If you’ve ever been obsessed with both golf and surfing you understand that each speaks to one quirky little part of your brain that can’t be tickled by other experiences in life. It’s the piece that constantly rides a fine line between utter joy when everything falls into place and “I’m going to kill something” when you’re blowing it. Watch that 175-yard approach shot land within 3-feet of the pin, leaving you with a tap-in putt for birdie, and the entire walk up to the green will feel more like floating. When you push that birdie putt 3 inches past the hole in front of all your friends a few minutes later though, thousands of years of evolution and human genetics take away your ability to censor yourself. The easiest word to blurt out usually rhymes with truck. It’s human instinct. Don’t argue with science.
Matty Wilko knows the obsession all too well now. It turns out he’s recently taken quite the liking to golf. And even though he lets out quite the handful of F-Bombs on the links, this is a good place to grab him for a casual convo about life in Byron, old life advice from Dad, and of course, how he’s caught fire on Tour the past two years. This is the second year in a row the goofyfoot has worn the yellow jersey at the start of JBay – the midway point of the WSL’s year – making it a pretty good moment to ask, “what changed?”
“I guess I got rid of a lot of that stupid sh** in my head,” he says. “Idunno, I’ve been surfing probably a lot more the last few years than I had in the previous years and idunno, my surfing and fitness and everything kind of came to the party.”
All the hilarious cursing aside, this is a pretty good interview with one of surfing’s biggest characters.