Our India reaches pivotal point in WSL season

March 29, 2024 BY

India Robinson with Bells Beach in the background. Photo: SUPPLIED

World Surfing League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) athlete and Jan Juc local India Robinson is grateful for the community’s support following her return to the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach for the first time since her debut outing in 2022.

Robinson said she feels a lot more confident her second time round the tour circuit.

“The first-time round, I was not only dealing with the pressures of competing on tour and having all of the outside noise that goes with it, but it was all really new to me as well, and I didn’t really know how to deal with it.

“Because I was a rookie on the tour, it was just a whole lot of firsts for me, and this time around I have learnt from all those experiences, and I am just way more comfortable with my preparation and where I am at.

“Most importantly, though, I’m coming into this event healthy.”

The 23-year-old battled ongoing effects from a concussion sustained at the Pipeline Pro in 2022 and failed to make the mid-season cut following an opening round exit at the 2022 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.


The 23-year-old says she is thankful to be competing in her second Rip Curl Pro. Photo: THIAGO DIZ/WSL


Relegated to the Challenger Series in 2023, Robinson worked her way back to the CT, rattling off a string of solid performances including her biggest ever win at the Gold Coast Pro last year.

Other Challenger Series results included third at the Sydney Surf Pro, third at the Vissla Pro in Ericeira, fifth at the Saquarema Pro, and ninth at the US Open of Surfing.

Robinson finished the Challenger Series as the top seed, making a statement that she belonged with the world’s best surfers.

“I think 2023 was up there with my best surfing ever in the jersey for some reason, which I can’t really explain,” Robinson said.

“I wasn’t in a position to be able to surf much and my physical conditioning wasn’t at my best, so I was going to each event with very little preparation, but that allowed me to go out into the water and be grateful I am able to compete and do what I love.

“That also allowed me to build my level of trust in my ability due to the lack of free surfing I had under my belt; I just had to believe.”

Not only did Robinson feel healthy heading into her second Rip Curl Pro, but it also comes at a critical juncture of the 2024 season.

With 7,830 ranking points next to her name, Robinson sat in a tie for 13th on the CT women’s rankings list prior to the start of the Rip Curl Pro.


Robinson in action at the MEO Rip Curl Pro in Portugal earlier this month. Photo: DAMIEN POULLENOT/WSL


To stay on the tour for the second half of the season, Robinson needed to make a deep run into the bracket rounds of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, but will now need to secure a high finish at the Margaret River Pro from April 11 to 21 to have a chance of chasing Lakey Peterson (10th – 11,875 points) and Luana Silva (ninth – 12,100 points).

On the CT, a win on the CT grants a surfer 10,000 points, a runner-up 7,800 points, and semi-finalists 6,085 points.

Only the top 10 in the women’s and top 22 in the men’s rankings progress pass the mid-season cut.

“This is definitely an important event, but I’m also just trying to hold onto that excitement and realising this is a big moment and I’m proud just to be in the position that I am in,” Robinson said.

“To be competing at home in front of family and friends is something that doesn’t come around often, so when it does, I try to make the most out of it.

“I think I’ve learnt a lot as a surfer compared to my time two years ago, and I know there’s pressures that come with being the local that everyone wants to see succeed, but I know now to use it more as fuel and see it as a privilege.”


India Robinson following her Gold Coast Pro win in 2023 at Snapper Rocks. Photo: CAIT MIERS/WSL


A Jan Juc Boardrider for life, Robinson said it was always a blessing to come back home.

“Being on the road isn’t easy, and to do it for months at a time is pretty hard.

“I think for me it’s really settling to come home, sleep in my own bed, and see my family. It lets me reset and allows me to focus on what’s next.

“I’m also extremely lucky I get to be in my own routine with my own coaches around me and going to my own gym; everything I’m used to.

“Everything in that regard sets me up for success here at Bells. I’ve surfed these waves since I was 12 – I just need to go out there and perform.”

Robinson also gave a shout out to the crew at Surfing Victoria for its support, especially CEO Adam Robertson who has been in her corner every step of the way.

Robinson bowed out of this year’s Rip Curl Pro in the elimination round heats, but has a chance to save her season at the Margaret River Pro from April 11.