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Gony Zubizarreta returns to compete after ankle break


Gony Zubizarreta : photo Aquashot/ASP Europe

Team News

Gony Zubizarreta Returns from a two month injury and Readies for 2009

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 December, 2008 : - - Waimea Bay -- Gony Zubizarreta (Galicia, ESP) gives us an update on his recovery after breaking one of his ankles at the end of September at the Nixon Surf Challenge. Zubizarreta, who sits No. 61 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings, has had his best year on tour in 2008 with several Quarterfinal berths and solid performances in major events.

ASP caught up with the Spanish surfer before he got on the plane from Hawaii back home to prepare for 2009. Check out how fit Gony should be when he hits the tour in Florida at the beginning of January.

Age: 23
Residence: Panxon, Vigo - España
Years of surfing: 14
Career highlight: ISA World Grommet Champion at Narrabeen in 2002
Sponsors: Volcom, DVS, Electric, Nixon, Semente, Movistar, Clinica dental Zubizarreta & Moya, Futures fins, Island Style

1. You had a very good year with several excellent results. How do you look back on 2008 ?

Im very happy with my performance during 2008. I got 9th places in Florida, Japan and Newquay big ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events. I also did well in Scotland and in the Maldives and finished okay in Zarautz. Then I broke my left ankle in San Sebastian (Basqie Country) during the Nixon Challenge and I had to give up on the end of the year. But it was my first injury and I took it as a lesson for my career. I learnt many things and met very interesting people at the rehab center in Capbreton (France). I am very thankfull to everyone who hemped me out there.I definitely feel better now, stronger and motivated.

2. This injury came while you were feeling good and on a good run, how are you recovering mentally ?

I spent some time at home resting for a month then I started rehab at the CERS (specialized sportsmen rehab center) for three weeks, trained 7 hours a day. It was a great experience with good results as after that I restarted surfing fast. The first board I surfed was a twin-fin until I went back to my normal board. I would like to thank all the people that helped me when I was injured, my family and friends. The others will recognize themselves.

3. You have been on tour for a few years now. More and more Europeans are getting to the top, what's your view on all this ?

I have been travelling and competing around the world for a few years now and I have improved my seeding every year, learnt a lot from the WQS tour and from the rest of the competitors. Europeans are surfing and competing better every year. Miky (Picon), Jeremy (Flores) and Tiago (Pires) were ripping all year on the Dream Tour. Aritz (Aranburu) had some really good heats too in the few events he surfed in. Marlon (Lipke),Tim (Boal) and Michel (Bourez) were on fire the whole year while Jonathan (Gonzalez) and Joan (Duru) netted big results!

I am stoked to see my friends get to the top so quickly and it is a great motivation which makes me hungrier and makes me want more. After Aritz qualified, we realized we could make it as well so I know I have to work harder and take things more seriously than before. The European level is getting higher every year and hopfully more of us join the ASP World Tour soon.

4. Looking at your career: from top juniors to WQS, what has been your approach and your training to keep improving?

When I was a junior (under-21) I was just surfing and never really trained phisically. I was just having fun, enjoying and learning event after event. I started doing the WQS events and the surprise was big! I found out the level was higher than I thought in the first rounds and I had a tough time getting good results. After a couple of years doing the same events, I know the places and waves better and I also know my self much better now. I feel like I know what to do before events now to get a good result... Everyone has a different approach and has different habits, ways to prepare themselves before contests.

6. Looking at the new formats and the way pro surfing is evolving, what's your opinion? Do you feel pro surfing is going in the right direction?

I think the new format is a great thing. It looks interesting with that first round starting off with man on man heats straight away. It will be less time of competition meaning better waves and better surfing from everyone on the Dream Tour. I believe pro surfing is going in the right direction, let’s see what happens next year.

7. What's the plan for the winter and 2009 ?

I am about to leave Hawaii after a couple of weeks on the North Shore. I have surfed good waves and I am slowly getting back to 100 % of my form. After this I will go home and train phisically, get my new boards for 2009 and surf with my friends at home. Winter time is usually fun where I live (Galicia, Spain) with lots of waves coming in and I will get ready for the event in Florida wqs in January.

Check out the video of Gony Zubizarreta's first surf back from injury at home at:

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Gregoire Puget 

Team - Surfersvillage


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