Check Out: Matt Wilkinson

Age: 17

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 143 lbs.

Hometown: Copacabana, New South Wales, Australia

Sponsors: Rip Curl, FCS, Wiz Stix

Matt “Wilko” Wilkinson has had quite a run of late. In December, Wilkinson ripped his way to victory in the Under 16 division of the ISA World Games held on the black sands of Papenoo, Tahiti, taking out the world’s best juniors and helping his country take home the gold medal.

Seven months later, Wilko was awarded a sponsor wildcard to the Rip Curl Search WCT event held at Reunion Island. In round one, he went up against six-time World Champ Kelly Slater and fellow countryman Darren O’Rafferty, and placed third in the reeling lefts of St. Leu. Next up in round two was Joel Parkinson, who defeated Wilkinson by just a couple points. Even though he placed 33rd in the event, Wilkinson gained invaluable experience that he plans to put to use as he rockets toward his goal of making the WCT.

With his smooth, stylish skills and already stellar contest record, don’t bet against Matt Wilkinson being the next big thing to come out of the Land Down Under.-Justin Cote