A Close Look At West Oz With Taj Burrow, Jack Robbo, Jay Davies And More
Mining, wining, and dining: No Contest does Margaret River!
Welcome back to No Contest, Stab and Red Bull’s deep dive into the cultural richness, unique charm, and radical local characters that make each of the eleven stops on the World Championship Tour special.
On this episode, Stab's Ashton Goggans gets thrown in the West Oz deep end, with a proper taste of the region from four generations of the area’s icons: Jack Robinson, Jay Davies, Taj Burrow, as well as the Jake and Paul Paterson, aka Snake and Antman.
West Oz future World Title threat Jack Robinson was kind enough to tip us off to a super session at one of the slabs near his home.
West Oz enjoys one of the most wave-riddled coastlines in the world, a venerable choose your own adventure of secluded beaches, misto bombies, heavy reefs, soft points, and more than a handful of the heaviest high performance slabs on the planet.
After a brief lay of the land from Antman, we score a session at one of the area's most prized corner pocket slabs with Jack Robinson, as well as Parker Coffin, Filipe Toledo, Griffin Colapinto, and more. We then took a look at some of the mineral and varietal richness the area enjoys: wine-ing and mining.
West Australia enjoys some of the most resource-rich land in the world. Mining is big, big business in the West, producing more than 50 percent of Australia’s mineral and petroleum sales, and with more than 50 active gold mines accounting $10 billion dollars a year in bling. For a surfer, the Fly-In Fly-Out jobs are almost too good to be true. A six-figure starting wage, working 150 days a year (two weeks on one week on), and with nine weeks of vacation time—now you understand how so many Australians are in Indonesia or Fiji on every good swell.
In fact, one of the most famous mines in the West is lovingly named: Cloudbreak.
But since the 1950s, Margaret River has become world famous for something else coming out of its mineral rich soil: wine grapes.
As one of three wine growing regions in Western Australia, for wine snobs and oenophiles, Margaret River is Australia’s crown jewel, and Jay Davies was kind enough to take us to one of he, and his biz partner, Taj Burrow's favorite spots: Aravina Estate, which conveniently houses the West Oz surf gallery and museum.
Local Lord and "the best surfer to never win a World Title," Taj Burrow.
Rounding out this episode, we tap the Prince of Yallingup himself, Taj Burrow, for a 4AM wake-up and strike to one of his favourite little "beginner slabs," which you'll recognise from countless of Taj's icons video parts over the years. Two years into retirement, Taj is as sharp as ever, knifing more than a few beauties with Soli Bailey, Jay Davies, and Ashton in tow.
"Taj was always one of my heroes," Soli says. "So waking up at 4AM, getting in his 4WD… sharing tubes all morning. Yeah, that was pretty special for me."
We hope you enjoy this episode of No Contest.
Jordy Smith ducking under a square Box.
John Florence, into the great West Oz wide open.