Five-Minutes-With-Jack-Unsworth

You’ve had quite an eventful year. How has it gone for you?

It’s been super hectic year for sure! Competitively....I couldn’t have had a better one winning the holy trinity (English, British and European Junior Champion)! It’s been sick to really try out a wide range of boards that are coming out from my shaper Skindog too. I definitely haven’t been bored in the water, put it that way!

How was Morocco for you? Other than the obvious....

Morocco was a hell of an experience! It was an honour to captain such a talented bunch of junior surfers from my country. I hadn’t properly met the crew before....I’d only seen them at a couple of contests what with the shortboarders and longboarders being separated... Waves wise, our trip started very slow but thankfully as the competition period lurked the waves switched on and I can’t recall scoring better waves for a contest. Was also nice to finally go to Morocco and surf something other than a beach because previously we got skunked for waves! We scored Anchors and Killers in the final few days of our trip which was incredible.

You cruised the earlier rounds of the competition, how were the nerves when Joao Gama dropped those high scores early in the final?

It was a super strange feeling. Knowing that you’ve got what it takes to top your rival’s scores, whilst also scared that the waves might not come your way! However the waves were pumping so I was just focussed on getting priority and hoping to get a long playful wall to deal with, and thankfully my patience played dividends. A 30 minute final and priority system definitely helped with the nerves though!

Longboarding has been by far the most successful division for English and Welsh surfers over the last decade, with Ben Skinner, Elliot Dudley and Sam Bleakley all taking wins at some point. Why do you think that is? Who influences you on the UK scene?

I think it comes down to 2 things. Firstly, the waves we get in the UK are often better suited to longboarding in my opinion. There are a lot more spots in this country that are better suited to riding a longboard rather than a shortboard. And secondly, the amount of shortboard talent coming out of other countries in Europe (France, Portugal, etc) is increasing rapidly, and that’s down to the waves they get, and also the financial support which then contributes to travelling and training. This makes it stiff competition for the UK shortboarders to compete against because we don’t get the same kind of backing as other European nations do. However with longboarding it is much more of an open playing field. The English guys who influence me are Skinner and James Parry, for the fact that they both shred and how they’ve shown the world how well a surfer from the UK can actually surf!

What do you think it’ll take for you to break the monopoly that the Delpero brothers and Ben Skinner have had over the open longboard divisions over the last few years?

Think maybe bringing something new to the scene, new moves, new tricks, that sort of thing. Also with rumours of a potential change of criteria that may be happening next year it opens up a whole new realm to approaching a wave on a longboard that is hidden from competitive surfing.

What are your plans for the upcoming year? Are you planning on getting around Europe to do the contests there?

Now I’m at Plymouth University, who have been really supportive, I have a lot more time to get around Europe and do the comps, so I’m going to take a shot at the WSL events this season and make a run for the WLT in China at the end of the year. My aim is to give it all a go riding a single fin, and me and my shaper Ben Skinner are working on something that could be the board of the future, so watch this space...

Who are you surfing and traveling with at the moment?

At home I’m just surfing with the normal lot - my dad, mates and a few of the local lot. I’m hoping to do the European leg with fellow Skindog rider Joe Hornbuckle, so will be sick to do the circuit with the tour with a teammate.

And finally who’s supporting you this year? You’ve got a free platform to give your sponsors a shout out.

I have had massive support from Skindog Surfboards, Gul Wetsuits and Plymouth University, and I definitely wouldn’t of made it to where I am today without these lot...

Thanks for your time Jack.

Cheers boys yewwww

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