Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

4.10.14

Features

Jabber Jaws

Competition moves to The Box for Round 5 of the Margaret River Pro

At certain breaks here this week, it has felt like Amity Island on the Fourth of July, visiting surfers gathering in the car park looking over an empty lineup, waiting for someone to paddle out first and halving their chances of ending up as fish lunch. Visiting surfers have been jumping at shadows this week, panicky, jumpy, walking on water to the beach at the sight of a dolphin fin. Everyone’s seeing something.

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4.6.14

Features

West of Gnarabup

Notes from a day of upsets at the Margaret River Pro

The problem with the wild west is that it’s often wild, and the world’s best surfers have had a tough time domesticating it this week. Bede Durbidge surfed the first heat of the round this morning, the onshore already up, the waves already ribbed, the lineup already hard to decipher. There were waves out there today Dali couldn’t dream up and Bede knew he was no longer in Kansas…nor Snapper. “It’s such a different ballgame,” he laughed. “After Snapper I started surfing The Alley because I knew I wasn’t going to get Snapper when I got here to Margarets. There’s no draw off the bottom and the waves really slopey.” It was a stark contrast to the shimmery cuteness of Snapper. There’d be no finesse about today. Today would be about concrete milkshakes and winning ugly. When pressed for his strategy Bede laughed again and replied, “You just have to hack into it while you can.”

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3.10.14

Features

The Old World Order

Tales from the Gold Coast at the Quik Pro Snapper

So such has happened since we last broke bread. And at the same time, so very little. Fred Patacchia got run over and dinged his board. A great white swam up to Kelly but smelt chia, not blood, and kept on swimming. And Jimmy Buffett dropped by out of the blue. I passed him in […]

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3.5.14

Features

Center Stage

The girls shine in the best conditions of the Roxy Pro waiting period so far

In these seemingly enlightened times, it’s hard to believe that Snapper Rocks was once home to a captive dolphin show, the dolphins housed in a claustrophobic concrete pool just yards from where the original Snapper crew surfed. Bib and Bub as they’d been named—I’m sure they referred to each other as something else in dolphinese—had […]

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3.3.14

Features

Love and Waves

Recapping the Round 2 drama from the Quik Pro Snapper

With the Oscars happening yesterday in Hollywood, we thought we’d open today’s missive with a closing Hollywood scene, one from the action classics, a Die Hard special. In Jordy Smith’s case it has become an all too familiar closing scene… Scene: Jordy’s in a car, which has crashed and is teetering precariously on the edge […]

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3.2.14

Features

Facing Off

First impressions of the new ASP World Tour after Round 1 at Snapper

[Editor's note: The ASP's media policy states that surf photographers like Peter "Joli" Wilson, who have documented the World Tour for decades, cannot cover the event without relinquishing ownership of their images to the ASP. We hope this issue is resolved in the near future.] I had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with Peter Townend […]

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3.2.14

Features

With Arms Wide Open

The women shine during Round 1 of the Roxy Pro at Snapper

[Editor's note: The ASP's media policy states that surf photographers like Peter "Joli" Wilson, who have documented the World Tour for decades, cannot cover the event without relinquishing ownership of their images to the ASP. We hope this issue is resolved in the near future.] The battlesong of the new pro surfing republic washed across […]

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2.27.14

Features

The Stadium by the Sea

Sean Doherty reports from the new, new birthplace of the ASP

“Mick!” I check over my shoulder then point at myself, eyebrows raised. “Me?” “Yeah, Mick! Just want to say congrats on the world title and wish you good luck in the contest.” Flummoxed, I slowly make sense of the scene unfolding outside Coolangatta airport this morning; this chick thinks I’m Mick Fanning. It’s an easy […]

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12.14.13

Features

Lightning Strikes Thrice

Kelly Slater Wins the Pipe Masters while Mick Fanning clinches the 2013 World Title in dramatic fashion

Mick Fanning was down the beach, just past Off The Wall, and he’d hardly slept a wink. The swell was one thing. The dull roar of the approaching freight trains on Third Reef, the sledgehammer-on-steel strikes on First Reef that sounded like time being torn, the whole North Shore a white noise cacophony under the influence of a big north-west swell. But the fact Kelly was looming large in his rearview mirror was another thing altogether. Kelly’s Pipe Masters record here is fat as a phone book…and that’s not even the part you’ve got to worry about. Pipe is one giant magnetic field of energy, and Kelly out here is not only purely magnetic but can also influence his opponent’s polarity.

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12.10.13

Features

Shooting Star

Day Two of the Pipe Masters sees Fanning and Slater focus squarely on the World Title

The scene: Kelly Slater’s parked on the side of the road in downtown L.A. It’s four weeks ago today. He’s just squeezed in 13 holes of golf before sunset and he’s on his way to dinner with friends. He picks the phone up and dials a number in Australia. There’s always something cool about “Kelly […]

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