After more than a decade of competing at the highest level, Owen Wright has today announced his retirement from professional surfing. The 33-year old will bid farewell to the championship tour after the upcoming Rip Curl Pro in Bells Beach.
Wright has been an inspirational and dominant force on the tour since his debut back in 2010, claiming four CT victories and cementing himself as one of the sport’s top talents. He also made history as one of only five surfers to score a perfect heat in competition, achieving the feat twice at the 2015 Fiji Pro.
Whilst his decision to retire may come as a suprise to some, it was made after careful consideration and discussion with his family, coaches and medical team. Wright has battled injuries throughout his career, most notable a traumatic brain injury in 2015 and the decision comes as he wanted to step away from the heavy demands and waves on the current tour.
“Given my recent history with head injuries and concussions, competing at some of the heaviest waves on the planet is no longer in the best interest of my long-term health. I excelled in these conditions over my career, but the risks associated with this type of surfing are too significant for someone in my position, given my medical history.
“I will not retire from surfing altogether – just from surfing heavy waves. I hope to keep surfing for the rest of my life; I love surfing and thank the sport for everything I have.
“I hope that in this new chapter of my life, I can help be a voice for brain health and an advocate for athletes across all sports who have suffered TBIs and concussions throughout their careers.
Wright’s announcement has been met with an outpouring of support and admiration from the surfing community, who have praised his achievements on and off the board. His Bronze Medal win at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics was a significant milestone, and it further solidified his position as one of the most accomplished surfers of his generation.
As Wright prepares to take to the waves for one final time at Bells Beach, he will undoubtedly be surrounded by friends, family, and fans who will be cheering him on as he bids farewell to the competitive scene. While he may be retiring from professional surfing, Wright’s passion for the sport is sure to continue, and we can’t wait to see what he will achieve in the future.
“Owen has been a true ambassador for the sport of surfing, making history at both the CT and Olympic levels; we will greatly miss his presence on the Tour,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “We wish him all the best in his future pursuits and look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.”
Owen Wright has been an inspiration to the surfing world, and his retirement marks the end of an era. As he prepares to ride his last wave on the Championship Tour, we wish him all the best in his future endeavors and look forward to watching him continue to push the limits of what is possible in the sport of surfing.