Trent Munro Still Rips, And He’s Got Some Thoughts On Surfing’s Current State Of Affairs
The Brazilians are clearly in control because they are hungry, determined, and have that you’re-not-paying-my-bills attitude.
During his stint on the WCT, Australian Trent Munro was seen as a small but mighty opponent. Despite standing below five-foot-six, Munro packed incredible power into his approach, which led to notable competitive success.
He won the 1997 Australian Pro Junior Title, six WQS events and two CTs, and in the year 2005, Trent topped the WCT leaderboard for three total months before falling to the eventual season-winner, Robert Kelly Slater.
In 2007, just before his 30th birthday, Trent hung up the singlet and settled down with his family on the Mid North Coast, where he started the Trent Munro Surf Academy to keep his surfing mind sharp and his wallet inflated.
The Aussie dream, if you will.
Now 39, Trent works tirelessly as a coach and a father of two, but still finds time to indulge in his own surfing pleasures, like taking an occasional boat trip to Ments. Trent sent us some photos from a recent journey west. In return for running them on Stab, we asked for a few hard-hitting opinions from the outspoken Aussie.
Quid pro quo, bro!
A 3-footer can be damn special when you’re Trent’s size.
On the Brazilian – Aussie/American divide:
The Brazilians are clearly in control of competitive surfing right now because they are hungry, determined, and they have that don’t-give-a-shit you’re-not-paying-my-bills attitude. They’re not worried about what they look like, dress like, etc., they just go out for blood, and it’s working, so good on them! I’ve always had a soft spot for Brazilians. I’m from a small country town, so when I had a run at a professional career, I had to really go at it. Things weren’t coming to me, I had to make it happen. They make stuff happen too, and look at the ratings today – it’s crazy.
I think Americans and Australians are going to continue to struggle in relation to the Brazilians – it all comes down to the Brazilians being hungrier. You know all these Australians and Americans are winning little amateur events and they’re getting stickers, then free clothes, then getting paid at a super young age. You’ve just gotta go down to any beach in Australia and everybody’s running a sticker. It’s a bit crazy I think. And to be perfectly honest, a lot of them are never gonna make it, because they’re never gonna feel like they need to try that hard to succeed when they’re already successful, in their own eyes, at such a young age.
Trent has always had a lethal backhand. The archival footage (below) is simply undeniable.
On “power surfing”:
Power surfing and good rail game will never die, because it’s so raw, core, and fun to do! Airs are great and I love to watch them, but there are certain times, waves, and sections that warrant them. If it wasn’t for rail we wouldn’t be able to generate speed to do airs anyways.
If we have to pinpoint the most powerful surfers in the world right now, it’s hard to go past Michel Bourez and Jordy Smith. But I think what’s exciting about the tour right now is there are a few surfers that can do everything from power turns to airs– some better than others at both!
When I was on tour, the young guys coming on were like Kelly, Parko, and Mick, and they were doing airs all the time, at least in comparison to the older guys. Now Parko and Mick hardly ever go to the air, and Kelly only ever so often. It’s a funny progression, or maybe a regression, really, that comes with age. But those guys realized they can get more points just for turns, so they became “power surfers”.
Trent’s classification as a “power surfer” has never been in doubt. Tell us these bottom-turn top-turn combos wouldn’t take down most of the world’s best today (note: video is mirrored).
I’m definitely interested in everything that’s happening in pools right now, but for me, at 2-4 feet every wave pool will get a bit boring to watch, especially when at Kelly’s pool there’s only one wave every however many minutes! I would love to ride the KS pool or any of the others, don’t get me wrong, but the unpredictability of the ocean still makes it the winner for me.
My gosh, how fun are surfboards right now? These days, for me, it’s all about making surfing as simple as possible. Shorter, wider, thicker, lighter, stronger! If there’s one thing I could bring back from my day, it’s glassed-in fins. I had so many good boards with glass-ins. Traveling didn’t work so well, but the boards seemed to have some performance advantage. Maybe it was just in my head, I dunno. I’d just love to see a few boards with glass-ins today.
On who impresses Trent right now:
Well the girls are ripping! Carissa Moore, are you kidding me?
As for the men, I’m an Aussie, so with Mick Fanning done it’s “lets go Julian Wilson”! I believe he’s got what it takes, no question, and our next best chance after him is Mikey Wright. I love that guy’s act in and out of the water, in the small stuff and in waves of consequence!
As far as other countries go, there are some guys who are so good it’s scary. I’m sure that not too many crew would disagree here, but Italo Ferreira, Filipe Toledo, Gabriel Medina, and John Florence aren’t going anywhere soon, and Griffin Colapinto is going to do damage.
Now riding a Slater Designs biscuit, Trent has come a long way from the 6′ x 17x thrusters of his heyday.
On the worst part about surfing today:
Lets be honest here – you just have to do a weekend surf trip to Byron Bay and have a look in the lineup. Wannabe hipster/retro weirdos rocking man-buns, mo’s, and not wearing leg ropes – so uncool. There’s guys that do the hipster thing, and they own it, and it suits them. Ozzie Wright is a perfect example, and I’m a huge fan of his. But taking a trip up to Byron a couple weeks ago, it really opened my eyes to how everybody is wearing the same thing, riding the same thing, and using boards with no leg rope. I was just like, “Man, what has surfing become?” It’s scary, because the thing with no leg rope… it’s dangerous! When you’re surfing those point breaks and there’s people everywhere, it only takes one knock to the head to mess you up, and it’s happened to a lot of my friends.
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