Taj Burrow retires
If this loosely slung rumour is true, Taj Burrow's 19th year on tour will be his last. Will you miss his dazzling jams, and those enormous orang-utan sprays? An energy that never wavers? Twelve grand prix wins (including beating Kelly Slater in the final of the 2009 Pipe Masters, a Mundaka, and three Quiksilver Pro's), a rookie of the year (1998) and two runner-up finishes (1999 and 2007). | Photo: Steve Sherman/Surfing/@tsherms/Photo Union Worker

Rumour: Taj Burrow to retire in 2016!

Will you miss those enormous orang-utan sprays? An energy that never wavers?

Last year, the once-perennial bachelor Taj Burrow tapped out of the European leg of the tour so he could see the birth of his kid with girlfriend, the model Rebecca Jobson.

Rated sixth at the time, Taj figured even though he was a mathematical possibility for a world title, maybe even his last shot, there ain’t nothing in the world that compares to the moment when a living, breathing jewel sparkles and flashes from the cleft of a soul mate.

In an excellent interview with the Australian magazine Tracks, Taj said:

“I don’t yearn for [the world title]. I’m not upset with my career. I don’t dwell on it at all. And I don’t have the drive for it… . In events right now I feel so much more relaxed. I’m not as fired up anymore — not even close — but I’m still enjoying myself. I just look at how lucky we are at events to be surfing good waves with one other guy in the lineup.”

Now, at least according the rumour I was just fed when I bumped into an old pal of Taj (“Did you hear? Taj is quitting after this year! Wait, was I supposed to tell you that?”), 2016 is going to be the 37 year old’s last swing on the WSL merry-go-round.

Can you imagine sitting at the same desk, in the same office, for nineteen years? Sure, swinging your bag on the tour ain’t working in the office cubicle at an insurance company, but all the same travel routes, all the same faces, all the same jokes, the same parties, it gets old real fast.

Can you imagine sitting at the same desk, in the same office, for nineteen years? Sure, swinging your bag on the tour ain’t working in the office cubicle at an insurance company, but all the same travel routes, all the same faces, all the same jokes, the same parties, it gets old real fast. Twenty years of it is a haul.

And when his coach-trainer-confidante Johnny Gannon quit in 2014 after seven seasons to have his own kid, y’didn’t need to be a mind reader to know TB was feeling the baby thing, too.

As far as retirements go, it’ll be one of the more elegant in recent years.

Kelly barely kept a spot in the top ten last year (his year included four second-lasts), Freddy P and CJ were done competitively when they shelved their quivers, and for a surfer with a legacy like Taj, who has miraculously avoided any visible sign of ageing within his surf game, to leave at the 2016 Pipe Masters would bookend a remarkable career.

Let’s examine.

In 1997 he qualified for the world tour but, on the advice of his then mentor Maurice Cole, he turned it down saying he was too young.

The following he qualified again, finished 12th on the tour, was rookie of the year.

In 1999, he finished runner-up to the world title.

In 2007, he was runner-up to the world title.

Taj jas beaten Kelly Slater in the final of a Pipe Masters, he’s won J-Bay, the Quik Pro at Snapper (three times), Mundaka, finished second at Teahupoo (to Kelly), won Bells, and done with style, good humour, a stream of bewitching films and video parts, and never once turned into the borderline psychotic one must become to get close to a world title.

Will you miss? What did you enjoy most about a world tour featuring Taj Burrow?

"But it's ok!" Joe Turpel says, "The waiting period runs all the way to Feb 29! We have an extra day thanks to leap year!" That sort of spin is why he gets the big dollars (to be paid later).
"But it's ok!" Joe Turpel says, "The waiting period runs all the way to Feb 29! We have an extra day thanks to leap year!" That sort of spin is why he gets the big dollars (to be paid later).

Just in: The Eddie is off!

After much build up, the world's premier big wave event is cancelled.

Ain’t the ocean a big bummer sometimes? I wanted to go surfing this morning too but a fat tide and no waves has forced me indoors with only the glow of a raspberry jelly tainted MacBook Air lighting my heart.

And the Eddie is off. The swell pinging buoys is not right, not enough, and there is no immediate indication as to when it might run. The window ends this month.

Where is Kelly’s wave pool when you need it? Do you think it could, someday, produce the height necessary for us to never have to cry these tears again?

So long Dane! Bye-bye Ando!

Quiksilver comes roaring back!

Quiksilver has shaken off a very bad year and delivered the most fun extreme sport bit in recent memory. It sparkles with anticipation! It floats like a balloon that has just dropped 600 million bricks! It will, no doubt, be playing on loop during today’s Eddie (just moments away) and things seem totally enjoyable inside this universe which begs the question…

Who needs Dane Reynolds or Craig Anderson when you’ve got love?

The only problem with the overall campaign is the copy. It reads:

Our lifestyle is about finding positives, getting stoked, keeping the high. There’s an infectious youthful attitude that draws us to the ocean and makes us surf down mountains. It’s a spirit and approach to life that is always fun first. It’s Quiksilver job to remind everyone of that spirit.

Hmmm. Maybe it sounds better in French?

But let us not throw stones! Let us celebrate the re-birth of a brand we love! Welcome back Quiksilver!

Blood Feud: The Inertia vs Fans!

The much loved website caught in a fresh scandal!

Oh your favorite website has done it again! The Inertia is a progressive playground where all manner of thoughtful surfer is welcome. Its stories inspire and none of them ever need to include a trigger warning because everything is so thoughtful, so progressive, so Huffington Post meets your 65-year’s-old-yet-still-magically-single uncle! Gentle!

Except sometimes scandal accidentally peeks its nasty head over the horizon. Do you remember when the website accidentally sided with the NRA? What about when the writers enraged an entire island? And this morning, fresh clouds form.

Last night, a story was quietly posted titled: Meet the Major Showbiz Executive who Runs with Surfing’s Biggest Names

Let’s examine:

Erik Logan doesn’t really know why he’s relevant in the SUP surf world. At least that’s what he says. But there’s no denying the man has made his imprint in show business. As President of the Oprah Winfrey Network and former head of XM Radio Logan looks at himself as more of the everyday Average Joe when it comes to his life and passion in the water.

When Logan took up surfing in his early 40’s, just like the rest of us, he was hooked. He soon learned that being one of Hollywood’s big movers and shakers would have its perks in the surf community when Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton made their way to a OWN Network event. Erik had a fanboy moment with Laird that sooner or later led to Hamilton becoming more or less his personal SUP surfing advisor/coach/mentor.

This morning it went up on Facebook and the fans are not happy, writing:

Doesn’t look like he’s surfing to me…

Not quite sure how being a stand up pole dancer qualifies him as being a surfer!!

He SUPs, not surfs.

One more article like this and I’m unfollowing

Do you think that the editors feel so hurt when they read? Are their triggers flipped? Tears shed on worn out copies of On Becoming Fearless in Life, Love and Work? Does the big tent they have erected suddenly feel so small? Tight?

If you are a mean person you can go here and throw gas on the fire.


Glenn Danzig Portlandia
Glenn Danzig is the singer and founder of bands the Misfits and Danzig. In the TV series Portlandia, he appears as a Romanian fashion expert advising on how to switch from goth to beach. "Sometimes to have a good time, you have to dress a little lame.” And, "Hurley, you can never have too much Hurley." Good advice!

Billabong: “It’s a little fratty!”

And you can never have too much Hurley.

There are very many bad representations of surfing that come out of the media. Do you live in America? Do you watch car advertisements? When I lived in Australia I saw even more and worse. Like, ugh!

But sometimes there is also pure gold. Watch this bit here featuring Portlandia genius Fred Armisen and none other than Glenn Danzig. Glenn Danzig!

Portlandia, of course, is a funny-ish television show that lampoons hipster culture, rife in Portland, Oregon. If the show is unfamiliar, let me give you a taste via a couple of episode summaries.

This, from Nina’s Birthday.

“Nina goes to great lengths to throw an extravagant 32nd birthday party for herself. The day-long event is set to include a multitude of activities ranging from sunrise yoga to horseback rides. The party culminates in a Tapas Dinner, thrilling news to Kath and Dave who have just returned from a trip to Spain. A young couple is forced to take out a loan from a local banker to attend Nina’s party. Snarky responses to Evites earn a local comedian celebrity status.”

And, Doug Becomes a Feminist: “Doug discovers that he is a male feminist; Sandra takes a rideshare for the first time.”

The episode starring Danzig, Weirdos Go To The Beach, is funny, and true, and amazing.

This is how surf apparel looks to normal people. The bad fits and color and funny.

I have watched this bit, now, fifteen times and it is brilliant. I’m still figuring out how to rip and put it here. in the meantime, watch in the link and watch my, honest to goodness, favorite YouTube video of all time below.

And always remember. You can never have too much Hurley. Also, Billabong is a little fratty.