Liam carving up competition
Burleigh Boardrider into top 100
BURLEIGH Boardrider Liam O’brien has been on the rise in 2018.
The 21-year-old powerful natural footer hasn’t put a foot wrong, claiming three World Qualifying Series wins to crack the top 100.
“A goal of mine was definitely to crack the top 100, I didn’t expect to end up with three victories though,” O’brien, the modest professional who has been consistently climbing the ratings ladder, said.
This time last year he registered his first WQS win at the Port Stephens Pro to set up a huge year of travelling in 2018.
His WQS campaign started in Hawaii, where he is now finishing the year, unlucky not to progress from round two in overhead surf at Sunset Beach for the HIC Pro.
“It was good fun out there,” O’brien said after finishing at 92 in the top 100.
“I managed to get one good ride at the beginning of the heat but ended up snapping my board on my second wave.
“It was pretty unfortunate but I guess that’s how it rolls sometimes.
“I’m still grateful to be where I am and to have had the chance to surf a heat at Sunset.”
While he was disappointed to lose, he had some positive takeaways from that heat.
“From an educational perspective I think I just needed to find myself a better backup early on in the heat so as to not leave myself needing a small score at the end,” he said.
“Having said that, I still feel like I surfed a fairly well-structured heat but was just unlucky to snap my board on my second-best ride.”
O’brien travelled the globe this year, from Hawaii, the east and west coasts of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, South
Africa and Barbados, competing in 17 WQS events.
His plan for 2019 is to keep chipping away at the WQS.
“Hopefully I’ll get into the higher-rated comps and have the chance to compete at the next level,” he said.
“My ultimate goal would be to qualify for the world tour but it’s a long road. If anything I just want to keep enjoying what I’m doing.”
O’brien is a proud member of the Burleigh Boardriders Club and, not surprisingly, his favourite break is Burleigh Point.
When not surfing, he likes playing video games.
A cool, consummate competitor with a big future, O’brien has been coached by well-known super coaches Mark Richardson and Burleigh’s former world tour competitor Jay Thompson.
His surfing hero is Dane Reynolds and he loves watching his videos.
O’brien is full of praise for his parents, sponsors and Burleigh Boardriders, who he says are the backbone of his surfing endeavours.
“They are really supportive of what I do and I wouldn’t be where I am without them,” he said.
My ultimate goal would be to qualify for the world tour but it’s a long road. If anything I just want to keep enjoying what I’m doing.
— Liam O’brien
IMPRESSIVE YEAR: Burleigh Boardrider Liam O’brien has had a huge year in the World Qualifying Series, winning three events to crack the top 100.
Liam O’brien is chaired up the beach by his mates after winning the West Sumbawa Pro, Indonesia.