Taj Burrow is home in Western Australia. During his 18 years of wandering the globe there's been no sweeter stop for the Yallingup native than this pristine place he grew up. That's why once the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro concludes Taj has decided that he'll be staying put. Yes, the 37-year-old surfing legend is calling it a career in his 19th year as a CT competitor..
And what a career it's been.
Burrow didn't invent aerial surfing, but in the late 1990s he was the central figure in ushering today's acrobatic flight patterns to the forefront. His explosive maneuvers were as intoxicating as his aerodynamic, Formula-1 surfing style that landed him on the elite world tour in 1998. Beyond his remarkable competitive success, which includes two runner-up finishes to the world title, a decade's worth of Top 5 rankings, eleven CT victories, and two-decades in the upper echelon of opinion polls acknowledging Taj as one of the best free surfers in the world.
Of course, Burrow's wild and wonderful West Oz roots have always been part of his intrigue. His landmark movie parts are always set in gorgeous untamed settings that feature stunning waves, crystal clear water, and empty green hills. He has his own heaven, and we all want a piece of it.
What's remarkable about Burrow's competitive career is it's been non-stop since 1998. No quasi-retirements. No major injuries. Just 18 years straight of performing at peak levels. And while the world title may have eluded him that entire time, Taj never stopped smiling. His warm and welcoming persona is one of his biggest charms.
Last year was Taj's first outside the Top 10 since the shortened season of 2001. Those close to him say he was undoubtedly readying himself for his new role, as dad. In October he and his girlfriend Rebecca Jobson welcomed their daughter, Arabella Rose, and naturally, Burrow's heart has been back home since.
So it's fitting that Taj is surfing in front of a Western Australian crowd as he announces his farewell plans, which include staying put after the event, skipping Brasil, and competing for the last time at his favorite event in Fiji, a tight-knit venue where his peers are sure to send him out with a bang. Given Taj's incredible contribution, the ovations at home and abroad are sure to be large and long. We congratulate Taj Burrow on his amazing run.
Burrow's Career CT Wins:
Hurley Pro at Trestles (2013)
O'Neill Coldwater Classic (2012)
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (2012)
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (2010)
Billabong Pipe Masters (2009)
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (2007)
Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay (2007)
Nova Schin Festival WCT Brasil (2004)
Mundial Coca Cola de Surf (2002)
Coke Surf Classic Manly (1999)
Rio Marathon Surf International (1999)
Burrow's Career Rankings: