Taj Burrow’s Blazing Shadow: Shane Dorian

STAB Content | Photo: @johnrespondek

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.


Taj is 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;SabotajMontajFair 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. Dion Agius, who has helped drive culture in the peripherals of the sport for a decade (you can watch Dion’s tribute here), Dane Reynolds, 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. In this episode we hear from Shane Dorian, currently the world’s best big wave surfer, who watched Taj’s explosion as a Billabong teammate (over 20 years!). “I think everybody wanted to surf like him, including myself. I would go surfing with Taj and try everything he was trying. He was an influence on the guys who were older than him as well as the kids which is cool.” Let’s hit rewind, while Taj gives Cloudbreak a run for one of his last ever heats…