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Connor O'Leary


  • Name: Connor O'Leary
  • Date of Birth: 10/12/93
  • Hometown: Cronulla, Australia
  • Sponsors: Quiksilver, Channel island surfboards
  • Favourite wave: Voodoo, Mystics
  • Favourite surfers: Rob Machado
  • Favourite post-surf meal: Anything that's yum and filling haha!
  • What do you do outside of surfing? Eating haha, cruising with mates

  • After an impressive junior career in Australia, Connor O’Leary disappeared into the depths of the WQS for a little while. While his surfing was just as fast, powerful and progressive as ever, it wasn’t translating into the results that he deserved. At one point, he even took up teaching surf lessons in order to gain the funds to keep chasing his dream. And then one day it all clicked: he finished two spots away from qualification in 2015, then made it up to himself by winning the whole series in 2016. His miraculous run included a win at the 2016 Ballito Pro. Boom. Just like that, Conner is back to where he belongs.

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It would impossible not to love Connor O’Leary.


He’s too kind. Too humble. And his backstory is simply too good to ignore.


In a generation of six-figure contracts and huge amounts of hype, Connor has been an underdog for most of his career. As a matter of fact, up until a few years ago, he was teaching surf lessons just to fund a Qualifying Series campaign. And, somehow, that gamble paid off — he shook the world and won the QS in 2016.


Nobody really knew what to expect from Connor during his first season on Tour, but he wasted no time in making his intentions damn clear. He stormed to the Quarters in his first-ever CT event, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, and even made a Final a few events later in Fiji.


Then, in the last event of the season, the Pipeline Masters, Connor officially sealed his spot as Rookie Of The Year. And it’s only the beginning for the 24-year-old kid from Cronulla.


“Becoming Rookie of the Year is a big deal for me. You only get one shot at that, and I feel like this year has more talented rookies than ever. To stand out amongst these guys is a massive confidence booster.”


We’ll see what that confidence boost does for him in 2018 — but, rest assured, it’ll lead to some big things. Congrats Connor!



Our world moves fast. It goes a million miles a minute, spinning at the speed of infinity and never slowing down. You’re here today — fully here, engaged — then you’re gone tomorrow. Onto the next one. A new coast to explore, the next swell to surf, another moment to fall in love with.

Gone Tomorrow celebrates that spirit of now.

The France edition features Mikey February, Connor O’Leary, Zeke Lau, Kanoa Igarashi, Leonardo Fioravanti, Jeremy Flores, Ramzi Boukhiam, Aritz Aranburu, Marc Lacomare, Kael Walsh, Sebastian Williams and Mikey Wright. Filmed over a two week beach break blur, it’s guaranteed to make you want to go surfing.

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Radical Times In California, by the numbers that really count.

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Year surfing was first introduced to California by George Freeth.

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Percentage of daily caloric intake that you should consume via burritos

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Miles from Hollywood to the beach. Good luck with traffic, though.

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Hours to Big Bear Mountain from the beach. There are plenty of skateparks on the way, in case you’re going for the trifecta.

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Year skateboarding’s Z-Boys came into existence in Venice Beach.

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Amount of sponsorship stickers you’ll see at Lowers on a good day

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Average nightly price of a hotel.

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Average nightly price of your friend’s couch...

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Seen the clip? Dive in below.


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Paradise Revealed


White sand. Blue water. Hot days and cold drinks. It’s impossible not to love Fiji — and we haven’t even mentioned the waves yet.


Our CT team is currently enjoying the paradisiacal properties of Tavarua. So is photographer Ryan Miller. He took his lens behind the scenes to give you a taste of what life’s like on the island. So, don’t be shy now — dig in.


Paradise Revealed


Ever seen a competitor’s area on a boat before? Neither had Connor O’Leary. Here, the rookie enjoys the perks of life on the CT.


Paradise Revealed


No reason not to smile. Leo Fioravanti.


Paradise Revealed


Life on the island is pretty laid back. Wiggolly Dantas.


Paradise Revealed


Give respect. Get respect (and some kava). Zeke Lau enjoys the opening ceremony.


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Bottom’s up — Kanoa Igarashi leans into one.


Paradise Revealed


Just call it fisheye.


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That’s one way to hide from the rain. Connor O’Leary, seeking shelter.


Paradise Revealed


Breathe in. Breathe out. Take it all in. Jeremy Flores.


See a swell. Find some flights. Pull the trigger. Go. Strike missions really are that simple.



Our boys Connor O’Leary and Zac Wightman recently dropped everything to hit Fiji. For Connor, it was a chance to warm up before competing in the 2017 Outerknown Pro at Cloudbreak. For Zac, it was an opportunity to stand tall and reckless in some oversized tubes. For you, it’s a quick daydream and a reminder to always roll the dice on a good strike.


Strike mission it to Fiji for a swell and it delivered.


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Film/Edit - Shannon Mackie


Additional Footage - Tyler Bell


Music - Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart

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When Connor O’Leary made the Quarterfinals in his first ever CT appearance at the 2017 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, a lot of people said he came out of nowhere.


He didn’t.


As a matter of fact, Connor came out of somewhere. That somewhere is Cronulla, right near Sydney in Australia. He won the QS last year and even though he’s flown under the radar for most of his career, his success on Tour was a long time coming.


This profile from the WSL invites you into Connor’s life and tells you exactly where he came from.



It's like a chemistry lab in here. Or a Detroit automobile factory. But also kind of like an old surf dog’s garage. In other words, I’ve never seen anything like it.


Standing inside the Burford Blanks factory on the Gold Coast, there’s a lot to be taken in. Handmade machines sprawl across the concrete floor. Classic rock booms out of an dusty old stereo. Giant vats of foreign substances stand tall while old surf posters line the walls around them. The air is beaming with phantom traces of a thousand tales told, sometimes truthful, sometimes tall.


You get the sense that this place is sacred. This is where surfboards are born.





Darren Burford, the current keeper in a new generation of this family-owned business, is giving us the tour. The process is relatively simple. You take a little bit of this goo, a little bit of that goo and mix it all together. The concoction begins to expand rapidly, mushrooming its way out of the bucket. If you just sit there and let it, well, foam, the mixture would expand to enough to coat the entire floor of this joint. So you throw it into a mold and put some boundaries on all that expansion.


Hours later, it comes out in one solid piece. From there, it’s cut in half and glued back together with a stringer. Just like that, you’ve got yourself a blank.





The Burfords have been doing this since 1966 — they quite literally have it down to a science. Now, some things have changed since then. They’ve got nicer tools. Adopted a few new business practices. They’ve welcomed that constant tug of evolution. But, a lot hasn’t changed too. Namely: the heart and soul of this whole operation.





You can feel it. You can see it, too. Everyone working, while deeply involved in their tasks, seems to have that subtle, almost subconscious smile that comes from knowing all the joy that their work will someday provide. Everyone here surfs. They know that when their job is done, these blanks will be shaped, glassed, sanded, bought, sold and surfed. They know this is a source of bliss.





They claim to use a combination of substances, imagination and hard work to make blanks here. But, really, I think they make magic.


The details


6’1” x 19 x 2 2/16. Rounded pin thruster, shaped by the kind hands of Channel Islands.



How it feels


It’s so drivey and easy to ride. I feel like I have so much control over it. I can go off the bottom and hit a section as hard as I want without having to worry about it sliding out — I know it’s not going to wig out on me. It even feels good above the lip too.



Why he chose it


I don’t nerd out too hard on boards, but I’m always into trying new things. It could spark up a new perspective that you’d never experience if you didn’t try something new. a massive change in the size of my boards. Went up in everything. Rounded pins on normal shorties. QS is kinda hard to do that, so this one feels great in good waves. This is the best of the new ones.


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This year, Quiksilver has six surfers on the WSL’s Championship Tour, each representing a different region: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Connor O’Leary (AUS). Ranging in age from 19 to 28, they are the new generation of Quiksilver surfers to make noise on surfing’s biggest stage. Good luck in 2017 boys.


#GenerationsOfQuik


Jeremy Flores - @floresjeremy


Date Of Birth: 4/27/1988


Hometown: Hossegor, France


Passionate. That’s what Jeremy Flores is. In the water, out of the water, all the time. He was born on Reunion Island, raised in Madagascar and currently resides in France. Jeremy’s talent was recognized early on and he quickly found himself traveling the world with big names like Kelly Slater. That diverse, worldly experience translated to his surfing- he’s powerful, he’s progressive and he’s absolutely fearless when the waves get heavy. So far, he’s won two CT events in his career - 2010 Pipeline Masters and the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti - and has consistently remained a must-watch every time he surfs a heat.


Wiggolly Dantas - @wiggolly


Date Of Birth: 12/16/1989


Hometown: Ubatuba, Brazil


Wiggolly Dantas’ surfing speaks for itself. After winning the Quiksilver Saquerema Prime event in 2014, he qualified for the CT and began to unleash his surfing alongside the world’s best. He charges as if there is no tomorrow, or even a slight idea of a tomorrow, and his backhand is powerful enough to make almost any wave disintegrate. Plus, he’s got the airs. The Brazilian is one of the most well-rounded surfers of this generation and you’ll surely see him standing on a podium or in the belly of an oversized wave at Pipeline soon enough.


Kanoa Igarashi - @kanoaigarashi


Date Of Birth: 10/1/1997


Hometown: Huntington Beach


USA Kanoa Igarashi is a truly complete surfer. He’s technical. He’s progressive. He’s consistently surprising and surprisingly consistent. The Japanese-American grew up as a surf prodigy in Huntington Beach, CA and has lived up to every bit of hype. It’s damn near impossible to find a flaw in his game. He’s won a few major WQS events so far in his career, like the 2016 Pantin Classic Galicia Pro and the 2015 Mahalo Surf Eco Festival. And on the CT level, he made the finals of the 2016 Billabong Pipeline Masters during his rookie year. The future may have a lot in store for Kanoa, but Kanoa has even more in store for the future.


Connor O’Leary - @connoroleary


Date Of Birth: 12/10/1993


Hometown: Cronulla, Australia


After an impressive junior career in Australia, Connor O’Leary disappeared into the depths of the WQS for a little while. While his surfing was just as fast, powerful and progressive as ever, it wasn’t translating into the results that he deserved. At one point, he even took up teaching surf lessons in order to gain the funds to keep chasing his dream. And then one day it all clicked: he finished two spots away from qualification in 2015, then made it up to himself by winning the whole series in 2016. His miraculous runincluded a win at the 2016 Ballito Pro. Boom. Just like that, Connor is back to where he belongs.


Leonardo Fioravanti - @lfioravanti


Date Of Birth: 12/8/1997


Hometown: Rome, Italy


Leonardo Fioravanti is no stranger to the surf world. And the surf world is certainly no stranger to him. The Italian charmer has had a spotlight shining on him since before he even hit his teens. And why not? He had eerily good form, a myriad of airs, a fearless approach to fearsome waves and a carve as big as his smile. The world was his, and the hype was inevitable. But those days are over. Leo’s an adult now. He’s had a certain fire in him ever since returning to the water after breaking his back at Pipeline. He qualified for the CT in 2016 at only 18-years-old and he has already beaten both Kelly Slater and 2015 World Champ Adriano de Souza as a wildcard on the WSL. From here on out, Leo’s just going to let his surfing do the talking. Rest assured, the whole world will be listening.


Ezekiel Lau - @zekelau


Date Of Birth: 11/23/1993


Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii


Talent. Motivation. Positivity. And a touch of grit. That’s a formula for success in surfing, and that’s the formula that has taken Zeke Lau to the top. The proud Hawaiian has faced a few major setbacks in his career - including some bouts with back injury - but he always fights hard and comes back. In 2015, he power-surfed his way onto the CT where he’ll be producing big, bold surfing that’ll please judges and spectators alike. His ultimate goal is a World Title. Don’t expect him to sleep until he gets there.



Real quick. Imagine you’re in your early twenties. You’ve just arrived at the biggest accomplishment of your life — something that you’ve been working towards forever, something few people will ever feel, a dream truly realized. Now you’ve got a few months to kick back before diving head-first into a brand new phase of your career. What do?


If you answered: Eh, I don’t know, probably take one of the most dangerous flights in the world in hopes of scoring a few barrels then your name is almost certainly Conner O’Leary.


Connor just won the WQS and earned a spot on the 2017 CT. But, instead of some preparative relaxation, he recently went to King Island with his good friend Soli Bailey. Fortunately, their plane didn’t crash. And even more fortunately, the waves were even better than they’d imagined.


Just goes to show you — when you’re hot, you’re hot. Let this serve as a reminder to the rest of the CT.


It’s amazing when it all comes together. When a storm creates a wave that ripples across an entire ocean, finds its way to a foreign shore and is met by someone who is willing and able to ride it perfectly. The whole process is bizarre. And beautiful. And mostly insane. We couldn’t love it more.


Every wave is unique and, for lack of a better word, they all have personality. In Hawaii, a single one can make or break a career, humble you, hurt you, kill you or create a euphoric experience you’ll never forget. This season, we’re committed to showing you the wildest moments between man and wave meet. Our riders are going to give you raw and honest insight on what made the best (or most brutal) waves they’ve wrangled unique. We’re calling it #ThisWave and we’re inviting you to join us for the ride — follow us on Instagram to do just that.


We will keep this page updated with all the latest #thiswave posts, so keep an eye on it.







A season on the World Qualifying Series means a long year. Like, forty-nine events in twenty different nations long. And while not all of those events are must-dos, the relentless pace of the schedule is still enough to drive a man insane. It does, in fact, drive some men insane. But it drives other men to the World Tour.


This year, two of those men are Connor O’Leary and Leonardo Fioravanti.


The season just ended Connor, who is 23 years old and comes from Currumbin, Australia, finished first on the QS. After missing the World Tour by a few spots last year, Connor won the first Prime event of the season this year and never looked back. His surfing is precise, his attitude is positive and he’s got everything it takes to make (loud) noise on the big stage when the Quik Pro Gold Coast rolls around. Consider yourself warned. Seriously.



Leo, who is 18 years old and fresh out of Rome, Italy, had a totally different path to qualification. After breaking his back two years ago, he returned to competition this year a new man. He kicked 2017 off by making back-to-back finals then spearheading a few major upsets as a wildcard in the CT at Margaret River. From there, he kept on collecting results and put out a banger edit while he was at it. He’s the first Italian to ever qualify for the tour, and his names comes with the most hype rolling into next season.



Connor and Leo will join fellow Quik riders Jeremy Flores, Kanoa Igarashi and Wiggolly Dantas on the World Tour in 2017. Which, in other words, means it’s going to be one hell of a year.