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Haute: Taj Burrow’s new career!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Where do surfers go when the lights turn out?

Do you wonder what happens to your favorite pro surfers when the lights turn out on their professional competitive careers? Like, what is Brett Simpson doing right now? Or Ethan Ewing? How are they spending their salad years? Or Taj Burrow? Everyone’s one-time second favorite surfer has been out of the public eye for some time but just re-emerged in North Carolina and in a surprising role. Let’s read about him in the local news!

Youth surfers got a chance to meet several top pro surfers last week when they visited Wrightsville Beach as part of the Gnarly Charley Surf Series on Thursday, July 27.

Pro surfer Taj Burrow, who retired from the ASP World Tour in 2016 after a 17-year career on the tour that saw him win 12 tournaments, came to the tournament, as did other pro surfers, including Peter Mendia, Bo Raynor and Knox Harris.

After the surfers arrived at the event, a line of kids eager to get the signatures of their favorite surfers. Most had the surfers sign hats, t-shirts and posters, but one young surfer, Mako Musilunas, who hoisted a trophy at the event, even got a signature on his forehead.

But a few of the young surfers wanted an even closer experience with the pros. Talan Groseclose, a young surfer from Carolina Beach, let Burrow shave part of his head to mimic the familiar “mohawk” style haircut Burrow would wear on the tour.

“It’s pretty sick,” Groseclose said of the haircut.

Groseclose said the event helped him learn about how to compete in a surf tournament.

“I learned how to wait on waves instead of just going for everything,” Groseclose said.

Now, I spend most of my days reading surf news but this whole story had me scratching my head from the very beginning. I will detail my questions below.

1) Can surf contests be accurately described as “tournaments?” I thought “contest” and “tournament” were distinct but maybe I’m wrong here.

2) The familiar “mohawk” style haircut Burrow would wear on the tour? Did I miss Taj’s mohawk years? Like, I remember all his WSL buddies got drunk and shaved the sides of their heads before he retired but… Yeah, I can’t remember more than that.

3) What in the world were a pair of hair clippers doing at the autograph signing table?

4) “I learned to wait on waves…” Do you think the boy with the Taj Burrow Signature Mohawk™ meant he learned how to surf at the acceptable 75% tour effort level or do you think he meant actually wait for set waves?

I will be spend the next six hours pondering these and encourage you to do the same.

Unsettling! Body disrupts fun day at the beach!

Steve Van Rees

by Steve Van Rees

What's the oddest thing you've encountered on the way to a surf?

Unsettling is a term that best fits when you ding your new Cordell.

Unsettling is when your dad tries to get on the undercard for Mayweather-McGregor fight (Sorry, Mr. Medina).

But finding a dead body en route to your session?

Apparently, a lady from Texas took a moonlit stroll down at Ocean City, Maryland, right there at the front of my house, at 2:30 am, and fell into a hole for the rest of her life.

Here’s the scoop from CBS News:

The death of a 30-year-old Texas woman found buried on a Maryland beach has been ruled accidental.

Citing a ruling from the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Ocean City police said in a statement Wednesday that Ashley O’Connor of Plano, Texas, who was found buried in the sand, had suffocated.

Beachgoers discovered the body Monday morning. Police spokeswoman Lindsay Richard says only O’Connor’s arm was visible above the sand.

Richard says O’Connor got separated from her family about 2 a.m. Monday and walked onto the beach alone. She was later found in a hole covered by sand.

Police say it’s not clear whether she fell into the hole or climbed in on her own. Richard didn’t know the exact depth of the hole, but said it was significant.

While crews worked the scene Monday, people were sunbathing right next to it, CBS Salisbury affiliate WBOC-TV reports.

“I guess it was shocking just seeing all these people just kind of moving around and vacationing when there’s someone that’s deceased right behind us,” said beachgoer Kim Dugam.

“It’s a little unsettling.”

Now, I’ve surfed in Ocean City before.

Winter brings solid swell, for sure. And I suppose I could endure hooking my leash – however off-putting – on a dead arm as I walked to the shoreline.

But what makes me curious is “beachgoer” Kim Dugam’s remark that a dead body buried in the sand nearby is “a little unsettling.”

How selfish of the deceased. Sorry the whole ex-person-in-the-hole bit interrupted your Pennsylvania sunburn.

To review:

Unsettling: Derek’s intimate description of the contours of a bullfighter.

More than unsettling: lady in hole.

Tell me: what’s the oddest thing you’ve encountered in the sand on the way to a surf?

Kelly Slater: “How to stay forever young!”

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Click to snatch Kelly's anti-ageing secrets!

Never, not even in my kinkiest night thoughts, would I have imagined that one day Kelly Slater, forty-six next birthday, would be a spruiker for Volcom, young folks against the establishment etc.

But, here we are, a brave new world where anything seems possible, probable even.

And, below, is a short piece with Kelly Slater made by Volcom, where Kelly, with his usual transparency, treats the interview as if it’s a therapy session, bringing up the trouble father-son relationship, how he felt compelled to show his mother he wouldn’t bring his own world down with drink, gals that might not have been the right choice and, there, right at the end, his secret to eternal youth.

“You learn to the day you die,” says Kelly. “People ask me about longevity and keeping up with these young guys now and, ultimately, if your mind is not switched on and excited about things you grow old real fast. That’s when you age. Your body starts to go. You stop being excited about some goal to use that ability you have. I think life is over at that point.”

It ain’t bad advice.

Watch: Axel Irons at Texas Wave Pool!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

The son Andy Irons never got to meet is almost seven! Watch him surf!

Little Ax Irons, the kid his daddy never got to meet, is almost seven can y’believe.

And, if you’ve been following Lyndie Irons’ Instagram since the kid was born you would’ve seen the little man grow into a fabulous facsimile of his Dad. Same golden hair, same wide smile, same dazzling electro-vibration, adored by a hundred uncles and aunties.

Shakes the hell out of me everytime I see the kid.

Andy is really gone?

Anyway, Axel is in Texas and just lit up the NLand Surf Park in Austin and, ooowee, watch the kid nail a wave from out back and into the shore break.

And, yeah, early days, but you like the way he threatens the little tube on the takeoff and then hangs in the pocket for the whole ride?

Does the dynasty continue beyond Uncle Bruce?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXYsd3GgOau/?hl=en&taken-by=axelirons

Crime: Surf shop in Maui robbed!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Does this mean our dear surf industry is back?

Ain’t life grand? One minute you think your entire business is contracting, vultures circling, being pronounced dead because Amazon killed the surf shop star. The next you are so valuable that thieves are willing to smash their SUV straight through your doors in order to steal GoPros and Billabong bikinis.

You’re back on top!

And how thrilled would you be to be BACK! Let’s read The Maui News!

Carpet stained with tire tracks from a burglary had been replaced before Hi-Tech Surf Sports in Kahului was hit again early Thursday when a sport utility vehicle smashed through glass and knocked a door off its hinges.

GoPro cameras, accessories and drones were taken from cases and 30 women’s swimsuits were stolen in the break-in at 4:42 a.m. at the store at 425 Koloa St., said Kim Ball, president of Hi-Tech Surf Sports.

He said employees were still calculating the loss, which included more than $10,000 in merchandise as well as the damage to the store.

“We have to rebuild the store front,” Ball said. “It’s just pretty discouraging. It’s really disappointing. But in the whole scope of things, nobody died or anything.

“It seems like the burglars target the local businesses.”

Police officers responded to the 5:03 a.m. alarm call to find the door to the store had been rammed in by a vehicle that had fled, said Capt. Ricky Uedoi, commander of the Wailuku Patrol District.

He said police were still investigating. He encouraged anyone who saw something suspicious in the area or who has information about the burglary or suspects to call police at 244-6400.

Ball said store surveillance video shows a sport utility vehicle backing into the store through the rental side entrance, breaking glass and knocking the door off its hinges. Two men with their faces covered entered the store, while someone else is seen driving the vehicle, Ball said.

He said the burglars used a crowbar to break into cases, stealing GoPro cameras and accessories from one case and two GoPro drones from another case.

Ball said he believes Hi-Tech is the only store on Maui selling GoPro drones. If anyone is offered the drones for sale, “they might want to think before purchasing stolen items,” Ball said.

He said video also shows the burglars stealing 30 women’s swimsuits.

“They were in and out in two minutes,” he said.

The burglars had taken a surfboard but left it outside the store, Ball said.

Etc. Etc.

The same surf shop had been hit some nine years earlier too which tells me one thing.

Go GoPro! Go Billabong! Go surf shops! Our stock is on the rise!

Also, which surfboard do you think was stolen but left outside the store? Do you think it might have been a Slater Designs Sci Fi?