Kevin Schulz Claims QS Win« Back
After a marathon Finals day, Kevin Schulz won his first-ever WSL Qualifying Series (QS) victory at the Jack's Surfboards Pro QS 1,500-level event in phenomenal fashion. It was a race to the finish as both Schulz and eventual runner-up Ian Crane surfed fives heats each before the day's end to earn the top two spots.
An all-San Clemente, California, Final affair between Crane and Schulz ensued, but it was Schulz who came out on top, with an incredible 17.10 (out of a possible 20) heat total.
We caught up with Kev after his to see how it felt to come out on top.
How does it feel to have a WQS win on the resume now?
It feels really good to have a QS win under my belt… I have been traveling for years doing these events, and you lose a lot more than you win. Having it all come together, close to home and with my whole family and heaps of my friends on the beach was the best ever. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Was your preparation for this event any different than all the other events you have been surfing in?
Leading up to the event, I was making sure to surf HB every day for at least a few hours. I was able to get familiar with the sandbars, swell direction etc… I actually went into this event with the intent to surf all my heats like I was having a free-surf which ultimately paid off!
Seems like you were in the zone all day long. Cool calm and collected. Tell us about your headspace on the finals day.
I had a few really close calls in some of the early rounds, where I wasn’t being active in the heats. Once the afternoon came around I was just trying to stay super active in the semis and finals as the waves were pretty junky and all over the place. I just kept telling myself that I would be on the podium at the end of the day and visualizing a win. I had my whole family keeping it positive on the beach and thinking good thoughts. There was a great energy on the beach which helped keep me super relaxed and in the zone!
How many coffees did you consume Sunday? For those who don’t know you, you are not scared of a little caffeine. We witnessed cup 5 last Tuesday at only 1030am.
After the semi-final, I was feeling so exhausted, my dad actually ran up the street and got me a water and a coffee for a little sugar/caffeine burst before going out in the final! My Xcel team manager, Alex, also got me a snickers bar and I had half of that. The sugar and caffeine were definitely needed in the system at that moment!
What were you riding in the event? Thing seemed as if it was glued to your feet.
I was riding a 5’8 epoxy Dozer! It is one of Rusty’s older models but was feeling magic before the event and during. In the final the wind was blowing hard into the lefts so I was going for airs and the board was just feeling so stable and sticking to my feet! Going to put that board on ice!
I think that I will be home for the next week or two, I might try and jump up to Tofino for the annual Rip Curl Pro event in May! I would love to do an Indo/Bali trip and get into some proper waves this summer! With the mid-year cutoff not too far I am going to try and keep a seed so I can get into some higher rated events on the back half of the season!
Photos via WSL