Did you know? The year before he qualified for the WSL Championship Tour Connor O’Leary was still volunteering at Surfing NSW events helping to set up and pack down the contest site. (Miller)

We Play Hypotheticals With Connor O’Leary


Hailing from the mighty Cronulla Shire, Connor O’Leary put the world on notice in his first season, nabbing the WCT Rookie of the Year award in 2017. But did you know his Mum is a Japanese Surf Champ? It’s true! Now consider the lineage of Shire Southpaws like Occy, Dog Marsh and Jim Banks and suddenly the rise of Connor O’Leary to the major leagues seems far less surprising. He’s meant to be there, repping it for the ‘Nulla. And this weekend you can see Connor rip live at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro in Manly, so we fired off a few hypotheticals to see what makes him tick…

SW: You can add any wave of your choosing to the 2019 WSL Schedule. What is it?
COL: Wow. Macaronis would be sick, or Greenbush because they’re lefts and have everything, tubes, big open faces, ramps. I would have said Fiji, but it’ll be back.

If you had feet on your arms and hands on your legs, would you surf upside down?
For sure. Learn to paddle with your legs, it’d be sick.

You can surf any in surf movie session in history. Which is it to be?
The right that John and Dane surfed in Kai Neville’s movie Near Suburbia. It was in Japan. That right looked psycho.

If the moon was made out of cheese would you be scared of giant space mice?
I guess so… does that mean they’d come crash into earth on a massive meteorite, and it would melt everywhere?

If Miley Cyrus was playing “Kiss, Marry, Kill”, with Conor McGregor, Conner Coffin and Connor O’Leary, where do you wind up?
Well, hopefully she wouldn’t kill me. She’d probably marry Conor McGregor and kill Conner Coffin, but she’s got a lot of money, so she doesn’t kill anyone, really. Don’t kill anyone Miley! Kiss everyone, then everyone wins.

You can only surf one board for the rest of your life, what’s it to be?
Probably the Channel Islands Bunny Chow, because I can ride it in anything from 1-6 foot. Or a Catch Surf log because they’re so fun. I could just take the fins out and go nuts and put them back in for some variety.

It turns out Cronulla isn’t allowed to be called Cronulla anymore and you get to rename it. What’s your new hometown?
Conulla. just take out the R. Best of both worlds with half my name and half the legacy.

Win the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro or Sharkies Grand Final wins for the next three years?
Tough one but… win the Sydney Pro for sure. By the time the Sharkies won the second and third years the wins would be boring, you’ve got to have gaps between wins. And I wouldn’t win any money for the Sharkies win.

You wake up inside the body of Kelly Slater, describe your day?
I’d wake up in Florida and walk down the street for a coffee, see how many people want photos of me and recognise me. Then I’d check out my statue and head on over to the airport and fly somewhere business class, just because I have enough money. I’d probably fly to LA, stop for a quick wave at the Surf Ranch. A quick couple of waves there, head back to LA, say hi to Pam. Then head to Maccas for a double cheeseburger meal and a couple of beers at the pub, see how his body handles the contamination the next day, but I’d be back in my own body by then. Oh yeah, and I’d transfer everything of his into my name. Like, give me his Goldy house and swap our Instagram accounts over… That’s what I’d do.

The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro is on from 26 February until 4 March at Manly Beach.

Surfing World