, and not a soul can say otherwise. That’s a space typically reserved for only a handful of surfers. We know who they are.
But Wilko, the goofyfooter from Sydney, has other plans. With a victory over Jordy Smith that included a solid 9.2 to kick things off (seen in the video below), he just won the 2016 Rip Curl Pro Bells, making this his second victory of the year in as many tries. Just a couple weeks ago,Wilkinson defeated Kolohe Andino (as well as Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Adriano De Souza, and Conner Coffin) to win the 2016 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.
He’s probably not bummed that he’s netted $200K on the year in prize money, and with Conner Coffin in 2nd place, the year is shaping up to take unexpected turns with fresh blood hungry to prove itself.
“Wilko had a reality check since he almost fell off Tour a couple years, and he knows he’s a lot better than that and obviously I do too,” said Coach Hall in an interview with the WSL last year. “I had a little chat with him and told him, ‘Hey, you’re better than that.’ He thought it was probably a good time to change his ways.”
Clearly, Matt Wilkinson has internalized that adjustment. The dude believes in himself, and he’s sure surfing like it.
After his victory at Snapper, he was asked if he’s planning to make a run for the World Title.
“I might as well,” said Wilko.