With only a few days at home before the Frenchman heads to Lacanau for the ASP WQS 6-Star Sooruz Lacanau Pro starting next Monday, Boal sent us a few thoughts on his first half of the year as a member of the ASP Top 45, the elite contingent of professional surfers. Having placed equal 17th at all events but one, Boal remains in position to requalify for next year’s ASP World Tour but will be looking to get a first big result under his belt, a goal he could possibly reach at Trestles, home of the Hurley Pro in September. Until then, it’s ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) time, training and rest. Mr Boal grabs the mic and speaks results, quiver and new tour rumours… Check it all out. 1. What do you think of the first half of the year? The first part of the year was pretty good, I had fun and discovered some new places I had never been to, which means I also had never surfed any of those waves before. I learnt a lot in those first six months and enjoyed my time on tour. My results aren't very good and I missed some good opportunities, got a bit unlucky in some heats, messed-up some other ones, etc... That's competitive surfing and hopefully I'll use it all to be better in the second part of the year.

2. Any new game plan for the upcoming events? I am definitely going to approach the second part of the year differently. I was on a trip with Red Bull in the Mentawaiis in May after Tahiti, and the level of surfing during that trip was amazing. Groms, girls and guys were surfing so good, it was crazy to watch. I injured myself on the second day of the trip and after watching most of the time and seeing all the good surfing, I just want to focus on having fun and not getting bored with my surfing. Competing a lot on can make you bored and repetitive and that trip was a real eye opener on that point. These things don't change in a day but since then I've been just free surfing a lot and making sure I always stay fresh.

3. Your best time on tour this year? My best moments on the tour were at Trestles (for the ASP WQS 6-Star Prime Nike 6.0 Pro) where I got third. Hopefully I can do the same in September there for the ASP World Tour event!

4. How do you work on your boards and quiver in general? I work a lot with Christian Bradley and Pukas. I've been trying a lot of different boards and I think I'm getting closer and closer to a real good board that suits my surfing. I've actually struggled with boards since I got back from my injury and I feel like I am surfing differently so my boards are changing and we're getting close to the good one now. Hopefully I'll have some magic ones when the tour starts again in September. We're working on rockers and it takes a bit of time to try and test all boards, etc…

5. What being a pro surfer today? Any thoughts on all the rumours of a new tour? To be a pro surfer is and will always be a great lifestyle and job, we're some of the luckiest people in the world. However things always need to evolve in some ways... And I think that's where this new tour comes into play. Personnaly, even though it looks like it will be a very elite tour, I think it's great for the sport and it was about time someone came and proposed an alternative to the tour we have now. I think the pressure for changes will go to people in the industry, the surfers, the ASP, etc...But will be a healthy motivation for everyone and I hope we're going to see a lot of changes. In the longer run I believe it will be very beneficial.

I can see why people are scared by the rumors of the new tour... Some might think they're going to lose their careers, jobs, etc... But if it's all done in a fair way and if it's competitive it will be an amazing opportunity and I really hope it will happen next year. I'm looking forward to seeing some change, and bringing some excitement into the sport. I don't know what Kelly's (Slater) involvement is in the ideas behind this tour, but i'm sure that if he's got anything to do with it he will make sure things are done well.

The older guys like him and Taylor Knox can see how much the sport has evolved, or "not" evolved competitively and they are certainly in the best position to bring new ideas and make a change. There are great sports in the world represented by great associations and federations like the PGA, the ATP, the FIFA, etc... These things are ran in a certain way and that's not top secret information... Without totally copying them, we can pick ideas and find things that work for our sport as well.

It's so confusing at the moment in surfing...ASP, WCT, WQS, ISA, etc... I think the idea of having one world ranking was a great one and I don't know why it hasn't happened but I hope we get there. I read that it was too complicated to work it out... So does that mean it will never happen? I've got no idea but as a surfer and also as a spectator I'd love to see things change.

Things take time but there are a lot of smart surfers on tour and it looks like the most influential ones have the will to make things go forward and I find it really exciting to see the competitive side of our sport become more and more professional.

For more on Tim Boal, check out his profile at aspworldtour.com

www.aspeurope.com www.aspworldtour.com