Visser welcomes ASP’s interest in big-wave events
RENOWNED natural-footer Mark Visser thinks "it would be great" to compete on the Big Wave World Tour when it is revamped under the Association of Surfing Professionals banner next year.
The Buddina 30-year-old, who is on the cutting edge of big-wave surfing, is in the middle of a 10-part adventure documentary called Nine Lives.
But he said he would consider taking part in a new-look BWWT after the production was completed.
"Down the track when I'm not as busy with this other stuff and I have the opportunity to qualify for some of those events, I think it would be great. I'd love it," he said.
Visser has some experience on the BWWT, finishing fifth at a tow-in event in Chile and seventh in the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Paddle in the US in 2007.
He has since pursued the biggest surf around the world, earning nominations for Big Wave Awards from 2008-11, and has concentrated on Nine Lives for the past 18 months.
Visser said the BWWT was likely to become a more professional competition.
"I think once the ASP acquires it, it might be a lot stricter on how they run things," he said.
"I think it's good for the sport because at the moment there are no real rules or process.
"If you know a guy or if you are the venue at the time, that's how you get into events. I would hope they (the ASP) will have an actual qualifying system instead.
"I think the events themselves now are doing all they can do to run them, but they don't have the structures the ASP has, so I think that will be good for it."
Visser also believed some of the World Championship Tour surfers could have more opportunities to compete on the revamped BWWT.
"A lot of WCT surfers weren't allowed to go into some events because they weren't ASP-sanctioned, so there was a lot of red tape stopping guys like Kelly Slater competing at places like Mavericks (California)," he said
Visser said he could understand why the ASP wanted to be affiliated with the big-wave tour.
"The rating and 'viewership' from big-wave events is enormous, so I think they've thought, 'why not capture that audience too', because at the end of the day it is surfing, just in another form, and people love watching big waves."