Taj and Occ talk serious injury, the merits (or none) of having children and the pain (or none) of never winning a title…
Once a podcast, now with vision, the Occ-cast demonstrates Mark Occhilupo’s great trait, his likability. He’s a terrible interviewer, mostly. He drifts off mid-question, interrupts with his own anecdotes, peers at his computer screen throughout, examining the next question while the previous is being played out thereby losing any sort of storytelling thread.
And yet, the show is compelling for we, and his interview subjects, will forgive Occ, the campest straight man alive let’s face it, for all his flaws.
In this episode we see a relaxed Taj Burrow, now forty years old, and who has known Occ, fifty-two, for coming on thirty years, light up on the usual topics: the knee injury that has kept him out off a surfboard since June (“There was a bunch of lightning bolts in my leg. I was floating there. I knew it was serious”), why he is dubious of the merits of more than one child (“I retired so I could chase waves and get tubed. And children don’t give you that freedom”) and why he doesn’t give a damn hoot about never winning the world title.
“I don’t feel one bit concerned about not winning a world title. I didn’t feel like that kind of person. I feel like my surfing’s hot and cold and I can’t maintain confidence for a while year. It shook me up at the time because it was so close. What do I need to do? I don’t really care now. I’ve done it all. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of competing and I’m happy to’ve made a career out of surfing. I couldn’t be happier. So satisfied. It doesn’t shake me up at all.”