A Tribute To Taj

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posted by James Willmott

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 without a doubt our all-time favourites. 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? Our friends at 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!). 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. And Dion Agius, who has helped drive culture in the peripherals of the sport for a decade, and who we will hear from in this episode, 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. So, how else has Mr Burrow influenced such influencers? Let’s hit rewind, right as Taj hits the water at Cloudbreak for one of his last ever heats…

Shop Taj’s favourites:

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