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Jobe Harriss wIns competition in Surf Snowdonia

Jobe Harris King of the Pool

Nov 082016

Jobe Harris just took out the first ever UK Tour event to be held at an artificial wave. Yes that’s right the surf Snowdonia Wavegarden facility opened it’s doors to the best talent in the UK. It was no real surprise when current British Champ Jobe Harriss smashed through the field for another well deserved win.

'The event itself was amazing. The location is incredible. You're surrounded by the Welsh mountains, in the middle of nowhere and surfing a wave with hundreds of people watching.'

Another week another win. You’re on a roll? Whats the secret?

No idea. I put in a lot of work behind the scenes so I'm sure that's come into play. I honestly felt like I had no chance at the Surf Snowdonia contest though. There are a few other guys that have spent lots of time up there, which is super important at such a strange feeling wave. I qualified for the second round in 7th place, narrowly scraping into the 8 man cut. I found my feet in the man-on-man knockout stages however and only dropped one wave exchange from the quarters through to the final. Still no idea on the secret, it just all seemed to happen.

How was this event in the pool? How did your tactics change compared to in the sea

The event itself was amazing. The location is incredible. You're surrounded by the Welsh mountains, in the middle of nowhere and surfing a wave with hundreds of people watching. In terms of tactics, I didn't really have one, it's strange because the wave wasn't really the same every time, which is sort of what you expect at a wavepool. There were some fast closey sections and some fatter ones. But you obviously couldn't choose your wave, it was scheduled in as yours so you had to take it. So I sort of just took off on the wave and did whatever felt best to fit that particular section with as much power and aggression as possible. 
 There's also a different kind of pressure in the pool. Everyone's watching you on every wave, not just from 500m up the beach, but no more than 20m away throughout the entire wave. I was fortunate enough to go first in every one of my man on man heats which helped me massively. I merely surfed as best I could on my given wave and waited for the other guy to try and beat my score on the answer back. So the pressure I think was more on the second surfer. Tactically meaning all I did, was surf my best on what I was given, surfing conservatively didn't really cross my mind because the person after you would know they only had to push it that tiny bit more. If you drop a big score first up though, the second surf is under mountains of pressure.

Are wavepools the future of competitive surfing?

I'm not sure. I'd love to say yes, but surfing on the beach is just so much better. There's certainly a place for it though, as a spectator sport it's one of the biggest and best advances in form since live scoring. All the variables are completely eradicated and all spectators know if they turn up on contest day, they'll see some rad surfing go down. It's just amazing how scheduled it can be and how certain everything is. In terms of activating a mainstream audience, the ticket to success is right there in wave pools.

Any tips for your regular guy or girl having a session at Surf Snowdonia?

Get a warm suit with boots and keep moving. It's pretty bloody chilly there and easy to seize up in the cold, so keep warm to make the most out of each wave.