Marlon Harrison is a rising star in Australian Surfing. Raised on the Gold Coast, ‘Marsy’ grew up idolising Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Parko. He won the QS 5000 Noas Pro last year with some excellent tube riding scoring him a 10-point ride in the final and was on his way to competing at the World Juniors when he suffered a bad wipeout in Hawaii. After 12 weeks of rehab, he’s finally back on track and has his sights set on following in the footsteps of his idols.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a pro surfer. Was it something your parents encouraged and who were your idols growing up?
Surfing was always part of my life. It was a lifestyle, my whole family surfs which I am so grateful for. My parents have always supported me through my journey, but the person that always encouraged me was my sister Piper (Piper Harrison). She had a really stellar junior career which really pushed me to chase after her and beat all her achievements ahhhah competitive family vibes. As always I had my idols like Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning and Parko that I am still chasing after. I lived in a small town in Victoria where competitive surfing wasn’t very big, when I was 10 years old my parents decided that we were going to make the move to the Gold Coast to give us the best opportunity to become professional surfers and expose ourselves. Ever since we’ve moved up I’ve had a lot of success. winning the overall junior series, representing Australia at ISA worlds, winning a QS 5000 and being one of the top juniors in Australia.
How did you manage the pressure of completing high school while chasing your surfing goals? And what’s your advice to younger surfers, like The Surfing Australia Academy athletes, who are following in your footsteps?
School has always been a priority in my life. I think that finishing school is one of your biggest achievements. It was definitely hard at times to manage the two while I was always on the road travelling for events. It’s important to identify your support network and know who you want on your bus while you drive it to help you manage the pressure of both school and competing. Creating a routine for my last 10 weeks whilst completing my HSC allowed me to get the best out of my study and to achieve my school goals. Having a routine allowed me to wake up and know what I’m doing in the day and surprisingly I had more spare time. Advice I would give to younger surfers is to create a routine and identify your support network.
What are some of the highlights of your career so far? And any struggles you’ve overcome, such as your recent injury.
Some highlights of my career would have to be traveling around the world representing Australia. One of my struggles I’ve had to overcome would be completing year 12, after competing overseas for 2 months it was hard to come back to school and sit my trials after being away for so long and missing out on so much content. More recently I injured myself in Hawaii days before World Juniors. Missing out on worlds and sitting on the sidelines was definitely a struggle.
Talk us through that injury, your rehab and where you’re at right now.
While in Hawaii I injured my ankle and ended up doing a syndesmosis and had to get immediate surgery. Rehab was a long process which made me need to switch my focus to getting better to 100% which meant training every day. For the next 12 weeks gym, rehab, psychology and nutrition were my priorities. Still working on getting my ankle back to 100% but everyday feels better and better. I’m back surfing and just getting into my first few comps after injury.
What are your goals for the future?
When I was younger I used to have a notebook and take names of professional surfers that said my name and gave me the time of the day. The surfers were Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Reef Hazelwood, Isabella Nichols and more. Now some of the surfers to this day are very close with me. So what i’m saying is I want to be the best surfer in the world and give everyone the same time of day that those surfers did to me.