Return to Top
  • News

Shrinkage, skate tricks and a new swine flu

The Hurley Pro looms, and Taj Burrow waits in California. After a long day surfing Lowers, his phone voice is tired but, as always, he is succinct. We hit with pointed questions about shrinking boards (Mick riding Kolohe’s Mayhem last year), winning moves (not varials!), and surfing’s newest swine flu (the air-reverse), and Taj, an authority on progressive surfing for over a decade now, replied with articulation and thoughtfulness to boot. A snatch-and-grab phone call has never been more insightful!

Stab: Last year, the move of the event looked to be Julian’s varial. What do you think it will be this year? And, by who? 
Taj: I don’t think it will be just one incredible move, but a combo. An incredible combo. It’ll be something ridiculous off the take-off, a whole bunch of turns in the middle and then something ridiculous to close. I’m sure that’ll be the biggest highlight of the contest. I’m predicting it’s going to be hard to get scores this event and that’s the toughest thing to do, the big combos…

Between 2010 and 2011, boards seemed to lose an inch or an inch and a half, which revealed itself at Trestles. Do you think there is any dramatic change like that this year? Nah, I don’t think so this year. Nothing I can notice.

What percentage of the surfers will be riding Mayhems this year? I reckon about 10 guys, about 30%.

Now, the air-reverse is a pervasive move. It’s spread through YouTube and Vimeo and it’s taking the small-wave tour spots by storm. How on earth can judges deal with this manoeuvre at Lowers? I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and it’s not worth going for an air-reverse unless it’s an absolutely mongo size. I am so sick of seeing air-reverses and I know the judges must be, too. It’s the go-to move for everyone. It bores you to death. I mean, it’s fun to do and it feels pretty good, and you used to swing out an air-reverse and go, “Oh yeah, that should score.” It. Is. Not. Going. To. Score. Unless it’s something huge. I was thinking more big carving kinda traditional turns, throwing more water, throwing the fins and only going for an air if it’s going to be a really big ramp. Anyone can throw the fins into reverse. I’ve worked on that turn for so long and I’ve got it pretty down but I know everyone can do it now and it doesn’t stand out. You have to really be conscious of what the judges are witnessing. You need turns to somehow separate yourself to stand out. And, the air-reverse is not it. (Laughs).

"The dropped purse" – an original score by Taj Burrow and Lower Trestles. Sequence by Riley Blakeway.

  • Anonymous

    When Taj uses his rails, it’s as good as it gets.

  • Yoda

    The judges should be subtracting points away for air-reverses at this contest. Such an overdone, stale maneuver. If the swell stays small, as forecasted, I predict one million air-reverses will be performed at this event, making the event as a whole, unwatchable.

  • barrelscando

    I still cannot do an air reverse. I am 40. I can barely do a gimp air. Fuck you kid. I would give a nut to do air spins.

    • cuntpunt

      barrelscando, you ain’t missin much

    • Edd Thompson

      Your wrong this manouver looks good at teahupoo not at lowers, these are the best of the best. NO AIR REVERSE

  • dan

    barrelscando, its just a matter of speed and finding the right section. Try getting some speed on a wave that barrels but focus on the close-out section rather than the barrel and you’ll do a punt. Guarranteed

  • greg

    I can do air reverses they are so fun to do but watching a contest and thats all you see is boring unless there huge !!!

  • cary

    so stoked on this phone call tricks are for kids lets see some stylish man turns!

  • unabortable

    good surfing is good surfing.

  • Sergio

    Trying to stop the Brazilian Storm?

  • Burck

    if the surfer is not up side down during the air reverse, it`s not going to score.
    simple as that.

    kids, you should watch some MEDINA videos, ok?

  • Benji

    i swear to god if those brazalian kids get throgh every heat by doing the same lame ass air reverse on every wave like they did at the nike event at lowers, im quiting watching contests for ever

  • Dylan

    Taj just did a way above average air reverse. Man sticks to his words.

  • NN

    Anyone see that “heat winning” bullshit they gave to Julian?? Guess Taj was wrong…sadly.

  • shredpig

    i want more drop wallets ! it is hard to pull a gooden. taj’s here is an epic example. bring back traditional surfing, power surfing !

  • andy

    air reverse ,land like a duck,make the ocean look fuckin stupid,yawn.just check out parks flow ,now thats surfing.oh and if you don’t agree then your a kook.

  • teniskortuuzerikapatorg

    Thanks That is a wonderful post. Do go on as you are. I will be keenly waiting.

Related NEWS

All News