With 5 of 10 WCT events complete this year, former world champ CJ Hobgood finds himself in a precarious position. Sitting at 25th in the current WCT ratngs, Hobgood is in unfamiliar territory. If he slips any further, he risks not qualifying for next year’s tour. Everyone can agree that Hobgood’s talent level is on par with some of the heaviest names on tour, and that his current ranking is more than likely just a minor hiccup.
But has this rattled Hobgood’s confidence? Not in the least.
CJ is just as confident as ever, and has plans to jump right back in the world title race as soon as possible. Fantasy Surfer recently checked in with CJ and spoke about his focus, life on the WCT and how he approaches Trestles.
Is there any secret to your success on the WQS tour this year? You seem to be unbeatable in ‘QS events in the US – is it a comfort level thing?
Not at all. I have the same determination in any event and always want to win. The only thing that stands out is there’s been a few situations on the ‘CT where things totally haven’t gone my way. On the flip side, I’ve been in situations on the WQS where things have totally gone my way. So there’s a balance there. I just kinda wish it was the other way around. I didn’t plan it this way.
You’ve been in a bit of a slump on the WCT over the past year or so. Is there anything behind that such as an injury, or was it just possibly a run of bad luck?
Yeah, I have been in a slump. I guess that’s probably the best way to put it. I’ve tried to answer this before the best I know how, but there’s no golden answer. I haven’t been injured this year and in the past I’ve had more success than I’m having I am working a lot harder out of the water training with a trainer all the time when I’m home. I really think that if I get my body in better shape, it will help my mind and I will start seeing consistent results.
You seem to have performed rather consistently at Trestles over the years, making the Quarterfinals a few times. Is there any particular reason you seem to do well there?
I’m not really sure. The only thing I can think of is that it’s a comp that’s in America and I’ve competed out there a lot in the NSSA and stuff.
Will you use the 4-fin Bill Johnson board that you won the WQS event on when the tour re-starts at the Boost Mobile Pro?
Who knows what the waves are going to be doing as we really don’t have a waiting period for this event. I doubt it, but who knows? I try not to premeditate things too much with surfing. I’m getting a lot of new boards shaped for me for Trestles and Europe, and I’ll go out to Trestles a week early to try them all out and see what happens.
Are there any events that you look forward to more than others at the beginning of each year?
I look forward to every event, but that being said, there are events that take up more space in my brain and I think about them more. Those events are Snapper Rocks, Tahiti, Fiji, and France
On a scale of 1 to 10, how heavy was the wave at the Rip Curl WCT in Chile?
Heavy enough that when me and Mick were free-surfing between the semis and the final, we looked at each other and said there’s no way we’d be out here free-surfing if it wasn’t for the comp. It’s just a place were it’s either too small, too big, or too high (tide) or too low (tide), or the wind is on it. So I give it a 8.5. When it’s medium size, mid-tide and the winds good, I’d give it a 7.5
Who is the toughest surfer that you have come up against so far this year?
Who are the main guys you travel with on tour?
Bobby (Martinez), Gabe (Kling), my brother (Damien), and my family.
Where do you keep your world championship trophy?
As a door stop at the surf shop. (Editor’s note – CJ and his brother Damien own The Goods surf shop in Indiatlantic, Florida)
Will you rock the mullet at the next WCT event (Trestles)?
Probably not, ’cause people wrote that I didn’t care about surfing anymore because of that haircut. When in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. I got a 33rd in Tahiti, and I stayed ’til a couple days after the comp to get that swell. I missed the first swell because of the Trestles WQS. That was over 2 weeks sitting there (in Tahiti) cheering on the boys. Nobody that got a 33rd or a 17th stayed as long as I did. I simply told myself I wasn’t leaving Tahiti ’til I got a good barrel.
If you were to start your own Fantasy Surfer team, who would be your first selection for your team?
Do you feel that you are undervalued / overvalued on Fantasy Surfer? (Your current value is set at $6,250,000)
It’s all about finding diamonds in the rough. There’s normally one or two picks that make or break your team because everyone has got the usual suspects.