Local Wildcard


Standout Local surfer Dan Karren will receive a boost to his WQS campaign this year when he competes against the world's best surfers at the 6 Star Australian Open of Surfing when it kicks off in Manly next weekend.  I caught up with Dan this week to see what's on his mind. Name?  Daniel Karren

Where you from?  Queenscliff beach

When did you find out you had received one of the Local Wildcards for the Australian Open of Surfing?  I found out about a month ago it was all thanks to Adam Hennessey and surfing NSW. Thanks so much guys

You scored the Wildcard without surfing in the Surf Off between the best of North Steyne & Queenscliff Boardriders. It must have been a relief not having to surf off for your spot, has that allowed you relax and focus?   Yeah It was definitely a relief, Manly has so many good surfers and any one of the trialists deserved the wildcard that i got. Knowing that i  was definitely in the event for the last month has given me plenty of time to prepare

Is this your first crack at a 6 Star WQS event?  I actually had my first 6 star last year in New Zealand at the Oneill Coldwater classic but i think this event is going to be way bigger.

I saw somewhere on your Facebook Page you're ranked 435th in the 'QS ratings. What your status with regards to chasing the tour and having a serious crack on the World stage?   Last year i just did 4 events close to home. I was planning on doing more events but i just didnt have the money. This year I am going to put a lot more effort and planning in. Ive put away some money over summer and  I am planning on doing the Australian Leg(Burleigh, Manly, Newcastle) and then i have booked a round the world ticket starting in America. I am lucky enough to have an American Passport so ill be basing myself in California, competing and working until August and then i head to Europe for WQS leg there. As i am funding my travels out of my own pocket, its pretty important that i manage my money properly. I found that a round the world ticket was by far the cheapest option considering i am able to work in America.

We've had a mixed summer but there's been a fairly consistent swell around? How you're surfing been?   The waves have been pretty fun so far this summer we haven't had any big swells but we have had some really consistent surf. I have been getting some fun waves before work in the mornings in the last 2 weeks and im feeling pretty good for the comp. I just got some new boards off Aloha that go amazing so im really excited for the next couple of weeks.

With the rest of the 'QS in Hawaii at the moment surfing maxing Pipe, do you think you might have an advantage having surfed the Beach non-stop for the last couple of months?  Yeah i have definately put in the hours at manly but i dont think its really an advantage. All the top guys are so well rounded it wont make much of a difference for them.

The Dayyan & Beau Mitchell joining yourself as local wildcards and Kai already into the main round are you guys going to help each other out or is it every man for himself?  I train with Dayyan 3 mornings a week and he has helped my surfing so much and and ive looked up to Beau and Kai my whole life. I think we will help each other leading up to the event but if we are in the same heats there are no friends in the water. We all want to do well in this event and we are all very competitive so its every man for himself

The banks are in pretty good shape at North Steyne, what do you think the surf's going to be like?    Yeah February is pretty hit and miss, sometimes you get the big south swells or fun north east swells or sometimes its dead flat so its hard to say. All I know that its going to be the biggest thing to happen to Manly in years and I so grateful to be involved in it

LOCAL FOCUSMurray Fraser