Wilson not ruling out Aussie stops on surfing world tour despite injury
World number three surfer Julian Wilson says he is still hoping to compete in at least one Australian event in the World Surf League despite injuring his shoulder while mountain biking last week.
Wilson ruptured the AC joint in his shoulder after a crash in the Glenrock National Park near Newcastle.
Speaking on the Sunshine Coast this morning, he said taking care of the injury was his number one priority.
"I haven't had this injury before or anything like it," he said.
"I'm in great hands and I'm doing everything I can, but I definitely won't be rushing it to get back in the water."
Wilson said he wanted to take the time to let the injury heal properly.
He hoped to compete in at least one Australian event, and the first event at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast in March would be ideal.
"If I'm not competing at Snapper, it'll be a great disappointment. It's my favourite event," Wilson said.
"It's the only event my dad makes it to. I wear the pink board shorts there in support of what my mum's been through with breast cancer."
However, Wilson said realistically an event before Margaret River in April would be a bonus.
"Last year I didn't have a result at Snapper or Bells and I had an okay result at Margaret," he said.
"Once I get back competing, I know I can achieve what I want to achieve by starting a bit later."
And if the injury has not healed in time for the Gold Coast, Wilson said there were "some pretty special things going on in my life as well".
He and wife Ashley Osborne are expecting their first child on March 26.
'Junior surfing not what it was', Wilson says
In the meantime, the surfing great has invited 12 of the country's best junior surfers to compete on Sunday in an event that will mimic the world tour in which he competes.
"It's a great opportunity for the kids to compete in that environment, in that format," he said.
"It'll be great for the local kids to watch and see where the level of Australian junior surfing is at."
Wilson said junior surfing today was not what it had been when he was young.
"A lot of guys would come from all around the world to compete in the Australian Pro Junior Series because it was so tough … and now it's hard to keep tabs on the kids who are coming through the ranks.
"This is a great opportunity to see where the level of the juniors is at.
"I miss out on seeing a lot of them because there's not too many events in Australia now for the juniors. They're forced to go onto the world qualifying series very young."
While young surfers would be starting to prepare for the Olympics in two years' time, Wilson said the world tour was the pinnacle of what youth aimed for and he wanted to try to help.
Prizes for the winner of Sunday's event include hanging with Wilson on a trip later in the year, being part of his movie project, and entering footage into the Oakley Battle Clips, the biggest free surfing competition in Australia.