Weight: 159 lbs.
Hometown: Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia
Sponsors: Volcom, etnies, Spy, DaKine, Nev Surfboards, BodyGlove
Mitch Coleborn is stoked out of his brain. When TWS calls him he’s on Phillip Island, a freezing-cold rock that sits like a wart on the bottom of Australia’s Victorian Coast. He’s just made it through his semi in the Aussie junior titles (the equivalent of the NSSA Nationals in the U.S.), meaning he’s not only surfing in the final the following day, but he’s also booked a slot on the Aussie team to compete at Quiksilver’s World Grommet titles in 2005. Now add that to his wildcard in the trials of the Billabong World Junior Championships in January, and you’re looking at kid with two chances at bagging a possible world crown. Not bad for someone who grew up in wave-starved Maroochydore and who’s just turned seventeen.
Coleborn is not your typical grom. Slightly quiet and definitely focused, he’s determined to make a go of it in the ridiculously competitive world of pro surfing. He spent most 2004 traveling on surf trips for his sponsors and sampling quality waves in locations like the Mentawais, New Zealand, California, and Sri Lanka. While inspired by the surfing of fellow Aussie super kid Ry Craike, Coleborn’s style is built more on a foundation of power.
“I try to mix it up, but to be honest, I struggle a bit with airs,” he says. It doesn’t seem too much of a problem, his frontside hack and backside vertical reentry are paying plenty of bills in the homes of Aussie lensman.
As Volcom Team Manger Joel Spillane explains, “We keep getting sick shots of him, so we keep running ads. The mad thing is he’s still got four or five more years in the juniors, so there’s no telling what he’s capable of.”
In Coleborn’s world Parko is the only bloke who can topple A.I. for next year’s title, but he’s not really interested in the whole nationalistic us-verses-them mentality: “Andy’s been surfing so consistent, he could win another three and it wouldn’t worry me at all. The best surfer should win.”
And can he win the Aussies final? “Well, there was a darkhorse who got through his semi today with a nine, but I figure he’s peaked. The other two guys I’ve beaten before. I think I can do it.” There’s no doubt here.-Blako