"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.
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
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
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
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
Sean Doherty on Taj's final bow and Round Three of the Fiji Pro
In the total absence of surf, competitive vibes have been few and far between in this corner of the South Pacific over the past week. They reared their ugly head for a minute the other day when a rugby ball materialized on the beach. The ball was picked up by one of the Fijian boatman,
Field notes and snapshots from Day Two of the Fiji Pro
Cut off from the outside world on this island outpost – no fans, no entourages, no girlfriends – this contest quickly becomes a self-contained social experiment. These guys literally are prisoners in paradise, and the behavior gets more jailhouse by the day. If you really want to psychoanalyze this contest, just watch the morning freesurf.
Field notes and snapshots from Day One of the Fiji Pro
In my teens, I once went blind while surfing in Fiji. Sun-blind, bad. A day under the Fijian sun, surfing Wilkes, deep-fried my retinas crunchy golden and I literally couldn’t see a finger in front of my face for two days afterward. I’d seen too much Pacific in one day, and my eyeballs had melted
How Glenn "Micro" Hall transformed Matt Wilkinson into a back-to-back event winner
Glenn “Micro” Hall is surfing’s Vince Lombardi — just shorter, thirstier, and so far this season, winninger. The 34-year-old Irishman’s only a few months removed from competing professionally, himself, yet he’s already led the World Tour’s improbable favorite, Matt Wilkinson, to wins at both Snapper and Bells Beach, as well as pushing current Women’s World
Wilko goes two for two and rings the bell on Finals Day
This one dragged out a little. After nearly a fortnight at Bells, your correspondent has begun to take on the appearance of a chicken parmigiana, the official pub meal of Victoria, with a greasy film of cheese and tomato beginning to ooze from the pores. In ye olde days, consecutive lay-days at Bells would have