Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

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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12.8.13

Features

Serenity Now

The reef at Backdoor rumbles as the Pipe Masters kicks off in pumping surf

“His violence was in the halo of his serenity.” Norman Mailer, The Fight. Serenity, however, is always in short supply on the North Shore in December. The place is teeming; a poked beehive of teenage cage fighters, teenage girls in bikinis, and the artery-fat of day-tripping tourists from Honolulu. Oh, alongside with every pro surfer […]

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10.17.13

Features

Ottz Wins in Portugal

The new Kai Otton takes the trophy and pushes the World Title conversation to Pipeline

Today, it was Kai who had the coolest head. This was the feel-good win of the season, and it consigned the world title to the back pages.

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10.16.13

Features

The Portuguese Landscape

Julian Wilson throws an oop for the ages, and Mick Fanning is a heat closer to the 2013 World Title

Two champions might be crowned, and a contest that has been characterized for marginal surf might just have one last surprise left for us.

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10.14.13

Features

What Gets You Out of Bed

Notes from the competitor's area in Portugal, where Kelly Slater fell in Round 2

“Kelly only needs a four,” Damien Hardman offers, almost in hope of him finding it. I remind Dooma that last year in the corresponding heat Kelly only needed a three…a three he never found. Hardman is the contest director here in Portugal and lives up to his name when push comes to shove and his […]

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10.9.13

Features

A Place Beyond the Cabbages

The World Title race boils over in Round 1 at Supertubes

Cabbage is not a sexy vegetable, nor will this be a sexy surf contest, and there’s something very right about that. Peniche is not Trestles nor Rio. It’s unfashionable and rustic and there could be no more fitting location to play out a world title that needs to be hard earned.

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8.19.13

Features

Ace Buchan Interview

The Billabong Pro champ reflects on his run through the final rounds at Teahupoo

Ace, that drop on your first wave in the Final. Was it won then and there? Maybe. I just wanted to leave it late, cause I wanted to get really deep. For a split second there I thought I’d left to too late and I was just freefalling, but luckily my fins caught and I […]

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8.17.13

Features

The Mountain and the Wolves

Perfect rides abound at Teahupoo for the second day of competition

Before we start cataloguing the other side of the ledger, let’s itemize the things that weren’t perfect about today. The Teahupoo school boat—there’s no road fit for a school bus here—was running five minutes late this morning (and no one seemed to care). At 11:37 a.m., the wind shifted from totally breathless to one knot onshore from the south (and stopped three minutes later). My coffee this morning could have been a little warmer. But apart from these and a litany of grievous First World problems (how long you got?) this was about as good a day as any surf fan was going to get.

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8.16.13

Features

Walsh & Walsh: Undertakers

Ian and Anthony Walsh take down top seeds in the opening rounds at Teahupoo

If the first round went to script, the handful of Round 2 heats that ran this afternoon deviated wildly. Walsh & Walsh sound more like lawyers or undertakers than mercenary surfers, and when Ian and Anthony Walsh paddled out for their sudden death heats this afternoon against their respective high-seed opponents—Taj Burrow and Nat Young—few gave them a sniff.

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7.1.13

Features

The New ASP

The unlikely story behind ZoSea's ASP World Tours

The pro surfing tour has just changed hands for the first time in three decades, been signed away for a song, and while the outgoing owners haven’t yet cleaned out their desks, the new owners haven’t moved in either. The whole show’s in limbo, and at this historic juncture everything and nothing is happening simultaneously. It’s been termed a “bridging year,” but a bridge to where exactly, no one is sure.

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