Stab Magazine | Kieren Perrow Has The Worst Job In Surfing

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Kieren Perrow Has The Worst Job In Surfing

Snapper fires after comp site is moved to Kirra.

news // Mar 15, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Moving the comp site is a massive undertaking. Staff was on hand at 3 am building infrastructure. Rigging sound and erecting scaffolds. An early morning stroll down the boardwalk saw swell on offer, lines to the horizon. Greenmount looked fun, Kirra was getting good. Far better than yesterday’s Snapper.

I ate breakfast in front of a second story window with a sliver view of the takeoff area. Even from that limited vantage it looked that today’s move to Kirra was the right call. A day of draining rights for the world’s best, a quick jaunt up the steep trail to the top of the hill overlooking the point was my plan. Hat and sunscreen on hand, prepared to sweat but not burn. Feeling lucky to be on hand to witness the final day of the Quik Pro take place in some proper perfect surf.

I noticed I’d forgotten my notebook and had to run back to the rental. Decided to serve the deserted comp site a quick glance before strolling back down the coast. Sponsor’s booths are largely unoccupied. Friendly staff on hand enjoying a respite from the past few days’ carnage. It’s a far more pleasant state of affairs than slowly shuffling through a packed mob of sweating bodies.

The locals here seem to have a deep understanding of sand flow and swell direction, have been waxing long in my ear about why the move was the right call. “Kirra’s gonna be all time,” or the like repeated, repeatedly.

The size and location of the judges’ tower means that it blocks your view of the break until you get past it. I expected to see a crowd having fun, the swell angle slightly wrong. Maybe the banks wouldn’t be in the right spot. I take experts at their word in the absence of personal knowledge.

I did not expect to see bottomless rights reeling from behind the rock. A massive current pouring around the point, dredging sets growing in size and consistency.

While the WSL does its job at Kirra, Snapper Rocks is on absolute fucking fire. Bigger, better, heavier, but shorter, than Kirra. It looks damn difficult to surf without a jet ski assist. The notion of paddling out through the keyhole makes my knees weak.

I shed a tear for Kieren Perrow, a man forced to rely on the information at hand to make decisions which amount to gambles. The ocean’s a fickle mistress, no amount of effort or patience will ever help you truly understand her moods. No decision is the right one. A rigged from the start shell game where your every option is wrong and you’re doomed to fail the second you opt to play along.

I heard tales of Parko getting a seven second barrel this morning. He stood tall, back arched, locked knees. Iconic. There are enough photogs on hand that if it really happened we’ll see the proof. 

The Rainbow Bay Surf Club is packed to overflowing. The presence of the stadium for the Commonwealth Games has created a situation at Kirra where space is so limited that the event is nigh unwatchable from the beach. The Surf Club members, on the beers since 10 am, swear the event should be moved back to Snapper. Griffin’s ten says otherwise. But local pros Mitch Parko and Nick Vasicek are claiming the best Snapper ever… 

There are dredging iconic moments to be had from behind the point, followed by wash-throughs and closeouts. Moving was the right decision. Moving was the wrong decision. “I haven’t seen it this good in twenty years!” “It’s too big!” 

The women are staying on hold until tomorrow. It’s not easy by any means at Kirra or Snapper. Sending the women to their doom doesn’t hold any appeal that doesn’t reek of sadism. Denying them the opportunity to step up, should they wish, is equally uncool.

I don’t envy Kieren Perrow. No matter his decision the reactions will range from approbation to condemnation.

But, in the end, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. We get to watch good surfing today. That’s all that matters.


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