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Beach Grit

Créme: Dreamy Barbados Sessions!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Josh Burke eats up Soup Bowls… 

I’ve known about Josh Burke for roughly ten years. In those days he was seen as the token white-Bajan kid at major east coast events. He surfed well enough, won a few titles. Never considered him a genuine big-league threat though.

At fourteen he went on Surfing‘s inaugural Grom Games trip to Nicaragua and was the indisputable lame duck of the group. The waves were gangbusters and the competition was fierce but it all seemed out of Josh’s league. His scrawny frame and apparent lack of tube experience left him searching for shoulders to slide his toddler-sized Futures.

But a lot has changed in four years.

The below video shows an entirely new and improved Josh Burke. Having put in the hard yards at Barbados’ famous right-hander, Josh now appears comfortable driving through heavy water. This ain’t no Kelly Slater in Sipping Jetstreams, nor Kelly Slater in Campaign 2 (no longer on the web, ugh!), but then again what really is?

The tubes are nice, but I’m most impressed by Josh’s assault of the warping Caribbean walls. The kid is obliterating pockets like an uncapped pen. His surfing is controlled yet abrasive, like some beautiful manifestation of AI and Davey Cathels. He just might have the perfect competition technique.

This idea is slightly derailed by Josh’s 2016 QS ranking of 167. To achieve that mediocre placement, he surfed in sixteen events and made a total of seven heats. This lends credence to two ideas: 1. The QS is excruciatingly difficult. 2. Chas was (almost) right! Surely one of us could make at least sevenish heats throughout the entirety of a season.

But would it be worth it? Let’s break it down.

Travel, food, accommodations: $40K
Contest fees: $10K
The ability to rightfully declare yourself as the 167th best surfer in the world on Tinder, at dinner parties, etc.: priceless.