'Inside the Dream Tour' by Basque surfer Aritz Aranburu
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 June, 2008 : - - Aritz Aranburu (EUK), 22, qualified for the ASP World Tour last year and is currently on his rookie season among the ASP Top 45. Aranburu, first ever Basque and Spanish surfer to join the elite of surfing, started his qualification campaign on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) a couple of years ago and has already achieved one of the best European careers ever: 2005 ASP European Junior vice-champion, 2007 ASP European Champion and 2008 ASp World Tour rookie.
Aranburu has had a tough start though this year and is now trying to catch up with his fellow ASP Top 45 contenders after three months of rehabilitation due to a broken meniscus and a twisted ankle. Aranburu, who missed the two first stops of the ASP World Tour, got back on tour in Tahiti where he finished last but stepped up in the Fijian barrels with a win over Taj Burrow (AUS) and Dayyan Neve (AUS) in Round 1 before losing to reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) in Round 3.
Aritz Aranburu (EUK), who has been competing for a decade on all tours from local basque junior events to top ASP World Qualifying Series, is now in position to battle against the world's best and will be a tough opponent at every wave the tour hits from now on.
1. Four events down, seven to go, how do you feel at the moment?
I missed two of four events after I broke my meniscus in Australia during the first Expression Session of the year, and the recovery is a long and hard path. I was stoked to get back on tour in Tahiti but i still have a weak ankle so I am working hard to be back at 100% as soon as possible.
2. How did you like Tahiti and Fiji?
Tahiti was just amazing. From food to people, including all the waves and setting, Tahiti is just a true paradise. It was my first real event of the year so I had no pressure just recovering from my meniscus injury. I placed last but it was good to surf these waves. Fiji gave us sick waves as well and hanging with the crew (Jeremy Flores, Miky Picon and Tiago Pires) was a great experience. We all had a good time and our results overall were not bad. Still a long way but this South Pacific leg was a positive moment for us all.
3. What is your plan now?
I twisted my ankle again last week so my plan is to keep up the rehabilitation program and I hope I will be feeling at my best for the next event. I will see how fit I am before leaving for Jeffrey's Bay.
4. Do you feel like the training with the other Dream Tour Europeans pays off?
The training and work I have been doing on my side are very efficient and positive. I haven't been training a lot with the rest of the Europeans because I was on my own dealing with my leg which has caused me lots of problems so far. Knee, ankle... It looks like my positive attitude and will to go forward don't fit with the leg!
5. Will you attend the ASP European WQS leg this summer?
I will be at every event in Europe for sure. I really enjoy surfing close from home and my home town of Zarautz (where Aranburu won the inaugural edition last year) will have an ASP WQS 5-Star event this year so it is even better. Let's hope for the waves to be better and give us a bit of a show.
6. What about the ASP Top 45?
For me, Kelly Slater has almost done it all. Usually when one surfer gets three events he has all chances to get the title, which will be Kelly's 9th ASP World Championship. He has been surfing better than anyone since the start of the year. I must say Dane Reynolds (USA) is amazing as well, he just needs to learn a bit more about competition tactics but it is a great pleasure to see him surf when we are at events.
7. Next event is the Billabong Pro at Jeffrey's Bay, how do you like it there?
I love the waves at Jeffrey's Bay when it pumps. It can be so good, but it is a very difficult wave to surf and I will have to watch a lot of videos of Tom Curren's performances there before going! Can't wait to paddle out, but in good form off course.
Billabong Pro, Jeffrey's Bay - South Africa, 10-20 July 2008
Check out Aritz' ASP Profile
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