Stab Magazine | Taj Burrow
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Taj Burrow

Taj Burrow was the first, and is still the only, surfer to refuse a spot on the World Tour. When he eventually accepted the qualification, he became an immediate world title threat, finishing second in only his second year. In the 11 years since, the 31-year-old from Western Australia has remained a world title contender, […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Taj Burrow was the first, and is still the only, surfer to refuse a spot on the World Tour.
When he eventually accepted the qualification, he became an immediate world title threat, finishing second in only his second year. In the 11 years since, the 31-year-old from Western Australia has remained a world title contender, occasionally even the favorite. In fact, there hasn’t been a year since 1999 where magazines haven’t run interviews asking Taj Burrow about his world title campaign. Stab found Taj at his beachfront rental at Off The Wall to discuss world titles, methods of execution and the ever-present lure of the pretty woman…

Stab: It’s nearly the end of this season, and the start of another, your 11th. How long before you start fielding world title contender interviews?
Taj: Depends on whether Kelly or Dane or Parko are picking up their phone on that day. If not, maybe they’ll come knocking.

How many contender interviews do you think you’ve done?
If someone wants to talk about you being the champion of the world the next year, what would you do? You gonna tell em to put the cameras away? Of course you’re gonna nod along with em and say next year’s my year.

Is it a liberating experience, at the mo, not having the pressure of a world title these past two events?
Liberating’s not really the word I’d use.

What word would you use?
How bout clusterfuck?

“I don’t really want to be doing the tour and ever being satisfied with a third or a fifth. But, how do you press eject from this ride? It’s a thrilling way to live; it’s just that the contest gets in the way sometimes. Ha!”

Would you rather see Mick or Joel win? Death by firing squad or lethal injection or the eleccy chair? What’s the difference?

If Joel loses, it’ll be three runner-ups, what’s that do to a man? It’s not that thrilling sitting at an ASP banquet listening to the champ’s impassioned speech or watching em being carried up the beach but I can hardly complain. I reckon in my years on tour, I’ve had more fun than all the world champs put together. Oh, hang on, maybe take Andy outta that equation.

What does a world title represent to you? It represents a chasm that I’ve not been able to cross. When I look at my career, it’s all been really easy. And, everything has arrived without too much effort. Getting good video sections hasn’t been too much work. My climb through the ranks was relatively simple. And, would you always agree that the world champ was the best surfer who walked the earth that year? Are Joel and Mick better surfers than say Dane in 2009? When I won Bells, I certainly wasn’t the best surfer in that event. Is their more excitement this year about the tour or the Modern Collective? These are just questions.

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