Surfing Australia Q&A with Reef Heazlewood

Published on 11/04/2024

Sunshine Coast local and seasoned athlete Reef Heazlewood is best known for his incredible air game. If you haven’t seen it before, check out Surfing Australia TV series Rivals Season 3 to get up to speed. So, it’s no surprise he’s making a comeback on the Championship Tour at the Western Australia Margaret River Pro. After an impressive performance as the overall champion of the 2022 and 2023 Qualifying Series, we can’t wait to see what he brings to the WSL event. We caught up with the 24-year-old in the lead up to competition at Margies…

You‘ll be competing as an Injury Replacement spot for Joao Chianca. What was going through your head when you got the call up?

Yeah I was so stoked! I’d actually been getting prepared so if I did get the call up I’d be ready to go, so I was just frothing to have had some hard work pay off and I was feeling ready.

It’s an exciting chance for you to showcase your hard work both in and out of the water. What has been your focus?

I’ve had a lot of the mental work I’ve been doing all come together nicely the last two weeks and so I’m just having to remind myself of that training and not to get ahead of myself.

We know how much you love being involved with your local community and inspiring young kids to get in the water. How important is it for you to be a role model for young, aspiring surfers?

Inspiring the next generation is really an inspiration of mine that gives me that drive and hunger to give it my best every single day. And I just find so much satisfaction in sharing the joy in surfing but also just life with the youth that I get to enjoy and be blessed with. At the end of the day surfing is a selfish sport but I want to get to the end of my career and I want to have been able to give back as much as I’ve received by sharing my love and experiences with everyone I can.

What is some advice you’d give to younger surfers or those in the earlier stages of their surfing careers?

Have fun and go big is something my dad would always say to me before heats and I just love it. If you’re having fun and giving your best (going big) then you can be happy with your results regardless of whether you won or lost.

What is one of your biggest career highlights so far, and what is the next, most prominent goal you’re working towards?

For me I love remembering the week I had at the Snapper Pro 2019. Won the trials getting a 10, beat Julian (Wilson) in the round of 32 and also got second in the Red Bull Airborne. And right now I’m working towards winning the Challenger Series.

How important is this weekend for you in terms of achieving those goals?

This wildcard into Margies is such a good opportunity for me to test out what I’ve been working on before getting stuck into the Challengers. Last year when I did this event it gave me a good boost in confidence and I’m excited to give it a good nudge again this year and try to go further in the draw.

Reef Heazlewood in action at the Western Australia Margaret River Pro in 2023. Image: Aaron Hughes / WSL

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