Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

10.30.15

Features

The Golden Calculator

Toledo Wins Rip Curl Pro Portugal

Watching the final of the Portuguese event today, I wondered what someone from, say, the year 2000 – that most futuristic of years now 15 years in the past – would’ve made of it all. Spinning Brazilian ninjas on a desolate, post-apocalyptic sea with a giant corporate mothership having landed in the dunes nearby, amid

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10.25.15

Features

A Portuguese Miracle

Breaking down Round 3 of the 2015 Moche Rip Curl Pro

“Outraged! Sending world title heats out in rubbish surf and ruining the world title race!” For those late to the party, that’s what the headlines (and your columnist) screamed after the last round. Julian Wilson: gone! Owen Wright: gone! Both dusted in shitty Portuguese surf, and what was potentially going to be a four or

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10.25.15

Features

Ain’t Going Out Like That

Breaking down Round 2 of the 2015 Moche Rip Curl Pro

Oh boy. Watching Julian Wilson storm up the beach like Godzilla through Tokyo, laser beams firing from his eyes, his world title dreams in ruins, I could only imagine the officials nervously evacuating the contest site like panicked Japanese nuclear-power technicians. Oh shit, here he comes. Someone was going to wear it in the neck,

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10.15.15

Features

Four Seasons In One Day

Observations from the final day of the Quik Pro France and the Roxy Pro

It’s strange to think that it was six long years ago that Gabriel Medina first came to France, posted two-10s, won a global grommet contest, and announced his skinny ass to the world. Six years. Today, at only 21, he won in France again. He’s twice the size of that little pretzel who spun and

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10.11.15

Features

Francophilia

Observations from Day Four of the Quik Pro and Day Three of the Roxy Pro

When the Big Sky Kahuna sat down on the Seventh Day and created pro surfing, he could only have hoped it would come out something like what we saw today in France. The World Sleep League just woke up. That was a fair day’s surfing, to be sure. Some of the best waves seen all

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10.10.15

Features

The Iceman of Cul Nus

Observations from Day Three of the Quik Pro and Day Two of the Roxy Pro

Stephanie Gilmore fracturing her leg and wrenching her knee back in March – while probably not great for Steph – has brought a silver lining to the women’s tour. Her absence has nudged the tour out of an increasingly predictable orbit. Just as the men’s tour was dominated for a decade by Kelly, Mick and

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10.9.15

Features

Le Crazy Quik Pro

Day two, and why France is the ancestral home of crazy on the pro tour.

Since time immemorial – or at least since Occy tried to swim from Hossegor to China in the middle of a month-long bender – the French leg of the pro tour has seen surfers melt into the plage, the pressures of a long year on tour and some bad mathematics in the ratings manifesting in

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9.18.15

Features

The Conceptual Shark

Breaking down the final rounds of the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women's Pro

The star of Steven Hall’s novel The Raw Shark Texts is a “conceptual shark” that lurks in the narrator’s memories, devouring great chunks, cleaning up the weak and old pieces of his past until there is nothing left. At times this week, I longed for a similar conceptual shark that could stalk surf websites devouring

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9.12.15

Features

The Girl in the Red Convertible

Comments and concerns from Day Four at Lowers

Forty-three years ago, a girl in a red convertible scooped up Michael Peterson and Rabbit Bartholomew from the San Diego Travel Lodge and drove them south through Mexico. Smitten with Peterson, his movie star looks, and his leather jacket, she spirited away the the pair who were in California for the ’72 World Titles. It

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9.11.15

Features

Die Trying

Kelly, Filipe, and a buttery Rushmore of Parko

Lowers is hands down the most needy contest on tour. Guys have surfed Lowers this week like that ex-girlfriend you had who left 80 messages on your phone that time. I don’t know if it was a combination of a dying, lumpy swell, the contest – and the season – getting pointy, people melting in

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