Stab Magazine | Dusty Payne's winning secret: to black out
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Dusty Payne’s winning secret: to black out

Three-hundred and sixty-six days ago, Dusty Payne was sitting on a couch at home in Maui, watching John John Florence win the Margaret River Pro. Dusty was wearing a corrective boot, having landed funny on a shorebreak air in Santa Cruz a few months earlier, and then continued to surf on his tweaked ankle in […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Three-hundred and sixty-six days ago, Dusty Payne was sitting on a couch at home in Maui, watching John John Florence win the Margaret River Pro. Dusty was wearing a corrective boot, having landed funny on a shorebreak air in Santa Cruz a few months earlier, and then continued to surf on his tweaked ankle in a bid to requalify. He made it worse, and then missed the first four tour events of 2012, earning an ASP injury wildcard for 2013. But things yesterday couldn’t have looked any more different for Dusty than they did a year ago. He just beat Josh Kerr in the final of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. It was a Prime event in Western Australia, and it was Dusty’s first major event win. Stab called to get a run down of the final, but Dusty can’t remember what happened, ’cause he blacked out. So, we spoke about some other things.

Action shots by Ryan Miller

Stab: What does it feel like to win a major contest?
Dusty: I blacked out. I can’t tell you what happened in the final. It happened so fast. At the end Kerrzy looked at me and was like, “So that went by really quick.” I can’t even remember anything, except that it was a feeling I’ve never felt before.

When did you know you could win? My goal coming over was to make it to the final day. I was relaxed the whole time. It got to the final day, which had been my goal, and once you’ve accomplished that you set another one that’s bigger and better, which is exactly what I did.

Margies doesn't always require rudders in the face.

Margies doesn’t always require rudders in the face.

This time last year, you were sidelined with twinkies on the couch, yeah? I was sitting on my couch in Maui with a boot on my foot, watching John John win the Margaret River Pro, and my good friend Ola (Eleogram) get second. Watching friends do so good last year made me want it more and work a lot harder in the last year.

You’re surfing like a bulldog. What are the big changes? I focused on being fluid and linking turns together. No one-manoeuvre waves. I wanted to be able to big carves into a blow-tail or something.

Seems like Margaret River is an event like Bells: only the guys who win seem to like it. Discuss. Margies is always tough. It’s one of the hardest waves to surf. It’s no easy task. It’s challenging. You make a heat out there, it’s a relief. It’s good to win at a place like that.

Dusty and a quiver he's real fond of, Rainbow Place Apartments, Gold Coast. Photo by Shinya Dalby

Dusty and a quiver he’s real fond of, Rainbow Place Apartments, Gold Coast. Photo by Shinya Dalby

When was the last time you felt this confident as a competitive surfer? Oh. Man. Fricken years ago, when I was competing as an amateur (laughs). In my junior days, the last time I had a win at the junior Oakley event in Bali. That was the last time I had any confidence. I’m comfortable with my surfing. I had a couple of tough heats. I fought. It’s a good feeling to know that I can win those heats against guys like Julian.

What happened after the podium? As soon as we left the contest, we came home, we’ve been staying right next to the Robinson’s, Jack and Trev, and the first thing I did was call my mom and dad. I called Dave Riddle (coach). Then I called the boys back in Hawaii: Tai Van Dyke, Kaimana, and Dingo was there, I talked to them for a while. We just cooked up some steaks at our place, then went down to the Gnarabar and hung out. We came home pretty early, like 10:30.

Bitch don’t kill my vibe! I could’ve surfed another six heats today. I was ready to go! – Elliot Struck

Tap rail for solidness. Stomp for thrills.

Tap rail for solidness. Stomp for thrills.

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