Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

9.14.16

Features

Which Bru?

Observations from the finals of the Hurley Pro Trestles

Gravity bats last, just not with Toledo. When Filipe Toledo started the morning at Lowers with a giant, weightless rotor, hanging up there like a kiteboarder headed for power lines, you felt this totally unscripted (scripted) event, typifying an unscripted (scripted) season, was headed for a predictable finish: a Toledo win. Looking at possible ways

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9.13.16

Features

The Show Goes On

Observations from Day Five of the Hurley Pro Trestles

Day Three of Gabbygate and everyone is so very tired. The outrage following Gabriel Medina’s controversial loss has finally sunk to the lower strata of the Internet, the insubordinate Tour surfers who publicly complained have been rounded up and taken to the tower, and the conspiracy theories – from the WSL staging the World Title

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9.11.16

Features

Tell It To The Judge

Observations from Day Four of the Hurley Pro Trestles

The storming of the judging tower has, over the years, almost become ceremonial. It’s heralded by footsteps clanging up the steel scaffold stairs, the aggrieved surfer stomping loudly, the T-Rex footsteps of Sunny Garcia or the hot-blooded war cry of Neco Padaratz. They want the judges to know they’re coming. At this point, the minions

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9.9.16

Features

Talking In Maths

Observations from Day Three of the Hurley Pro Trestles

Lowers is a challenging event to judge, no doubt. (I’m apologizing in advance, but yes, today I’m going there. Quick, to the Outragemobile!) Lowers is a multi-dimensional wave, and you’ve got to judge across a number of axis – rights vs lefts, turns vs airs, hype vs substance, variety vs repetition, Kelly vs everyone else

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9.8.16

Features

Someone To Watch Over Me

Remote observations of a heavy Day One at Lowers

This experiment in remote coverage of the Trestles event from the Byron Bay hinterland began before dawn this morning at some ungodly hour when I woke up and rolled over and fumbled for my phone in the dark. After being punched in the face by a strobing, hundred dB pre-roll ad that screamed, “More, more,

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8.14.16

Features

Taj Burrow Wins The Thruster Division In The Maldives

"I thought I retired from this shit!"

“It’s the best old-boy wave in the world,” was how old-boy Shane Dorian summed up Sultans, the venue for the Maldives Champions Trophy, while freesurfing a few days ago. It’s kind of like a tropical version of Victoria’s Winkipop – long, lined up, occasionally mushy, but getting better the further you go down the reef.

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8.11.16

Features

The Lord Of The Twin

Shane Dorian nabs the twin-fin division in the Maldives specialty event

Rob Machado’s first surfboard was a single fin. This was in 1983, and by this stage the single fin was critically endangered. Rob only ever owned one. His next board was a twin, followed by several thousand thrusters. But then, what was seen as a wild career move at the time, Rob began riding twin

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7.12.16

Features

Faces of Andy

Five years after the death of Hawaiian world champion Andy Irons, it's never been more difficult to separate the man from his myth

Andy Irons is in the passenger seat as the car barrels across the flat red Never Never of the Australian desert. “Brah, did we just turn back there?” The steering wheel had inched maybe three degrees to the left on the faintest, most imperceptible chicane, the only deviation in hours on this long, lonely, hot

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6.17.16

Features

Buying The Whole Cow

Sean Doherty, on Gabe's win, Kelly's hypotheticals, and Finals Day of the Fiji Pro

Matt Wilkinson was doing his “morning of the Final” thing, eating cereal at the breakfast table on Namotu Island. “I think I might start my warm-ups,” he said. “Okay, First: Warm-up tube face.” He started goggling his eyes and making a face like a blow-up sex doll. “Second: Warm-up chandelier neck.” He started throwing his

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6.16.16

Features

Starting Up The Top Shop

Sean Doherty, on Rounds Four and Five of the Fiji Pro

In the middle of a drunken game of island bocce last week, a remarkable sight was seen. Up the beach, on his own, a hairy creature was doing overhead abdominal crunches using a large chunk of coral as a counterweight. Ace Buchan began narrating the sighting like David Attenborough in the midst of a troop

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