Here we see a talent as creative as Dane Reynolds (except for maybe that lip-bash at Haliewa), as polished as Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, and on a mission to prove it. The only question really is he as consistently competitive as Kelly, who is all of those things plus that.
The other factors are Jordy, John John, Julian and Owen, whom I think will be as formidible New-Guard players as the aforementioned Old-Guard.
btw: as a happy owner of couple of Taj model FireWires, let me offer a heartfelt thank you to Taj for opening the door to your style of surfboard design, which has benefitted me greatly. sincerely.
Can’t help but notice that the only people who ride Firewires in SD county are kooks.
agree with Mik; Taj surf’s sooooo good its ridiculous….should have had a few titles by now….top bloke too, but maybe that’s the problem? go hard this year TB! yeew
That’s the best I’ve seen him surf in years. I don’t believe that a title is in the cards for him, primarily due to poorer heat strategy than the other elite surfers, but his legacy as an all-timer is still intact. Mik, you forgot Medina… he’s as likely to win next year’s title as anybody, and he clearly wants it the most.
No less than epic. I always try to surf like him…
@Ben: ur right, Medina is formidable…
just saw some new footage of Kelly tho’, that is beyond sobering.
@E.C.: i agree that FireWire has put too much focus on “fun-boards”…
but IMO the technology is the best there is. and once i switched from the custom EPS shapes that I had evolved with Arrow / Coffey / MB over many years, and then adjusted my surfing to the Taj template that Nev evolved with TB, I am insanely happy to have really finessed boards that are more durable than any other hand made boards out there.
this means virtually no dings per session, and most importantly, no pressure dings on bottom or top. which in turn means the board surfs the same. month after month, and I’m two years into the transition, including surf 5′—12′ Bali for a couple of weeks. on a standard 6’1″ Taj, and 6’3″ Taj step-up pintail.
no dings on the trip, and even though they are narrow and thin (18.25 / 2.25), they paddle insane because they are even slightly more buoyant than EPS, but don’t feel “corky”. they also release better than PU or EPS.
so call them what you want, but Taj was ranked higher on a FireWire… and I’m not going back to custom, because the FW technology is flat out superior. Yeah, it costs $200 more…. but worth the investment. (i’m sure someone is going to blog that they busted an FW, but i’m skeptical. other shapers don’t like the idea of durable boards. there’s money to be made by dings an dbuckles, ya know? And Taj himself said he typically busted over 50 boards a year, compared to 2 FW’s, and most of us aren’t busting airs every third wave…
And seriously, in Bali I saw a guy paddle out at Keramas and come in with a busted PU board right on his first wave.
conclusion: there’s allot of great shapers. but Nev developed a world-class technology that is w/o peer.