Wilson can surf Teahupoo as well as anyone: Visser
SURFING: Renowned big wave rider Mark Visser believes fellow Sunshine Coaster Julian Wilson deserves "a lot more credit" for his skills in large surf and expects him to be in contention at the famed Billabong Pro Tahiti.
The globe's best board riders move to the iconic reef break of Teahupoo on Saturday for stop seven on the 11-stop World Championship Tour.
The Tahitian venue is renowned for its awe-inspiring and dangerous barrels, which are mostly to the left.
Natural footer Wilson, who is ninth in the standings, is chasing a good result there in his quest to stay in the hunt for the world title.
It's something the 27-year-old is perfectly capable of, according to Visser.
"Julian's an amazing backhand tube rider and he probably doesn't get as much credit as he should for that," Visser said.
"A lot of people can overlook him there but I think he's quite deadly as a competitor because he has the ability to ride no hands in backhand barrel," he said.
"That's extremely hard to do but he does it really well.
"He just doesn't go around blowing his trumpet about the fact he's actually talented in that area."
While the likes of Gabriel Medina, John John Florence and Kelly Slater are among those favoured to win, Visser said Wilson has a genuine chance.
"If it's solid you wouldn't write him off because he's a really good tube rider and he knows exactly what to do in positions a lot of other people don't," he said.
"He'll go well in big or small surf.
"If it's big he's got the courage to pull in and he has the ability to ride a backhand tube as good as the best guys there.
"It comes down to wave selection.
"And if it's small, he's also got a game that other guys may not have.
"I'd say he'll definitely be top-10 and if all the waves came to him, he could definitely win the event."
Keep an eye on the Daily for a feature piece on Visser and Teahupoo.