Joel Barry, king of the waves


Joel Barry, king of the waves

WORLD’S BEST: Inverloch’s Joel Barry was crowned world jet ski freeride champion last week for the second year in a row. The skilled skier has been in dominant form and received the title after winning stage one in Portugal. 

Daniel Renfrey



INVERLOCH’s Joel Barry is on top of the globe after defending his world title crown.

The aerial jet skier was declared the IFWA Freeride World Championship Tour winner last week, his second world championship on the trot.

The feat follows the 25-year-old’s recovery from a jet ski accident at Inverloch in which his face was smashed and a strong performance at round one of this year’s world title in Portugal.

There was only one stage – the Portugal event in April – in this year’s tour due to promotion hurdles and ‘Jumping Joel’ was the clear leader.

“It feels really good to have won it, even though there was only one event,” Joel said.

“I’ve got to take it for what it is, it’s a world championship. I had to do better than the other competitors and I won it for the year.

“I won the last three events of last year too so I know I would have had the ability to win it if there were more events.”

Joel was a sight to behold in the event, with his wave riding and aerial manoeuvres earning him the title.

The champion skier was in a zone and enjoyed every moment.

“It was absolutely thrilling, I wouldn’t compete in it for any other reason,” he said.

“Any time I’m at an event with the world’s best there, my mind sort of switches off and I just try to reach a level better than my best.

“I get in from a run and I can barely remember what I did, which is strange, but it works.”

It’s clear Joel’s passion for a thrill on his jet ski is as strong as the currents he rides.

This passion shone through during his recovery from an accident in May in which his ski fell on him and crushed his helmet, leaving him with lacerations.

“I thought more events were coming and it took a lot of support from friends and family to help me through my recovery,” Joel said.

“I still would have competed if it went on, there was no two ways around it. It wouldn’t have been comfortable, but I would have done anything, bandaged my head up or something.”

The top talent enjoyed the world championship experience.

“The experience of it is great. Being able to travel, it’s kind of like you’re on your own travelling circus,” he said.

“There’s a family within the sport that you compete with, they’re mates. The experiences you get from it are probably even better than winning.”

As for what the future holds for our champion, the sport is currently in a rebuilding phase and it’s uncertain whether there will be further events.

Whatever happens, Joel still intends to ride on.

“I’ll always be riding, I love it too much to ever give it up,” he said.

“Just riding around Australia and around the world for a while could be the way to go, but who knows what will happen.”

With his passion still burning, don’t be surprised if you see world champion jet skier Joel Barry hitting the surf off the coast of Inverloch this summer.

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Posted by on Nov 29 2019. Filed under Featured, News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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