Dustin Down The Door: Dustin Barca Make The Big Leagues
A favorite of TransWorld SURF’s for years, Kauai’s Dustin Barca is the latest surfer from the Garden Isle to represent the island on the ASP World Championship Tour. A disciple of the “any wave at any time” mentality, Barca is the complete package; mixing in big airs, clean carves, and fearless in big waves. We caught up with Dustin as he kicked back at the Oakley house at Off The Wall on the North Shore of Oahu and rapped about not having the Irons bros on tour with him next year, his plans and preparation for the season, and keeping the drive alive…—Justin Cote
Dustin Barca Quick Hits
Hometown: Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii
Favorite Wave: Backdoor Pipeline
2008 WQS Year End Rating: 12
Hidden Talent: Heavy hands
Training Routine: Lots of cardio
Favorite Surfer Of All Time: Dane Kealoha
TransWorld SURF: First of all, all of here at TransWorld SURF would like to say congratulations on qualifying for the 2009 ASP World Championship Tour!
Dustin Barca: Thanks man.
You certainly didn’t have a walk in the park making the tour—how many years were you working toward this goal?
I was on the tour—but no too serious about it—for like our years, then the last two years I’ve been doing it for real.
You had a lot of ups and downs in those years. I remember at one point you had a gnarly accident and burned the shit out of your hand, and there’s always gonna be tough losses and long flights home. At any point did you feel like saying, “Screw it” and head home to Kauai to surf your days out?
Halfway through this last year I was ready to throw in the towel, but I just put my head down and kept trying.
What kept you going?
Not wanting to be known as an underachiever.
How did it feel when you finally qualified for the World Championships Tour?
Honestly it never really kicked in. Sometimes I’ll be sitting on the beach and realize I made it and feel proud of myself. When I actually get out there and do something I’ll feel happier, though.
I like it; stay hungry. With Bruce being off the tour and Andy looking like he’s going to take a break as well, how does it feel to have some of your best friends bail out on the tour right when you make it?
It kinda sucks, but they’ve been on tour for so long I can understand that they’re feeling burned out on it. I’m burned out on the WQS—I never wanna do that tour again. So I can understand wanting to take time off, it’s probably the best thing they can do for themselves.
Will you go the Irons bros for advice? I’m sure they’d have some good things to tell you.
Yeah, Andy already told me, ‘Don’t be scared to ask me anything’.
Have you asked him anything yet?
Not yet but I’m sure I will soon.
Who are you planning on traveling with this year while on tour?
I’m not sure, it’s kind of up in the air right now. There are a few Hawaiians on tour so I’m sure we’ll be hanging out.
Yeah, you got Roy Powers, Freddy P, Kekoa Bacalso, that’s a pretty solid crew. I read somewhere that Jordy Smith admitted that his biggest mistake during his rookie year was that he didn’t get to events early enough to try out boards and figure out the spot. What are you doing to prepare for the different stops on tour?
I’m gonna show up to the Gold Coast a little earlier and not have too many boards to choose from. I just wanna find one good one and stick to that board.
What stops on the WCT are you really looking forward to? Which waves do you think suit your style of surfing?
The Gold Coast [Snapper Rocks], Tahiti [Teahupoo], and the European leg of the tour. That’ll probably be the best leg of the tour for myself.
What stops will be the most challenging for you?
I don’t know as I haven’t really surfed all the spots—J-Bay looks kinda hard to surf. I think I match up pretty well on any wave on the tour though.
You became a father about a year ago. How has that changed your outlook on surfing as a job and career?
It’s definitely made me more focused. It’s gave me a reason to not give up, especially this last year.
Is there any one surfer on tour who you just wanna smoke in a heat?
I’m just gonna take it heat-by-heat. I don’t have any enemies or anyone in particular who I wanna smoke. I just want to beat whoever I’m surfing against—I hate losing more than anything else in the world.
That’s a good quality to have on the World Tour. Best of luck in 2009, we’ll be watching and rooting for you. As a matter of fact, Chris Cote promised you earlier in the year that if you made the cut, he’d stand on the water’s edge during your first heat at the Snapper contest with a “Go Barca” sign. He will be there and I’ll get the photo of it!
Check this clip of Barca and some of his homies ripping the North Shore this December. His section at the end is pretty sick…