Cracking conditions for future stars at ‘Small Fries’ event


Cracking conditions...

...for future stars at 'Small Fries' event

Photography by Surfing WA/Nick Woolacott & Billabong

Taj pulls a rabbit out of the hat…again

It would take a bit to usurp Taj Burrow as leader in the clubhouse when it comes to enthusiasm for surfing, but competitors in his signature Small Fries event this year may have come close.

Now in it’s 11th year, the event has continued to attract the nation’s best up and coming surfers who put on a showcase display at two of Your Margaret River’s most stunning beaches, Honeycombs and Shallows off the coast of Yallingup over the weekend.

The opening two days of the event in particular turned on the goods, with the gin clear waters of Honeycombs also producing some perfect little waves for competitors.

Margaret River itself was well represented with local surfers winning three divisions, including the U/12 girls division, won by Willow Hardy in solid conditions on Sunday.

“It was probably five feet out there, it was scary out there, but still fun,” Hardy said.

“You can’t be scared, you just need to relax and go with it.”

Gracetown’s Ben Gradisen put his stamp on the U/14 division to beat two other local surfers ( Seth Van Haeften and Finn Cox) and Indonesia’s Kian Martin.

“I’m so stoked right now,” Gradisen said.

“It was pretty tough out there and I just managed to jag a couple of good ones.”

TSF16_D1_Taj-Burrow-03_WoolacottRSBut for Burrow himself, the event, which has launched the careers of many aspiring young surf stars, also serves as a reminder of his early years competing in local club contests.

“I was nine when I competed for the first time and I still remember the feeling,” Burrow said.

“It’s a great feeling and for some of the kids it’s a great stepping stone towards a career as a professional surfer. But the event itself; it’s not about winning, it’s about having fun and I just encourage the kids just to enjoy themselves,” Burrow said.

“It’s about having fun and I encourage the kids just to enjoy themselves.”

And enjoy themselves they did with individual displays of brilliance that left Burrow amazed at the level of the next generation of surfers which, though he would be reluctant to admit, he’s had a big role inspiring.

“The kids have all been ripping all event,” he said.

“I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out this year for the event.”

Learn to surf

With over 135 kilometres of coastline and more than 75 breaks to choose from, you’re never far from a great spot for learning to surf in Your Margaret River Region. Get in touch with one of our local surf schools to learn in a safe and fun environment!

Photo: Surf N’Dirt Adventure Tours


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