Thursday 10th January 2008 (Burleigh Heads, QLD, AUS REIGNING Indonesian surfing champion Lee Wilson has joined the Billabong team.
After a long association with Rip Curl, the 22-year-old natural footer will line up alongside Andy Irons, Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, Wade Goodall, Shaun Cansdell, Laurie Towner and a host of other Billabong sponsored athletes effective from January 1st 2008.
The exciting natural footer took out the Indonesian Surfing Championship in 2007 adding his name to an honor roll that includes Indonesia’s most famous professional Rizal Tanjung.
Wilson was born in Jakarta and grew up in Bali with his Australian father and Indonesian mother. Cutting his teeth on the shallow reef breaks of the Bukit peninsular until the age of 13, he relocated to the Sunshine Coast in Australia to complete high school at the bequest of his parents.
The move to Australia put Lee in touch the best juniors in the country and pushed his surfing to new levels before he launched an attack on the Australasian Junior Series in his late teens.
His departure from the junior ranks at the age of 21 saw a relocation back to Bali where he concentrated on establishing himself as one of the world’s most exciting freesurfers.
“Billabong have a lot of good promotional ideas and are really pushing surfing in Indonesia so to join the team wasn’t a tough decision, said Wilson. “At the moment Bali is the place to be if you want exposure and for the next year I want to see how far I can take my surfing before I make a decision on chasing the WQS (World Qualifying Series) or not.
Best known for his unpredictability on a wave and photogenic style, Wilson mixes a rare breed of new school power surfing with serious flair above the lip.
Having generated a huge amount of editorial coverage and video parts over the past two years, in that time gracing the cover of Australia’s Surfing Life (ASL), Wilson will continue to live full time in Bali and surf with fellow team riders Rahtu Suargita, Kopling Wirtama and budding junior Raditya Rhondi.
Billabong Marketing Manager for South East Asia Peter Thew said the addition of Wilson to the team was a natural decision.
“When Lee takes off on a wave, you never know what he is going to do and that is the kind of surfing people want to see, said Thew. “Lee has proved himself as a respected surfer in Bali by winning the Indonesian Championship and we see him as a perfect fit for Billabong.