Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

10.25.16

Features

The Best Surfer On The Planet

John Florence wins the 2016 World Title

The best surfer in the world is now also the best surfer on the planet. The eternal schism that divides surfing into hemispheres of sport and way of life isn’t easy to bridge, but today John Florence did it. A kid who grew up a few tiny steps from Pipe, who was thrown out there

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10.24.16

Features

Peak John

Florence's command, Jordy's Wave, Strider DeGeneres, and the Quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal

As we’ve prepared for the looming John Florence World Title – and the Peak John that will be reached as a result – we hit peak shark here on the north coast of New South Wales. Another guy got hit yesterday at Broken Head – eight-foot white, guy got real lucky – just a day

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10.21.16

Features

Beyond The Pines And Cabbage Fields

The North Atlantic tightens the title race, and other observations from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal

This time of year generally becomes a turkey shoot. When the World Title favorite inexplicably falls to the Algarvian under-15 champ, when the guy closest to him in the ratings loses to a guy ranked 36th out of 34th, and when the World Title ratings logjams and everyone starts blaming the diabolically bad and untubular

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10.17.16

Features

Year Of The Shark

After being attacked by a great white, losing his brother, and watching the world title slip through his fingers, Mick Fanning should be a broken man. Yet somehow he’s managed to find peace in the chaos

In Steven Hall’s novel The Raw Shark Texts, the book’s central character is stalked by a “Ludovician,” a giant conceptual shark that swims through his psyche, attacking unexpectedly, devouring great chunks of his memory, leaving him to piece his past life back together while he waits for the beast to strike again. Ever since his

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10.13.16

Features

Bouncing Souls

The personal and professional triumph of Tyler Wright and Keanu Asing

I think I can pinpoint the moment I knew Tyler Wright would one day soon become the best surfer in the world. It wasn’t last night in France, as her World Title opponent Courtney Conlogue trailed in her semi and Tyler’s actual World Title moment approached. It was back in January of last year, when,

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10.8.16

Features

The Flutes Of Flush

Rip bowls and close calls on Day Five of the Quik Pro & Roxy Pro France

Surfing yesterday afternoon at Culs Nus, there was so much water moving and so few landmarks available that Matt Wilkinson and Tyler Wright were forced to use naked septuagenarian Frenchmen as lineup markers, their withered French flutes seemingly exhausted after decades of mad French lovemaking. There were, however, no naked old Frenchmen in the cold

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10.7.16

Features

Et Le Spectacle Continue

Tidal swings, "the pro surfing family," and the opening days of the Quik Pro France

And the show has gone on in France. Even though it has only been a fortnight, Trestles seems to belong in another geological era. Who could forget (or even remember) those crimes against humanity committed by the judges? The World Title race so deliciously (and hyperbolically) log-jamming? Jordy’s wife away on a yoga camp and

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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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