We caught up with FK team rider, Liam O'Brien, after his trip to the USA to chat successful result in the Rip Curl Rottnest Search in WA
You had an incredible result in the Rip Curl Rottnest Search in WA, you were the highest placed wildcard in a WSL event this year, tell us about your surf there?
Liam: Thank you, I was lucky to get through a few close heats early on. I thought I might get on a roll from there but I actually ended up scraping through all of my heats right the way to the semi-final! So it definitely wasn't a convincing result but sometimes that's how it goes. I was just excited to get a chance to compete at that level and share the lineup with guys I have looked up to all throughout my childhood.
From your standout performance in WA this led you to a wildcard in the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro, what was the trip to the USA like?
Liam: It was pretty surreal to get invited to compete in the Surf Ranch event. I never actually thought I'd ever surf at the ranch for some reason. It has always seemed like that pool exists in a different universe, so getting the opportunity to travel in a year like this was fortunate too. It was nice to see that the rest of the world still exists.
Kelly's Wave looks perfect, how did it compare to competing out in the open water?
Liam: The pool is incredible. It's located in the desert so the pool is essentially a desert oasis. The fact that a perfect wave breaks in it makes it almost unbelievable even when you're looking at it. As for how it compares to surfing in the ocean, there's quite a disparity. The pool has a lot of nuances that take time to learn and differ from the ocean. I struggled to figure out how to surf it well, but still really enjoyed the experience.
Where did you head to after the Surf Ranch, any standout breaks?
Liam: I was lucky enough to tag along with Morgan Cibillic down to Mexico. Cibillic wanted to get some practice in at Barra De La Cruz before the CT event there and I was more than happy to come along. The wave was incredible, a bit like the Gold Coast, minus the crowd.
Best dirty USA fast food?
Liam: Hard to go past In N Out, I am sure I will be returning there again next time in the USA.
What FK Products were your go to?
Liam: The FK Gold Tropical base coat with some Gold Warm over the top, paired with the ultimate leggies, and the LOB pad. They all worked a treat.
You got the Challenger Series coming up, where are you heading for that? What's the game plan?
Liam: I am heading back to the states first for the US open in Huntington, then across to Europe, then Hawaii if the COVID situation cooperates. The plan is to take it all in and hopefully make a few heats.