Episode 9: Meet Dr Javier Leon, creator of the Geography of Surfing course at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia

Listen to Episode 9 here

About My Guest, Dr Javier Leon

“I was gong through university curriculums and I saw this one which was a Geography degree. It had two courses: it had oceanography and coastal geomorphology. I didn’t know what coastal geomorphology was, but it had “coastal” and I read the little description and it said something about beaches and waves and I’m like, “Yep that’s it, that’s what I need to do” ”. — Javier Leon

“I’m very lucky because (…) my course is co-delivered with amazing people. I have for example Tom Wegener, who is this amazing shaper who is in the forefront of sustainability and he just got a PhD degree on sustainability of surfing. He will be delivering these courses and taking students to his workshop and showing them how to make surfboards with wood and cork.

I have Phil Jaratt who is this icon in surfing. He will be talking to my students about, not only (surfing) history, but also surfing and business because he’s played pivotal roles in the whole business.” — Javier Leon

“This guy (at University) is doing his PhD on “what makes a good cutback? ». He hooks up these sensors and then films, and collects all this data (accelerometers an stuff) and then he relates those numbers to what a good cutback looks like or is.
He goes to see judges, like Professional surfing judges, and they will go like “yeah this is an excellent cutback” and he’ll go back to his data. But it’s amazing, they can customize training programs for different people for different body shapes and sizes to optimise those types of things. So if you think about competitive surfing and if you think about the olympics this is just groundbreaking research.” — Javier Leon



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Imi Barneaud

Imi Barneaud

My name is Imi Barneaud and I am a surfer, a mum and an entrepreneur. My podcast is a series of weekly conversations with surfers about careers.