Jack Robinson Interview: Australian Olympic Surfer Going For Gold

"I mean, I wasn't really going to do much else, maybe be a farmer, but what am I gonna do?"

Jack Robinson Interview: Australian Olympic Surfer Going For Gold

Image: Red Bull Talent Pool

Growing up in Margaret River, WA, Olympic hopeful Jack Robinson confesses there weren’t a lot of options for his future career path. From an early age, a young Jack would sit on the banks of WA, looking out at the group of surfers navigating the breaks; he knew then there was only one path he was willing to take.

“My dad was a surfer and I was kind of just born into it,” Robinson told DMARGE when we visited the Red Bull HQ, here in Sydney.

“We lived on the west coast where there are waves, but there’s not much else to do. It’s the most isolated city in the world. So, I mean, I wasn’t really going to do much else, maybe be a farmer, but what am I gonna do?”

Walking through the Red Bull offices, I’m reminded of the many heroes of Australia’s celebrated surfing scene. Jack, Red Bull in hand, eagerly guides me, pointing out notable pieces dotted around the space such as Mick Fanning’s signed championship board, and his own board that he donated after competing in the WSL 2023 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Victoria last year.

In that moment I wonder whether Jack holds himself in the same regard as Mick Fanning. It’s certainly a nice juxtaposition of an Australian surfing legend, one of Jack’s idols and his inspiration, as he looks to carve out his own path in the Australian surfing scene.

Image: Red Bull Content Pool

The WA native started surfing at just 3 years old and didn’t once look back. By 11, he was navigating the notorious Pipeline in Hawaii. For a young Jack Robinson, looking at his heroes such as 3x World Champion (and fellow Red Bull athlete) Mick Fanning tearing it up, his trajectory was more or less set from a very early age.

“Around five years old, I kind of knew which direction I was going in. It was really young, but I already had my idols – all these guys like Kelly Slater. I was like ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be there one day.’ So it’s really funny at such a young age, but I already knew the path without even thinking – just instinctually.”

Throughout the Australian surfer’s career, the title “child prodigy” has followed like a prophecy after a young Jack Robinson was thrust into the limelight from an early age, gracing the cover of Weekend Australian magazine when he was just 14 years old and labelled the heir to Kelly Slater’s storied throne. Whether he had planned it or not, Robinson was already destined to do great things.


We visited the @Red Bull Australia Headquaters and spoke to @Jack Robinson about his lifestyle and career as a professional Aussie Surfer! #jackrobinson #australia #sydney #aussie #redbullau #redbull #surf #surfer

♬ original sound – DMARGE

Jack competes in the World Surf League (WSL), a global competition featuring the best surfers in the world who compete in heats and judges score each ride based on criteria like wave selection, maneuvers, style, and degree of difficulty. The surfers with the highest scores advance through the rounds until a winner is determined.

Last year, Jack, then 25 years old, won his first WSL Pipeline – and the fourth title of his career – in Hawaii, besting Brazil’s João Chianca and Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti on his way to the title. Starting just his third season on the Championship Tour, the young Australian climbed to world no. 1 and launched his bid for a first world title, until injury struck and threatened to derail his season.

Although Robinson was forced to pull out of his hometown heat in Margaret River, WA, the defending champ wasn’t deterred entirely and returned to competition earlier than expected. As Robinson returned to the fold, it was clear that the Red Bull athlete needed more time to rediscover his best form and find his rhythm as he recovered from a serious injury.

In Tahiti, however, a fully fit Jack Robinson announced his expectant return to the top, narrowly beating Gabriel Medina with a two-wave combination of 15.66 at Teahupo’o, ending the year as one of the best surfers in the world… and booking his place at the 2024 Olympic Games.

Image: Red Bull Content Pool

Of course, France is known for a lot of things – croissants, arts and romance – but surfing through the Seine certainly isn’t one of them. So Surfing, in its second year at the Olympic Games after first featuring in 2021, will be held at a spot that Jack knows all too well – and the gold medallist hopeful teases that Olympic surfing at the iconic Teahupo’o, Tahiti could be the unmissable event of the summer.

“If we get really good swell, I feel like it would be the craziest arena for surfing to ever happen,” Robinson confessed. “It’s just over shallow reef. It’s such a short intense ride like it’s literally the most wild wave you have ever seen and the most beautiful.”

“So I feel like there just be in for such a treat online like you won’t want to leave the screen because it’s just the craziest wipeouts – it’s the craziest rides and I feel like it’s gonna be a great spectacle.”