Gallery: Taj Burrow Joins Billabong Bloodlines In Japan
A celebration of youthful spirit and high performance surfing.
You know Bloodlines, right? It’s a Billabong program that nurtures and boosts surfing’s bright future. Part of that good time concept involves taking the best of the Billabong junior team on brief overseas invasions, which involve the groms running wild, doing grom things and surfing their brains out in a foreign land. Most recently, Japan.
Kian Martin and the art of befriending locals.
Present in the land of the Rising Sun this year were Australians Dakoda Walters and Caleb Tancred, Balinese Kian Martin, Floridian Tommy Colman, Frenchman Justin Becret, and local Japanese shredders Jin Suzuki and Monnojo Yahagi. And because a huge part of this concept is guidance and helping shape the future, surf royal Taj Burrow flew in for a few days to mirror the groms’ energetic vibe and act as spirit animal for the team.
Children with fire crackers and much intent.
“That was my first time there ever,” says Dakoda, a Yamba grom who’s coming up real quick. “I loved everything about it. It was so different to home. The people were so nice, and even though I’m not the biggest eater, I loved the food – we ate a whoooole lot of noodles. The waves were really fun too, it was pretty small most the time but they’ve got the sickest little setups everywhere. Heaps of rivermouths. We surfed one rivermouth that was a lot like Greenmount, but better.”
Dakoda, cleaving the freshest sashimi.
“It was amazing to experience such a different culture for the first time,” agrees Central Coast talent, Caleb Tancred. “The best thing was one of the surf sessions we had at this amazingly fun, long righthand point. All our friends sharing barrels, it was sick.”
“The waves were really different to anywhere I’ve surfed before,” says Caleb. “We were lucky where we went, we scored some really fun waves.”
“It’s hard to say who was most impressive,” says Taj. “They were all ripping to be honest, they were all pushing each other. They were a little surfed out when I got there, but I could tell when I got in the water, they were all trying to rip it up and do airs over my head. Just trying to show off and impress. It ended up being a couple of fun heated sessions where everyone was trying wild airs, and it got me pretty wound up too. I was obviously there for them and to watch them surf and spend some time with them, and I found myself getting so competitive with them! It was so much fun. Someone would do an air reverse and I’d be like ok, now I’m gonna do one too.”
“I loved just watching the way Taj generates so much speed, and he surfs so rad on every wave,” says Dakoda of TB (pictured here tweaking a slob).
“Ah the grommets…” begins the trip’s photographer, Duncan Macfarlane, whose imagery you see spilt here. “It was an epic trip. We packed so much into a little week on the islands, I can hardly remember what we did two days ago. Crazy, lucky I shot a ton. We got a lot of little swell the first and last few days but had a typhoon fling a nice little four to five foot ground swell for a couple of days in the middle. Japan has some great spots when there are typhoons, especially around the rivers, but the banks are always changing and the Locals can get gnarly… At every spot, we had to greet and thank the local ‘boss’ and be extremely mellow in the water to the locals as a sign of respect kinda. And you would not think eight frothing grommets could stop whizzing around but they were good and all the locals at all the spots were chill.”
Keep an eye out for the Bloodlines Japan short film, premiering exclusively here on Stab this week.
Justin on the spin, Caleb on hype.
Jin flexing familiarity.
Justin flings at bodyboarder.
Tommy jams on the left.
Caleb, scooping a touch of shade.
Good eatin’ out here.
Like, real good.
Justin, moustache (above lip!).
How’s the serenity?
Jin, back at it.
File under: Fun.
Extreme historical sightseeing.
Kian kicks backside, with scenery.
Jin in his zone.
Dakoda on the jump.
Cotton-dying with locally-grown plant based dyes.
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