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Beach Grit

Don’t Weep: Bede Durbidge retires!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Stave depression off and remember the good times!

Fiji’s greatest ever World Championship Tour surfer, Bede Durbidge, announced his retirement over the weekend in order to pursue his other great love, coaching. His hometown Gold Coast Bulletin reports:

Today, Bede is embarking upon another battle — that for Olympic glory — after being appointed as Surfing Australia’s elite program manager for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games.

He will take up the role in early 2018, when he officially retires from competitive surfing at the end of the Australian leg of the World Surf League tour at Margaret River.

Announcing his retirement at Snapper Rocks today, Durbidge said he was stoked to take on the new role with Surfing Australia, albeit earlier than he had initially planned.

“I thought I would stay on tour for a few more years but this opportunity arose and I had to go for it,” Durbidge told reporters.

“It is a perfect transition for me to retire and move into that role.”

And while it is easy to fall into a massive depression with this news let’s not think about how much we will miss Bede on tour. Let’s think of all the good times we had together

And now, in honor of Bede, let’s also read a passage from the award-nominated book Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell (buy a second copy here please). This scene takes place as the author is approaching the Turtle Bay resort compound on Oahu’s famed North Shore.

And I continued walking while my heart beat harder. Faster. Had I manifested a riot? And it was so cold that I lit another Camel Red. I saw Bede Durbidge standing just inside the entrance talking on a cell phone bouncing his adorable new baby. Bede is a rangy, tall, blonde Australian with a smile as big as the moon. He is friendly and well liked and I once wrote that he is so bland that when he paddles out for competitive surfs everyone leaves the beach and goes for champagne brunches instead. Or at least I do. He looked at me and grimaced. His baby was beautiful and I felt bad for what I wrote and for smoking near her and for smoking in general and my soul was dark. Fox, Bede’s main sponsor, pulled all their ads from Stab because of the story.

Let’s remember Bede like that. Ok? Can we promise each other we’ll read this passage at this same time every year?