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Dusty Payne, losing heat but winning hearts, Bells Beach

Yesterday at the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, Dusty Payne steamed past Owen Wright in round two with a 17.10 combined total, but in round three, he met with Taj Burrow. And Taj, unhappy with his results at the Quiksilver Pro, Snapper and the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, looked determined to progress. Dusty lost, but he killed his second round and the crowd dug it. “I know Dusty lost today but fuck, if he wasn’t the guy that was the most on point,” says photog Ryan Miller who shot this. “Jordy absolutely smashed his heat but who didn’t see that coming. I was super impressed with Dusty’s surfing today. He got a 9.5 in his first heat on this wave. Look at this thing. From the top of the wave to the bottom it is right at three board lengths tall.”

Today at Bells there’s been high drama – Joel Parkinson was knocked out by Raoni Monteiro in a heat that ended with totals of 19.17 to 19.10. Yup. And, Willian Cardoso dispatched Kelly Slater, whose back looks very injured. Get over there before anything else wild happens.

Photographer profile

Ryan Miller/

Ryan Miller, 33 years old, does not know how to write a bad email. Your pals at Stab have learnt to live vicariously through Miller’s red wine-fuelled letters from the road. His travels take him to some dreamy locales and, in those places, he scores all-time photos: “My favourite photo I’ve shot was of Benny Bourgeois in the Caribbean, with a fisheye. Often I just take photos, but rarely do I get to make one.” In an age of tail-highs and released fins, Ryan still most likes to shoot someone who can lay-down a big backside turn. Namely: Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds, Gabe Kling, Kekoa Bacalso, Damien Hobgood and Peter Mendia. Like most photogs, Miller misses Scott Aichner’s work. But, as far as contemporary inspiration? “Trying to see things through my daughter’s eyes. It’s wild to think about someone experiencing something totally new on almost a daily basis when, as adults, we rarely get to experience something truly new.”

Visit Ryan Miller/'s site here