Stab Magazine | Taj Burrow, chilli on the top lip, Victoria

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Taj Burrow, chilli on the top lip, Victoria

Taj Burrow, pictured here, didn’t remember doing anything good yesterday at Bells Beach, and couldn’t imagine what Stab was talking about when we mentioned the photo you see above. Self-deprecation is only part of Taj’s charm. Honesty is another. “No, not particularly,” he says when we ask if he likes Bells as a wave. “It’s […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Taj Burrow, pictured here, didn’t remember doing anything good yesterday at Bells Beach, and couldn’t imagine what Stab was talking about when we mentioned the photo you see above. Self-deprecation is only part of Taj’s charm. Honesty is another. “No, not particularly,” he says when we ask if he likes Bells as a wave. “It’s pretty terrible, really. It’s iconic and prestigious, but Winkipop’s 10 times as good. Bells is alright, just hard to surf. You’ve just gotta do cutbacks, and at the right time. Even when I won it, I surfed horrifically.”

After getting knocked at Margaret River, putting his feet up at home for a coupla days, then jumping a red-eye flight from Perth to Melbourne, Taj slid straight into a three-foot swell at Bells. But even then, it’s still tough to get used to. “It’s definitely a challenge,” Taj says. “And I’m trying to make it fun. I always get my hopes up that it’s going to be at Winki, but it only ever ends up being one or two rounds. I’d much prefer it to be somewhere else, I’ve never really liked the bowl.”

So, what makes Winki so much better? “Winki’s a proper wave that you can absolutely light up. Bells is tricky. You get one or two turns then it fattens off and you’ve gotta get the inside. It looks good, but I struggle to work it out. The bowl baffles everyone, I think.” Except perhaps for a select few, like Jordy Smith, who Taj believes suits the wave and was out there doing a coupla “big, powerful drop wallets” yesterday.

The difficulty in Bells also meant an equipment change for Taj, and most certainly a change from his Gold Coast whip: “I tried to ride the same Mayhem out there as I rode up on the Goldy, which felt incredible up there, but it went backwards down here. I jumped on another one that has some different fins and is more of a solid, safe surfboard and it felt way better. You want something that has more volume and does cutbacks, basically.” – Elliot Struck

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