What I Think About (with Taj Burrow)
From Stab issue 73: What I Think About, with Taj Burrow, 35, Yallingup, WA Interview by Mimi Lamontagne Rabbit Hill: It’s the most special beach on earth to me. I have a connection with it, the one place I really love. I always surf Rabbit Hill even if it’s not the best place on the coast. […]
From Stab issue 73: What I Think About, with Taj Burrow, 35, Yallingup, WA
Interview by Mimi Lamontagne
Rabbit Hill: It’s the most special beach on earth to me. I have a connection with it, the one place I really love. I always surf Rabbit Hill even if it’s not the best place on the coast. It’s right by my house and I keep my eye on it all day. I love the changing conditions and seeing what the rip does, how it makes the bank, picking the right place where it’s going to be the best. It’s my most favourite place on earth by a mile.
Great white sharks: There’s quite a frenzy of great whites around here at the moment. It’s definitely the talk of the town. You can’t go down the street without someone mentioning it. I never, ever, used to think about sharks. It never crossed my mind. But now when I surf it comes into my mind every session and that’s definitely changed over the years. They do freak me out, and I am scared of them, but there’s no way I would ever let it affect my day. I wouldn’t not go for a surf because I’m scared of sharks. But they’re there… they’re there in great numbers.
Shark culling: It’s a heated subject over here at the moment. It gets people pretty upset. First of all, I don’t think culling is the appropriate word for it. We fish everything that is in the ocean and I don’t really see why it’s any different for the great white. We rape the ocean already and because none of these creatures have ever been caught it’s out of balance. So I don’t think it should be called culling. We fish everything else so what’s the difference?
Fukushima after-effects: I 100 percent believe in it. There’s so much going on that we don’t hear about in the media, for some particular reason, and I think this is one of them. I don’t know what can be done or what the details of it are but it’s a real thing. I mean, a 160-foot squid washed up in California the other day. I thought it was a joke at first, that’s like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea kinda shit! That’s serious, and I’m sure they’ll find out if it’s from Fukushima.
Aggression in the water: I don’t like people who get aggressive in the water. I feel like there’s an unspoken rule, you know. There is such thing as a pecking order and the best surfers or the most local surfers do dominate at their home break. People who might have less experience or are new to town or from out of town, they have to respect that and take what they can get. But there’s no need to be aggressive. It’s one of those things where you have to know who has priority and play by the rules.
The enduring nature of fame: Fame fades for sure. I don’t really know, that’s a weird question.
Marriage: To me, it’s a little unnecessary. I’m not married so I might be expected to say that but I think if you live with your partner and start to have kids, that’s practically the same thing as marriage. I don’t see why you need a certificate to announce it. Women, girls, obviously think differently because it’s the best day of their life or whatever, but if you’re together and you’re with that person and you’re happy and you have a family, it’s basically the same thing. A marriage certificate isn’t the biggest deal but I do like the idea of celebrating it with your friends. Weddings are always pretty fun.
Rabs Hill, Taj’s home plate. “It’s the most special beach on earth to me,” he says. “I have a connection with it, it’s the one place I really love.” Photo by Chris Gurney
Lifespan: I think about lifespan, as a whole, really regularly. To me it feels like time is actually speeding up. And I know they say that as you get older but I actually feel like it’s really speeding up. I think about how short life is and it 100% freaks me out. I think about death a lot and I think about how weird it is gonna be to just one day not wake up and what’s going to happen to us. And it is one of those things that I can’t get my head around… I can’t believe how short life actually is.
Repetition: When I think about death and all that, every time I think about it, it makes me want to do everything I enjoy. Everything I love I want to regularly do, and not have a care in the world. It couldn’t be truer that life is too short not to enjoy it, so do what you love as much as you can.
Training: It’s ridiculous how much it can mess up your mindset if you just sit around and do nothing. You have to get out there and do something even if it’s just a walk or a run on the beach and a quick swim. The days I do that before I get my day underway are the days I’m most productive and if I just sit around and don’t do much… it’s not the same. Even if you have a night out and you don’t do anything, just lazing around the house, it depresses you. It’s night and day how much being active and happy can change your mindset. That’s the most positive thing for you.
Life after tour: It scares me a little, it’s a huge change up. All I know is the World Tour. The whole year is always planned out in front of me and I’ve been doing it my whole life. So, yeah, life will be different and I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do as of yet. It’s one chapter that I look forward to, though, settling down and having kids of my own. Being at home and not getting on a plane every weekend, that’s what will be good.
Life after death: I believe that we all will kick around somewhere. I think, I mean, I guess… whatever people believe personally, that’s what’ll happen to them. That’s my opinion. We’ll still live on as a soul, maybe reincarnated, but I still think we’ll be able to see our loved ones up in the sky. I still think we’re going to exist, in some kind of life form.
Money brings happiness: I believe that it can in a way, but it’s relative. If someone isn’t well off, winning 20 dollars on a scratchy might be, to me, the equivalent of winning Lower Trestles.
Being happier at 35, more than 25, even more than when you were at 18: Yeah. I guess I am. I’ve never really thought about that. It’s one of those things that you wise-up with age and I’ve learnt what makes me happy and then to go do those things. I do those things and I look after myself, eating the right things, just doing what’s possible to get some longevity out of my life. I’m happy now, that’s for sure.
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