Taj Burrow v. Carissa Moore
Hey, you know Carissa Moore? She’s the cute Hawaiian gal making all that noise, who scooped the ASP women’s world title this year without breaking into a canter. She’s the gal who, along with Tyler Wright and few others, is scaring the pants off the men’s Dream Tour. So, how does the world’s best female […]
Hey, you know Carissa Moore? She’s the cute Hawaiian gal making all that noise, who scooped the ASP women’s world title this year without breaking into a canter. She’s the gal who, along with Tyler Wright and few others, is scaring the pants off the men’s Dream Tour. So, how does the world’s best female surfer challenge herself to improve and change her game? Surf the men’s events in Hawaii, that’s how.
She may not be the first to do such a thing (remember Layne Beachley against Andy Irons in Newcastle?), but she’ll sure be the first to properly rumble the men’s field. Carissa’s been awarded wildcards into the Reef Hawaiian Pro, Haleiwa and the Vans World Cup of Surfing, Sunset Beach. It’s a dance she’s kinda done before, having won the women’s tier at both events last year. But, this year she’ll become the first female to attempt grabbing a men’s Triple Crown title.
When Stab was told that Carissa had drawn Taj Burrow in her first heat at the first event, in Haleiwa, we called her. “Wait, what? I’ve got who?” She sounded a little excited, a little scared. You’ve got Taj in your heat, we told her. “Are you serious? That’s the first I’ve heard about it. Wow! That’s kinda crazy.” So, are you gonna beat our ol pal, we asked? “I don’t know about that! It’s going to be really awesome to surf against the boys. I have to be realistic about my expectations. These guys have years of experience.” Unconvinced by Carissa’s modesty, we persisted. “I just hope to get out of a heat,” she said. “All I want to try to do is catch a few waves and try to perform. It didn’t go so well last time. I got smoked by Adriano (DeSouza) and Shane (Beschen) at Lowers a few years ago.”
But Carissa’s a different girl now. She’s got some experience under her belt. She has the kinda confidence that only a world title can give and, more pertinently, has recently been surfing better than some lower-rung WT surfers (see clip below.) Anyhow, at least she must be excited? “The whole experience will be kinda rad,” she concurred. “I’m super excited about it.”
So, what of the other half of the equation? How’s Taj feeling? “A chick from the ASP hit me up on Facey (Facebook) and said she wanted to interview me about Carissa surfing in the men’s events in Hawaii this year,” laughed Taj. “I was, like, sure! Yeah, it’s great. Then she asked what I thought about drawing her in a heat. I was terrified! Initially, I was freaked out about losing to a girl. The boys and I always talk about how scary it would be to surf against her. She absolutely rips and she surfs as good as lots of the guys.”
Taj, a man who’s been on tour for 14 years, a constantly-evolving ball of perpetual motion, must be a little exited about the challenge, too? “God no!” he says, still jovial. “I was like, why me?! It’s an awful thought losing to a girl! But she hangs the tail out most turns. If I were to lose to a girl a few years ago I’d be super freaked, but Carissa definitely rips.”
And, between his giggling, we tried to decipher how seriously Taj was actually taking it. “I was just packing my boards kinda blasé and didn’t really care about what I was taking with me. Now, I’m looking through my quiver seeing what would work at Haleiwa.” But a true competitor always sticks to his (or her) guns. And though Taj is a little worried, he’s still confident. “Oh my god, I was freaking about it if I lost but don’t worry, mate, I’m still planning on winning the thing.”
Watch the match up live, right here. Are you as excited as Carissa, or as nervous as Taj? – Sam Mcintosh/Elliot Struck
Yesterday, Taj was told he was surfing against Carissa. We interviewed them both. Turns out, Taj is actually surfing against Con Coffin and Carissa is surfing against Richard Christie. Who knew, huh?
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