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Irish surfer Glenn Hall on ASP world tour

The following article is from

Glenn Hall has stuck to his guns, battling on the verge of ASP WCT qualification for the better part of a decade. In 2012, the Umina talent’s hard work finally paid off. While the spotlight is often focused on the up and coming teenage phenom, Hall has improved with age to put in the best year of his career at 31.

With the likes of Slater, Parkinson and Fanning leading the charge of middle-aged surfers breaking personal barriers in a sport where 30 used to be the mean retirement age, Hall joins the side of a tour filled with talent improving with age.

Micro’s momentum swing started in 2010, when he secured his first major victory, clinching the Burton Toyota Surfest in Merewether, but Hall really found his feet in 2012 when he began his season with a victory at the 4-Star Hainan Island Classic. The goofy-footer’s consistency continued throughout the season when the qualifying veteran charged to stellar performances in ASP Prime events, winning South Africa’s coveted Mr. Price Pro and placing 2nd at California’s high performance gem of Lower Trestles at the Nike Lowers Pro.

“I have been close to qualifying many years before but never got over the line. To finally do it now at this age and with the caliber of young guns, it’s strange I suppose. But, in saying that, I feel like I’m surfing my best and enjoying it as much as ever. I’m working on the little things and trying to improve. The response from the cyber critics on articles on me has been hilarious to read. Apparently I’m too old and don’t do backflips so I can’t surf! I have been copping it, but it’s all good. I’m just laughing at it and staying positive.”

Micro is also ready to join the family friendly environment that the ASP WCT has become. After traveling with the younger crowd on the qualifying circuit, Hall’s entourage in the VIP lounge includes his wife and child, contributing to what has become a more common lifestyle among traveling professionals.

“Yeah it seems like there are a lot more people traveling with kids on WCT. There were only a couple of us doing the Qualifying Series with kids, so it will be good for my wife and daughter to have other families around.”

While Hall was born and raised in Australia and remains a proud Aussie, it’s no secret the he enters the ASP WCT as the first surfer to fly under the Irish flag, a decision that has contributed to his flourishing career.

“The choice to surf under the Irish flag has been such an interesting move but all positive. It has created so many unique opportunities and been a great change to my career. Not everyone has totally agreed with the decision and I can understand their opinions 100 percent. This kind of thing happens in most other sports but is a relatively rare in surfing so obviously there will be the odd person who doesn’t agree with what I’m doing. The support I have had from both the Irish and Aussie surfers has been amazing though, so it’s good to know your friends and fans still support you. The Irish surf community has been so stoked to have someone to follow and I’m honestly enjoying surfing for them and trying to help the young Irish surfers have someone to look up to in competitive surfing.

I’m as proud as punch to be Australian and love everything about Australia. I also love my heritage and am proud to be part Irish. Ireland is a beautiful place with good fun people, waves and pubs. So there’s nothing wrong with Ireland!”

While several Aussie professionals are spawn from the Goldie, Hall’s local heroes helped him climb to elite status.

“I grew up in Umina where I was fortunate enough to surf with Drew Courtney and Dave Nelson everyday. Those guys were a bit older than me so they taught me a lot and helped me out in so many ways. Everyone in Umina has been so supportive and I really think that a small town following helped as we grew up. Everyone was behind us at every local comp, Pro Junior and ‘QS. Dave Neilson’s Dad was a legend who helped a lot too. He just loved surfing and loved helping out the young guys having a go. Now I’m influenced by all the young groms who I do coaching with. Their enthusiasm is contagious and analyzing their surfing helps my surfing. There are so many groms on the central coast right now who have a huge future like Riley Laing, Mitch Raymond, Caleb Tankred, Macy Callaghan, Wade Clemens, Teague Robbo and so many more.

The Australian-Irishmen is chomping at the bit to kick off his 2013 campaign and he’s especially hungry to challenge himself at the heavier spots on tour, especially the Billabong Pro Tahiti.

“I’m definitely most excited about Tahiti. I love that wave and knowing that it might be 100 foot tall and 100 wide like last year gives me butterflies. I can’t wait!”

Glenn Hall will make his ASP WCT debut at the season opening Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks.