Includes private filmer and après-surf tutorial…
If there’s a better way to spend five hundred Australian dollars I ain’t heard of it.
Dean Morrison, who is thirty-nine, is a former world number nine, Pipe Master runner-up and winner of the Quiksilver Pro in 2003.
In 1998, aged seventeen, he won the Queensland Title, the Australian Title and World Games in the one year.
A legend in the game, the pivotal figure in the Parkinson/Fanning/Morrison triumvirate although its least successful competitively, mainly cause he wasn’t into raking his teeth across the erected cherry nipples of ASP judges.
Now, punters, you and me, can get access Dean’s skills, his jetski, a filmer and a private tutorial for five hundred dollars, three American c-notes or thereabouts.
Dean’s coaching biz is called The Wave of Lifetime. He offers, private hour-and-a-half lessons with filmer and analysis of footage, no ski, for $350, two hours, with ski and filmer etc for $500 and a deluxe pack called Wave of Lifetime that’ll take you to anywhere within a two-hour radius of Coolangatta for two days or up to a week.
His youngest client is a nine-year-old pro surfer hopeful, his oldest is a sixty-five year old who wants to keep an edge before the sands of time run out.
When I called Dean, he was fresh out of the water after an eight-til-ten session. He tells me he got into coaching three years ago and the ski came into the equation when he realised that his marks weren’t getting that many waves.
“You see results, but not really,” he says. “With the ski, they get better straight away. You can keep telling ‘em to make little adjustments.”
The way it works is Dean’ll pick you up on his ski from either the boat ramp on Kennedy Drive, in West Tweed Heads, or from little D-Bah, a crescent of sand inside the mouth of the Tweed River just before it runs out into D-Bah.
You and he will identify something you want to work on, he’ll tow you into fifty waves or whatever, following you on the ski to analyse your style, and a few days later Deano’ll send you a split-screen of your surfing, cut with a pro surfer of a similar build, to illustrate the diff, and how you can get better.
While we’re talking he Whatsapps me a sample. It’s pretty sick. An intermediate sorta surfer is in the top frame; pro on the bottom. At each juncture of the turn, Dean commentates what’s going right and what’s going wrong.
“I just want you to see what you’re doing here, mate, you’re doing great with the compression on the bottom turn, look how low you’re getting here but what I want is for you to start rotating your shoulders so that your front hand is coming behind you in that position,” says Dean. “As you’re going along and extending, start bringing that front hand here (arrow appears on screen) to square you to the lip…”
And so on, for five minutes.
“I teach the basics, compression, extension, rotation,” he says.
Watching the same surfer get a no-rail-grab backside tube is proof the one-on-one coaching works.
“Moments like that,” says Dean, “And they’re stoked for weeks later. Being able to be a part of that…”
He lets out a laugh.
“It’s such a gift. Fuck.”