Hi Taj, how is it goin?
All good mate, just arrived in Hawaii.
How happy are you with your results this year on tour?
No not at all.. i have had a complete shocker really. i am too worried about getting through the heat instead of just surfing loose and having fun.
The title race is now down to Parko and Mick. Do you have a favorite?
Mick has a better chance but Parko surfs good at backdoor. I don't havea favourite but i look forward to watching the outcome.
A lot of guys on tour work with professional trainers nowadays. How do you train or work out to surf?
I travel with a trainer and we train a lot, stretch alot and eat the best food possible. We do lots of core strenghtening stuff and flexibilty, which i think is very important for staying juvenile.
With 31 years of age you are now one of the older guys on tour. Guys like Kelly or Taylor Knox surf the tour in their late 30’s with success. Do you already have plans when to retire?
Ha, not sure really. i feel very young still. The tour is pretty cool. i think i will enjoy a few more years. But i do look forward to the next chapter of my life, whatever that may be?
Do you already have plans for life after the tour?
Not really, but there are a few places that i'd like to travel and surf. secrets places ha
There have been some changes with the heat draws since this season. Is there a heat format you prefer?
i don't mind really, i like anything that eliminates the hassling
A lot of tour stops happen not to be runned in the “best” waves or have to switch to beachies due to swell forecast like e.g. at Mundaka. Would you prefer to have more events in high performance waves like Indo?
Yes, i think there needs to be more events in high performance locations, and Indo is perfect!
What do you think about the new one-world rating format for 2010?
sounds good to me.
With the rebel tour rumours there have also been a lot of discussions about judging. Are you satisfied with the current judging criteria or would you like to see some changes?
criteria is ok, judging panel needs to change. they need more money so they work harder.
there is way too much favouritism
What do you expect for next year with Andy back on tour?
Fun to watch. but he'll probably get really angry not winning as much as when he left.
There’s going to be some new talented faces on tour next season. Latley at The Search contest in Portugal Owen Wright again proofed how talented he is. Do you think guys like Owen are able to rise straight to the top?
Yes he will do very well. others will take time, but he already knows the game.
Among some others of asp’s top 44 you aren’t on the seed list for all Triple Crown events. Do you think it lost a bit of its prestige?
not really, its just that alot of us forget to enter in time!
You are now on the Firewire boards for some time. What are benefits to the classic PU surfboards and are there days where you switch to other technologyies or back to the PU’s?
I like my firewires. the best thing is they hardly ever break. so when i get a good one i can ride it every surf all year! I sometimes ride PU boards in Hawaii for Pipe etc. local shaper knowledge is good in some places
Are there any movie projects you are working on?
Just finished Billabongs Still Filthy, not sure what is next but am excited to get something going
Well Taj, thanks for your time and good luck for this year’s Pipe Masters!
All pics by Everton Luis. Interview by Jay/shackmag