Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Surfing [Print without images]

Friday, March 30, 2012
Updated: April 10, 8:40 PM ET
Taj, real quick


As we recently said in our Bells Beach preview, Taj Burrow is probably the most consistent surfer of the last decade besides Kelly Slater. Unfortunately for Burrow, his career happened to coincide with the age of Slater and Andy Irons. Otherwise, he would have won a world title by now. His rookie year, 1998, was the last Slater title before he dabbled in retirement. Burrow took second to Occhilupo's astounding world championship in 1999. And from 2002 to 2004, Irons ruled the world. Then Slater came back on the scene. Since 2002, Taj Burrow has not dropped out of the top 10. His worst finish was 7th in 2005. That's a very solid record.

Taj Burrow
Taj Burrow's currently got a view from the top.

Burrow has put up some great performances lately from Hawaii to his recent first place at the Quik Gold Coast Pro. So we decided to talk to the guy about being No. one in the world at the moment.

ESPN: Does the air feel fresher and does food taste better when you're the No. one surfer in the world?
Taj Burrow: Feels pretty good here at the top, I could get used to this. I especially like the feeling of training hard and working hard on equipment etc. It feels like its really for a good cause when leading the ratings.

I bet. You must really feel like Kelly gets the best barrels of his life or does the best air of his life when you have him in a corner.
Yeah, he's decided to pull out his career bests against me a number of times now. As much as it has hurt, I have now learned to be proud of making the all-time greatest really work for it. I also love putting on a show for everyone who watches.

Considering all the venues, who's more dangerous at this point Gabriel Medina or John John Florence?
John John

Who is just flat out dangerous at proper Bells?
Jordy, Kelly, Mick, and Joel.

Does Slater still winning titles and Occy still winning heats give you hope for another eight to ten years on tour?
I guess it gives hope to everyone hoping to prolong their careers. Kelly is living proof of what can be done if you look after your body properly. I don't see myself competing at 40 like him, but I do aim to go hard for the next three years or so.

*For more from Burrow, as well as Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore, and Sally Fitzgibbons, check this video: