Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

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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9.9.15

Features

Right Now, Said Fred

Fred Patacchia takes a bow, but the World Tour stands tall at Lowers

Of all the events on tour, the freesurfs around the Trestles event are hands down the worst. They’re simply awful things. Okay, sure, Snapper might be seven circles of hell on the morning before the contest starts, but at least there’s a large rock sitting there to do some regulating and turn anyone who shouldn’t

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8.25.15

Features

A Man’s Not An Island

Reflections on Jeremy Flores' Win at Teahupoo

I spoke with Jeremy Flores when he was at his nadir, last Easter. In fact that’s not quite true. He would actually get lower in the months after we spoke. Clearly not enjoying life on tour, apparently not enjoying life much at all, I asked Jeremy what was going to bring back the joy. “I

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8.25.15

Features

Death by Fluffy Pillows

The Billabong Pro Tahiti grinds on and its as dangerous as it ever was

Imminent danger is a tremendously effective marketing tool. It can really shift units. How many car-mounted flame-throwers do you think got sold when car jacking became the crime du jour in Johannesburg in the ’90s? And after the run of shark attacks in Australia, is it an accident there are suddenly ads everywhere for shark-repellent

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8.19.15

Features

When From Rome

Leonardo Fioravanti has done as the Romans seldom do: Become a world-class surfer

“The secret is you’ve got to make the base soooo thin— thin crust that doesn’t curl. Two ingredients: tomato, mozzarella. Easy.” Leo Fioravanti is talking pizza, talking with his hands, and I’m flashing on the scene from Goodfellas where Cousin Paulie is slicing garlic with a razor blade soooo thin that it disappears completely into

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8.17.15

Features

The Perverse Pantomime

World Tour musings from Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti

You’ll forgive me for not being entertained. After what we’ve seen recently in this corner of the South Pacific, the early rounds in Tahiti have been lacking a little in imagination. Maybe if Jadson Andre had self-immolated inside the tube, or Matt Wilkinson had been thrown violently from a 15-foot lip, or Kolohe Andino had

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8.1.15

Features

Being Mark Occhilupo

An excerpt from our 2015 Big Issue profile on one of surfing's greatest icons

Mark Occhilupo tells me his life story is under option in Hollywood. He starts running through A-listers who could play him. With the jut of the jaw, the koala blink, and the tick between the teeth followed by the “Yeaaaah” or the “Naaaahh” or the “Yeah-nah,” he explains why none of them would be any

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7.19.15

Features

Zapruder’s Surf Film

Making sense of the near-tragedy at Jeffreys Bay

There was a chilling moment after Mick Fanning had been knocked off his board last night at Jeffreys Bay by what was clearly—as the Mayor of Amity Island might call it—“a large marine predator,” Mick’s board having floated away, his legs kicking in the dark water, the shark still thrashing, the cameras still rolling, the

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