It was a tear jerking scene this morning at the WSL Fiji Pro as Taj Burrow surfed his final heat ever in a singlet on the WSL. Taj went out swinging with one of the greatest heats of his 20 year long career on tour with a stellar performance, scoring a 9.20 and 9.40 but was taken down by the always in form John John Florence (with a 9.43 and 9.33) who undoubtably learned a few of tricks from the man himself over the years.
Stab have wrapped up Taj’s career in a nice neat retrospective video series labelled Taj Burrow’s Blazing Shadow, check out the 3rd and final instalment featuring Dane Reynolds:
One crisp morning during the 2016 Margaret River Pro, the webcast flashed to life as it does every morning of a World Tour event; a steady shot of the desk, behind which two presenters sat (on this morning, Ross Williams and Ronnie Blakey). But on this occasion, they weren’t alone; on the far right, sat Taj Burrow. Some short words from Ronnie, and within 55 seconds of broadcast, one of the world’s greatest-ever surfers had announced that he would retire from competitive surfing after the 2016 Fiji Pro.
Stab’s never hidden the fact that Taj is our all-time favourite. He’s a gent who has perfectly balanced the most pointy end of high performance, with a talent for truly enjoying the high life that comes with pro surfing. He’s the embodiment of how glamorous the Dream Tour can really be. And his legacy reverberates through generations below, largely thanks to his industry-disrupting film catalogue; Sabotaj, Montaj, Fair Bits, and more.
So, how best to celebrate a career like Taj’s? Stab thought it fitting to hear from three wildly-influential surfers, who were themselves influenced by Taj. Shane Dorian, currently the world’s best big wave surfer, watched Taj’s explosion as a Billabong teammate (over 20 years!). Dion Agius, who has helped drive culture in the peripherals of the sport for a decade, used to steal Billabong posters featuring Taj from bus stops around the Gold Coast, with the hope that one day Taj would sign one of them. And Dane Reynolds, who we hear from in this episode and who has lived in the world’s-best-surfer discussion for the last eight years, at one point attempted to make his back knee dip so he would look more Taj-esque on a wave. So, how else has Mr Burrow influenced such an influencer? Let’s hit rewind, in the wake of Taj’s last-ever heat as a World Tour surfer…
Watch Taj’s full section in Taylor Steele’s ‘Loose Change’ as seen in Blazing Shadow, here: