BENEATH an online story on Mitch Coleborn ahead of the Volcom Fiji Pro this year, a reader remarked that it was a shame he had drawn the great Kelly Slater in round one.
A day later, Coleborn - a Nambour-born gifted goofy footer long on promise but short on results - shocked the surfing world by beating the 11-time world champion.
Having received a wildcard into the World Championship Tour event, Coleborn was eliminated in round three.
But his defeat of Slater underlined his immense talent - and to a degree, his wasted potential.
With his 26th birthday in January, the one-time highly valued free surfer is in the midst of a sustained attempt to crack the elite tour for the first time.
Due to surf this morning in the round of 96 at the Prime-rated Vans World Cup of Surfing at Hawaii's Sunset Beach, he will attempt to advance his current world ranking of 59.
His former long-time coach Ian Portingale said a lack of consistency was the bane of his former charge's existence.
The former Australian national and Queensland coach said Coleborn had all the tools required to succeed at the highest level - but needed to get his head right.
"Throughout his career, he's gone up and down in confidence levels," he said.
"I think he's definitely capable of achieving that (consistency) as long as things don't go against him - like sponsors getting sick of waiting, costs are burdening him too much, the pressure of having to do it with a smaller budget. All these things add up.
"As long as those things don't creep in there, there's no reason why he's not capable of achieving those results."
Portingale said Coleborn, whom he coached from age 12 to 20, could do "radical" things on a surfboard.
He was someone who never went unnoticed and was equally good in small and large surf.
"He doesn't do just normal re-entries - it will be some amazing re-entry," the coach said.
"And he's got the aerial repertoire as well. So he's got plenty of tricks."
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