A conversation with Taj Burrow
Taj Burrow just beat Matt Wilkinson in the O’Neill Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane. It’s his second win this year, and just as sweet as the first. When Stab called, TB was readying himself for the evening’s celebrations. As far as post-final parties go, you’d be hard-pressed to find two better hosts than Taj and […]
Taj Burrow just beat Matt Wilkinson in the O’Neill Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane. It’s his second win this year, and just as sweet as the first. When Stab called, TB was readying himself for the evening’s celebrations. As far as post-final parties go, you’d be hard-pressed to find two better hosts than Taj and Wilko. Before puffing a bottle of cologne at his neck and rolling out the door, we fired some questions at him.
Stab: This feeling probably doesn’t get old, eh?
Taj: It. Does. Not. Get. Old! Feels so good. Jesus! I wanted to win another comp this year so bad and it feels so good.
You’re particularly good when the pressure is off. Ha, that’s what it is, uh… Did you see that final? God, it was sketchy. Wilko got blown up on two waves that would’ve taken the final (the end section wedge was particularly tough to ride out of). I fell on a good one, too. I pretty much won with that one turn (the first turn on his 7.17 wave). Seven points with that one hanger. I just watched the final again and that section was so good. It was like the most clean, perfect section and I just had no choice but to give it to her! Fuck, I’m pumped! Love it!
So, what do you do after a win? What are you doing right now? We hung around the comp for a little bit, everyone was real pumped and Wilko was pretty stoked with the result. Our little team was just rallying and high-fiving and talking about what we are going to do tonight. I’m just about to have a shower and go meet at a restaurant/bar down the pier and start getting into it. I only just got home, tossed my boards under the house and flipped open the lappy to watch the final because I wanted to know what the waves looked like. I wanted to see it and see how close it was.
Ratings-wise, you don’t move much. You’re still in sixth. It’s so hard to make the top five, everyone up there is going loony. I’ve had two wins and I can’t even make the top five! That’s crazy to win a comp and go up one spot. That’s ridiculous, that never happens.
So, the world title. If Kelly doesn’t make the quarters, Joel wins. If Joel and Kelly both make the quarters, it’s whoever finishes higher. What’s your call? The feeling I get is that everything is going Joel’s way and he cannot set a foot wrong. He’s surfing the best he’s ever surfed, his carves are just perfect, they always have been. The judges are paying em big-time and he looks incredible. And he doesn’t look rattled at all. He’s in front and the pressure isn’t affecting him at all and he’s surfing better than ever. To me, it feels like everything is going Joel’s way. And looking at the whole year and the way he’s surfed, it feels like a Joel year. But then I look back and watch Kelly at Fiji and that was the best surfing you’ve ever seen. And then he wins Trestles and France and then it’s going into Pipe which Kelly just owns. It’s so tough. I feel like Joel is having the best year but it’s so hard to bet against Kelly at Pipe. Joel knows how to ride it and he’s had 10’s going both ways. It’s gonna be a good showdown.
What’s the plan right now? I’m so pumped. We’re gonna get into it tonight here in Santa Cruz and then everyone’s flying to LA and we’re gonna get into it at the Roosevelt, there’s heaps of crew meeting there. I’ll get into Sydney Saturday morning. Yes!
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