When l started if you wanted to be the best you had to get off your arse
and get out there and be hungry to win. That was the only way you were going to improve. It seems these days the kids have a lot handed to them, which takes away the drive and determination - the key to winning. For my generation it was all about results, not just going on trips and thinking that’s what pro surfing is all about. At the moment we have a few young guys coming through in the UK like Toby Donachie, Reubyn Ash and Jayce Robinson, and they all seem to have a pretty good act - no drinking, party, etc - which these days seems a thing of the past. I remember when l was on tour there was a lot of partying going on and it was normal. These days you’ve got to be at the top of your game, eat well, stay focused and be determined to win or else before you know it you’ll have missed your ride.
Seeing four Europeans on tour this year is great.
Tiago has been battling on for a few seasons and deserves to be in there, l really think the CT could work to his advantage. Aritz again has shown the determination that it takes to make it and will no doubt give it a 110%. Miky’s been there before so he knows what it’s all about this time, he will be ready and willing to stay in the cut. Jeremy was always determined and knew he was good enough for the WCT and has not only proven that with a huge year, I’m looking forwad to seeing what he will do in 08. Is the tour relevant to your Average Joe surfer? Absolutely, you only need to look at how many people log on the net to check the webcasts, it’s huge and great for the sport. I have friends that live in London and have more of idea about the ratings than me.
I’d like to see more of the type of coaching facilities and all the schooling programmes that revolve around surfing that I’ve seen in France here in Britain.
If we could put something in place in the UK then we might see a huge improvement in the surfing standard. I’d also like to see more of the tow surfing coming out of Europe, it’s great to see the Euros stepping it up to a world level. I’ve known Ibon for a long time and it’s great to see him finally get the recognition he deserves.
I’ve always said the UK Pro Tour is great for the kids, that’s it.
It’s a stepping stone to move on to the WQS. We are miles behind the rest of the European guys, l’m sorry to say. The only way the young guys are going to improve is by getting on that ferry in a camper van like me, Russ, Carwyn and Grishka all did and spend the season competing against the rest of the European guys. If they can do this their surfing will come on in leaps and bounds because there are some guys in the UK that do have the talent, but need to believe in themselves and give it a real dig overseas.
Spencer works for Quiksilver Europe, his sponsor of 23 years and looks after the UK team. In winter he lives in Australia with his family near the Superbank.