Stab Magazine | Tracking down the tour evictees

Tracking down the tour evictees

I attempt to discover Mick Campbell’s number via his sponsor. I’m told he’s a private man, so settle for email. I email him and wait for a reply. May as well try the next name on the list. Dean Morrison answers his phone, cheery but double-checking who the caller is. He greets me real friendly-like and […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

I attempt to discover Mick Campbell’s number via his sponsor. I’m told he’s a private man, so settle for email. I email him and wait for a reply. May as well try the next name on the list.

Dean Morrison answers his phone, cheery but double-checking who the caller is. He greets me real friendly-like and says he has a moment to talk. I thank him and ask what he’s been up to, to which he answers, “Actually mate… not to be rude, but I don’t really know where I’m at with interviews right now”. I thank him for his (short) time regardless, and sign off.

Next avenue I try is Jay “Bottle” Thompson. I call up a few times, by-passing dial tone and connecting straight to “Hey you’ve called Jay, sorry I can’t take yer call. I’m probly outta the country but you can hit me on my email.” A quick viewing of his Twitter feed reveals updates from Tahiti, Hamburg, Munich and California. His tweets are special – “Had an epic day out chopes, my head feels like a used condom from the sun though;)”, “Did somebody say Oktoberfest.”, “Hamburg done, Munich your dead.”, “Back in Cali wit vava and @sedz and ready for a little @barebackdjs tomorrow night down town”.

I know, how ’bouts I try Kekoa Bacalso? Seven p.m. in Hawaii? Perfect. Victory! He answers! Oh no, he’s having dinner. Sorry Kekoa. Can I call you back? You’ll call me huh? Sure you will. I cross that one off the list. No one ever calls back. Do they?

Geez, what’s with my luck? I wait an hour and call Kekoa back (using the excuse that the working day is nearly over and I need to wrap this up (which is partly true) – it won’t take long Kekoa, I promise).

How’s life been since Tahiti? I got home and was kinda rattled. It shook me up… I was baffled by the situation. So I picked myself up and thought, “obviously whatever I’ve been doing hasn’t worked, so what if I do the opposite?”. I’m starting to train now, believe it or not. I’ve lost 17 pounds since Tahiti. I only drink once a week now, I don’t drink six beers an afternoon anymore. That and a lot of swimming. The winter just started – it came up so quick. So I’ve been in the shaping room, trying to work on some new shapes, and testing a few boards.

Been watching heats-on-demand from Trestles and France? Yeah I’ve been watching the (Hawaiian) boys. I watched the whole of Trestles, ’cause they had it live on Oceania Cable. I was ripping my hair out watching that. Oh god – the waves were so good. It was hard watching it, but I’m just supporting all the boys. They kinda got smoked early on, but it was still pretty nuts to watch the rest. Dane and Jordy… holy shit. It was like a surf movie – I was pretty baffled watching it. The level’s going up every event. You have to do a backflip, a cartwheel and a karate kick to get a fucken’ 6.5 these days.

As someone who’s planning to re-qualify, how’d that performance level make you feel? I’m fired up, man. At the beginning I was pretty pissed off and against the whole cut-off thing. Whatever. But right now I feel good – I feel fresh. I’ve been surfing everyday – I’m darker than ever ’cause i’ve been surfing so much. Canada’s going to be pretty nuts, except for the wetsuit part. (Kekoa is entering the O’neill Coldwater Classic, Canada.) So I’m going to do the rest of the ‘QS’s and pound it out. It’s pretty much the bottom guys on the WT against the top guys on the primes. I’m just glad it’s going to all go down in Hawaii. If you get one result on the road, you’re going to feel a lot more comfortable going into Hawaii. Especially now that the Pipe Masters counts as a result.

What’s your opinion on the cut-off? It’s pretty tough to swallow. There’s no warm-up heats. It’s first event, first heat… you’re pressing for a result from the get-go. So it’s a different mindset – there’s a lot of stuff going on in your head on the Goldie (at the first contest). You wanna see how everyone else is setting up, and you wanna get a decent result – you don’t wanna get a 33rd ’cause that’s pretty much zero points. But hopefully it’s good for the sport. Pipe was such a good event, ’cause someone was going to win the world title, someone was going to win the Triple Crown, and guys were getting cut. So there was a little bit of that at Chopes, but… I mean, it could have at least been four feet. I was hoping guys would be throwing themselves over the edge. Like, “who wants it more?”.

How did the realisation feel? It was bad. I had a heat against (Matty) Wilko, and he’s one of my better friends. I can’t be mad at him, he’s just doing his job too. The waves were pretty tough in that heat. I got some good ones, I felt like I surfed pretty good. Then I got kinda stumped for waves. I just felt like it was out of my own hands. I usually stay with a family in Tahiti, so afterwards I just cruised with them. I wanted to go home, but it’s not like I’m going to go do anything at home so… I just stuck around and supported the boys. Which was sick, ’cause Freddy P(atacchia) got a good result and AI ended up winning it. I just stayed busy so I wouldn’t start freaking out – tried to stay calm and collected as long as I could. I’ve spoken to Ben Dunn a bit… it’s tricky – we’re all super bummed, but we all just swallowed our pride, and entered all the ‘QS’s so come January we’ll be back on. I’ll jump in cold water and freeze my ass off in Canada if it means I’ll be back on tour.

So we’ll see you on the Goldie Kekoa? Yeah dude, I’ll be throwing fucken’ windmills and heat-makers in the next event. – Elliot Struck


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