Catch-up with Tim Boal on his year
The Quiksliver Pro France finished wednesday. We caught up with current ASP WQS No. 3 French surfer Tim Boal (Anglet, FRA), on his career, training, goals, and a look back on this year.
1. When did you start surfing? When did you decide to become a professional surfer?
I started surfing when i was 11 and living on the South East coast of France. The Mediteraneean Sea is not the best place for waves but it was enough to learn and good fun to surf over there. Surfers there are so motivated because it is hard to get good waves.
2. What are the key moments of your career? Things that pushed you to keep going?
Key moments in my career. I guess it started when my parents drove me around all over the place as a kid so I could surf a few times a week. Then moving to the French Basque Country when I was 14 and being able to go to a surf school and surf everyday with good surfers and have a coach (Michel Plateau). I started getting some results and then did good in the juniors, won a few events and that was cool, but I was pretty disappointed not to win the ASP European Junior title because of an injury. I think it was a really important moment in my career and it took me a while to get over it and had to learn how to put losses and bad luck behind you.
3. It has been a tough year in 2008, lots of events, big results, a win... How do you look back on your performances and your life this year?
It has been a long year. It started well when I got a 5th place in Brazil in February. Things went downwards after that for a while and I was a bit frustrated with it all. I did not get through a heat for 3 contests in a row and was pretty bumped but I tried to stay positive and believe in myself. Before Huntington (The ASP WQS 6-Star US Open of Surfing) I just took it as a whole new year, and eventhough my surfing still felt a bit shaky i just needed a few heats to get my confidence back.
4. It seems like the win in the Reef Vendee Pro in 2007 was a boost that changed your competitive approach?
Yes, I was really happy to win the Reef Vendee Pro last year but at the same time it was an ASP WQS 4-Star event and not as big a field as in a 5 or 6-Star events so eventhough it was great to win, it did not really help my confidence as much as my 3rd and 4th in Australia at Newcastle and Soldiers Beach at the beginning of last year. These two competitions are really tough and that is where I got the most confidence in 2007.
5. What work did you do to reach your goals? Has it been hard work?
Yes, it has been hard work definitely, but when you think back it never seems that hard. It is tough when you are working for something and you feel you are going backwards. That is when you have to believe in yourself and trust that you are doing the right things. I did a lot of fitness training and it is not my favorite thing at all. I find it pretty boring but when you get in a rhythm while training it is not too bad. A lot of surfing obviously, especially here in France in the cold Winter and learn how to stay motivated.
6. Looking at next year's ASP World Tour, what do you think right now?
I am just starting to think about it now. My break after this summer is over and I am going to get back to work pretty soon. I want to work on my fitness a bit more and that is going to take a few months before I can see results. I have to get my boards ready, and obviously work on my surfing to adapt it more to the tour which is different than the WQS. The ASP World Tour is different, the judges have more time to score, use video-replays, etc...and it is the same head judge during the whole year so you have to adapt to that.
7. What is the feeling to eventually make it to the ASP Top 45?
I am still thinking about the rest of the WQS season, although I want to start working on things for next year and I also want to finish as high as possible on the WQS ratings. I would also love to do well in Hawaii, it is going to be really hard, but I will do my best to try and get a result there, in those waves. They are the hardest events of the year so it would be a great feeling to do good there.
8. You are the 6th European to make it, the 6th in 6 years... Your view on the sport and the region?
I think next year is going to be interesting. I have a good feeling that Marlon Lipke and Michel Bourez are going to make it this year. Hopefully Joan Duru (FRA) as well and that would be a perfect year. Aritz Aranburu will get the injury wildcard and to be the five of us together on tour would be so sick! We started competing against each other as juniors four years ago and it would be so fun if we could all be there next year.
9. Your experience as a wildcard in this year's Quiksilver Pro France? What have you learnt?
It was really really fun. I had a tough draw and Kelly Slater in a Man-on-man heat is not the easiest way to start, but it was good fun and I would not change it for anything. I was just having little looks at what he was doing, etc... It was good to get a feeling of what the judging is like, that was my main goal in the event. I only surfed two heats so it was short but hopefully I can learn fast next year!
10. What about this injury? What's the plan for the end of the year?
I have an inflammation of the tendons and ligaments in the arch of my right foot, it is called plantar fascitiis. It is really painfull and basically I just need some rest and hopefully it will go away slowly. I have not been able to walk the last few days, but I am getting treatment and I am pretty confident it is going to heal. It is there so I have to deal with it, I just hope I can finish the year and be ready for 2009.
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Slater was 7.31 points away from clinching his ninth World Title when he was beaten by Buchan in their French final bout yesterday. Slater now has to secure an equal 9th finish at next week’s Billabong Pro Mundaka to clinch crown No.9.
Bourez, current ASP WQS No. 14 and wildcard in the Quiksilver Pro France in Hossegor, ended his run in the Quarterfinals of the event after defeating three of the top 20 surfers in Round 3 and 2.