Stab Magazine | Mark Mathews And The Joy Of Fear, Featuring Taj Burrow

Mark Mathews And The Joy Of Fear, Featuring Taj Burrow

Friendly conversation about the spectre of terror, featuring two people who scare themselves professionally.

Words by stab

Is there joy in everyday fear? The type of fear that you bring upon yourself? Perhaps! If nothing else, it reminds us we’re here. And, like, without the dark there can be no light. Self-elected fear is a complex emotion; As a surfer, it’s likely you know what it is to paddle over a lump and see a feathering lip on the horizon, and feel that wonderful drop in your gut. But, what about those who take the bizarre activity of surfing to its wildest limits? How do they wrestle the high-voltage fear they regularly encounter? This greatly interests us.

We like Mark Mathews because he has a penchant for swinging on big, black walls of water and putting himself in situations that most of us can’t comprehend (see also: the belly of a bomb at WA’s The Right). Since Mark has such an intimate relationship with fear in his day to day, we asked him to host a series in which he opens the passenger door of his Land Rover to other professional athletes we like, to clock some clicks and discuss the mysterious phenomenon of fear, in its many strange forms.

In episode three, Mark rolls with the recently-retired (and loving it!) Taj Burrow. Stab once whipped these two gents into the same wave at WA’s The Right, in search of the greatest surf photo ever taken – unsurprisingly, this topic is given some airtime during their day trip. Taj isn’t so well known for charging big waves, but he certainly knows a lot about fear (of failure, or injury, and of the The Right, among other things). Their banter both entertains and enlightens. Dive in!

Oh, and if you haven’t already, then watch episodes one and two here, to learn about the gritty competitor hidden beneath Sal Fitzgibbons’ bright wrappings!

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