Stab Magazine | Taj Burrow is back (and he's got new boards!)
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Taj Burrow is back (and he’s got new boards!)

Interviews by Craig Jarvis | Photos by Duncan Macfarlane In 2012 Taj Burrow climbed onto a Mayhem shape (a 5’9.5″ 18.32″ 2.18″ Whiplash, to be precise) and went out to win the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast. Since then, he’s been addicted to Matt Biolos’ boards. Part of Taj’s ability to stay so firmly in the top tier mix […]

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

Interviews by Craig Jarvis | Photos by Duncan Macfarlane

In 2012 Taj Burrow climbed onto a Mayhem shape (a 5’9.5″ 18.32″ 2.18″ Whiplash, to be precise) and went out to win the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast. Since then, he’s been addicted to Matt Biolos’ boards. Part of Taj’s ability to stay so firmly in the top tier mix has been due to obsession with dialling in equipment. It’s just… necessary. He was looking fire towards the end of last year, until an injury extinguished his Hawaiian appearance. Ten weeks out of the water over summer? Yeah, that’s tough to swallow. But now Taj is back. And what Stab wanted to know, from two people as dialled on equipment as Taj and Matt, is what sort of changes result from 10 weeks dry-docked, if any. We asked both gents to unravel the finely-tuned new Mayhems for us.

Stab: Remind the fam of your injury from The Right. And, where you’re at now.
TB: I tore two tendons clean off the bone. One was called a Labral bicep tendon, and I damaged two others. I don’t know the exact names of them. I’ve been doing either physio rehab, or treatments every single day. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but I’ve finally got my arm back. I’ve been doing a whole lot of Pilates, on the reformer to start with because of my shoulder injury, and also a lot of sand dune runs. Now I’m just surfing, surfing, surfing, because I can!

Your enthusiasm levels must be through the roof. I only started surfing again about two weeks ago. The waves have been kinda average, but I’ve never been more excited in my life to go surfing. Even a floater makes me happy!

How’s your Snapper quiver looking? I just got a glorious delivery of 10 new sticks from Mayhem a week ago. They’re slightly different to last years’ boards. There are a few changes in rocker and concave depths. Dimensions are all around 5’9.5” x 18.25 x 2.25, and they come in at 24.4L. They look hot, and I’m incredibly horny to ride them.

Just gonna jump over to Mr Matt Biolos for a second, to get a tighter description, if you don’t mind.

We’re talking Taj and his Snapper boards, Matt.
Biolos: As you know, we had a really big break this off-season with Taj. We decided to use the break to make some adjustments to his rockers and volume for the New Year. We’ve been looking for more built-in drive and a bit more foam. A less twitchy feel. Not sure yet if it will go over well, but we figured that since he’s been out of the water so long, it’s a great chance for him to take a little bit of a different approach.

How’d this manifest?
MB: We just built about 10 boards, all in the 5’9” – 5’9.5” x 18.25 -18.38 and 24.25 – 24.5L zone. Three years ago, Taj was on 23.25L, last year He was up to 24.25L. So, we will see. Most the adjustments are subtle, and almost invisible to the naked eye, but he will feel them.

How’s his feedback from the last few days in the water?
MB: He just started surfing again, and like we thought, they all feel “great” right now. As he re-gains his footing and sharpens up, we’re sure he’ll get more picky, and choose the best ones out of the group and toss the lemons aside. Then we’ll go in and focus on the ones he liked best, and try to fine-tune those with a second batch, just before Snapper.

So Taj, 10 weeks at home twiddling your thumbs. Has it been a chilled season for you?
TB: It’s actually been amazing having this break. I’ve been able to enjoy my house and hometown more than ever. I’ve been able to reconnect with friends and just take a breath from the fast paced travel. It’s actually been great.

Bunch of new blood on tour. Any of the new rookies coming up that really stand out for you?
TB: They’re all good. I’m also excited that Dusty made it back on tour, until I get him in a heat that is, he’s tearing!

“One thing I can tell you is 10 weeks out of the surf during the summer in West Australia will bring out the childlike surf froth in the most seasoned surf traveller like Taj,” says photog Dunc Macfarlane. “This was a junky left, and apart from a few finners that went a little wayward he was still wielding turns like this one in true Taj form.”

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