Surfer Robinson ready for world title tilt

·3-min read

Jack Robinson's crack at a world surfing title has been 20 years in the making and for Australian surfing, it couldn't have come at a better time.

The 24-year-old will be Australia's best hope for a breakthrough men's world crown next month, nine years after three-time champion Mick Fanning's last tour triumph.

Brazilians have won five of the last seven titles, with Hawaiian John John Florence breaking their dominance in 2016-17.

Success-starved Australia's stocks may also suffer a blow in the near future, with Olympic medallist Owen Wright considering joining Julian Wilson in retirement after missing the mid-season cut.

"I think Australia's been hoping for someone new," Robinson told AAP.

"It's been so long; even before I was on tour I thought, 'I want to be the next Australian going for it', so I'm stoked.

"The Brazilians have had their time, so it's a good time for Australian surfing with a bunch of young guys coming through."

For the second time the world title will be decided in one epic day of competition next month with the top five-ranked men and women squaring off at California's Lower Trestles.

At world No.2, Robinson is ranked one place ahead of fellow Australian Ethan Ewing, while seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore will fly the flag as No.5 in the women's field.

Starting out aged just three, Robinson was surfing Hawaii's famous Pipeline by the time he was 12, and at the time was dubbed the next Kelly Slater.

He was already sponsored and touring the world, home-schooled to maximise his time in the water under the eye of his father/coach Trevor.

But Robinson's rise stalled as the grind of the qualifying series took its hold, only joining the elite tour in 2021.

Robinson feels his chance at the top level was a long time coming.

"It's been forever," he said.

"I know there's going to be lots of moments like this coming but this is the first one, so probably the most exciting.

"It's your dream as a kid, growing up watching guys like Mick Fanning and all the best guys do it, so it's incredible."

After a maiden WSL title in August 2021 in Mexico, Robinson won back-to-back competitions this year - at his home break in Margaret River and G-Land in Indonesia.

While he's rated among the world's best tube riders, he showed his consistency with four other top five finishes to sit only behind tour leader Brazil's Felipe Toledo.

The competition window for the finals opens on September 8 and Robinson will be ready.

He has already set up at Lowers, spending at least five hours a day in the water testing boards, growing used to the break and the physical toll of the format.

Under the competition's structure, the fifth-ranked surfer takes on fourth with the winner facing world No.3, and that victor going up against Robinson.

Top-ranked Toledo is awaiting the last surfer standing, with the title then decided in a best-of-three heats clash.

Reigning world champion Gabriel Medina isn't in the line-up, only managing three events due to injury.

"Each heat takes a lot and you don't know who you're going to go against which is kind of crazy," Robinson said.

"The higher ranked you are the better, because you could end up surfing three times anyway even if you are rated first."