Stab Magazine | Taj Burrow On Who Will Win The 2018 World Title
497 Views

Taj Burrow On Who Will Win The 2018 World Title

Ex-CT vet peels his plums.

news // Oct 11, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

This afternoon in France, despite an incredible performance, Filipe Toledo lost his Round 3 heat to wildcard Ryan Callinan.

“I’ve been on tour for six years and I’m still making rookie mistakes,” Filipe said in his post-loss presser, in response to an unforced priority error. “It cost me the heat and could cost me the yellow jersey. But Ryan surfed very well. He deserved that win.”  

Currently 4,000 points ahead of his nearest World Title opponent, Gabriel Medina, Filipe will in fact lose his ratings lead if Medina makes the semifinals or better. If you look at Medina’s history at the Quik Pro France, a result of that stature is more than likely.

a3b96696016851013dbae1bb1e3a162d

Medina has historically won 80% of his heats in France. Photo: WSL

But before any of this chaos ensued, Stab chatted with ex-CT veteran Taj Burrow about the World Title race. Due to a prevailing knee injury, Taj has been sidelined for the better part of five months, but has recently found solace in the prone sliding abilities of his sponge.

“I’m so shit at bodyboarding,” laughed Taj. “It feels so good to get back in the barrel, but I have no clue how to get out.”

Taj expects to surf again within the next month, but in his downtime he’s kept a keen eye on the World Title Race.

Here are his thoughts on who the real frontrunner is heading into the final three events.  

Taj John Barton

Soon Taj will be off the boog and back on his own two feet! Photo: John Barton

Note: this interview was conducted prior to Filipe’s Round 3 loss.

Stab: Hey Taj, stoked to hear your knee is nearly healed! So, have you been paying attention to the Tour this year?
Taj Burrow: Yeah, I kinda watched everything except the pool, and it’s been sick to watch.

Then you know that Filipe’s got a 4,000 point lead and the remaining events are France, Portugal, and Hawaii, which have obviously been stellar for Gabby in years past. So, who do you think the favorite is going into the end of the year?
I’d say Gabriel 100%. He’s by far the best competitor on the Tour, in my opinion. Both him and Fililpe are the most exciting to watch, but Filipe is probably not as strong in heats as Gabriel. And not only are those last three events the strongest for Gabriel, but he also loves coming from behind and chasing someone down. I think he enjoys that. He’ll be chasing Filipe down pretty quickly in my eyes.

Would that be your preference?
I’m hoping the battle goes to the end. I’m really hoping Filipe goes strong in those last three events. Like always, you really wanna see a huge, strong battle all the way to the end. I don’t have a preference, you know. I love them both, so I just wanna see the best man win.

Screen Shot 2018 10 10 at 10.19.20 AM

Gab wants to be that “best man”. Photo: WSL

What do you think about Filipe in bigger surf? Obviously he’s struggled in past years at Teahupo’o and Pipe, but this year he made a real effort to go to Tahiti early and, despite the small conditions, he did clinch his best result ever there. How do you think he’ll fare if this does come down to Pipe?
I think Gabriel’s stronger, but I think Filipe’s still on his way to becoming a great big wave, slabby kinda surfer. I think he could be one of the best surfers in those types of waves. Mark Mathews said that a while ago and I kind of agreed. He’s got such fast twitch muscle reflexes and he’s just so agile. Once he starts charging and figuring out how to knife into big tubes perfectly, he will be invincible because he’s just really, really skilled. So yeah I think he’ll get there in the end, but at the moment I think Gabriel’s still stronger. But I think Filipe’s doing the right thing by showing up to places early. He’s just gotta put in the time.

ScaleWidthWyIxMjAwIl0 Screen Shot 2018 07 28 at 2.21.24 PM

Filipe gets it. Frame: Baronis

And with Filipe’s Round 3 loss (and Medina’s subsequent win), TB’s predictions are well on their way to becoming hardened truths. 

However there are plenty of heats left to be surfed this year, and Filipe will not go down without a fight. 

Like Taj, we can only hope that this battle goes to the bitter, bitter end. 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022

5:07

Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022

4:25

“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022

25:17

Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022

27:45

How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022

3:36

‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022

3:34

“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022

Sierra Kerr And Robbie McCormick Win Vans Stab High Indonesia Presented By Monster Energy

And we had a live premiere in Oceanside to celebrate.

Nov 22, 2022

The Stab Guide To The World Cup

Including which team bears most similarities to former CT surfer Ricky "Ricky Badness" Basnett.

Nov 21, 2022

Unlocked: Albee Layer Speaks His Mind In His SEOTY Entry, ‘Delirium’

Come for the double rotations, stay for Albee's existential thoughts on surfing and life.

Nov 20, 2022

Buy Now: John John Florence’s ‘Gravity’

Get Gravity and support Junior Lifeguards.

Nov 20, 2022

5:02

Craig Anderson Could Find A Spitting Tube In A Tranquil Koi Pond

“How the fuck did I get an invite?”

Nov 19, 2022
Advertisement