“That was really fun!” exclaimed Taj Burrow to Rosy Hodge as he began his last ever post heat interview. And don’t those words just sum Taj up perfectly. He may have wanted a world-title, he may have wanted to win that heat, but far more important to Taj was the fact he was having fun. Given those parameters, I think it’s fairly safe to say the success of his career is on par with Mick, or Kelly’s, or any of the greats.

Minutes earlier Taj was deep in the tube at perfect, crystalline Cloudbreak, locked in a tube duel with John John Florence – a 9.40 and 9.33 in his scoreline, enough to win any other heat of the day. JJF’s 18.76 total meant that wasn’t to be, but that was fine with Taj. He was just stoked to go out on a high.

“That was one of the best heats I’ve ever been in I think!” He enthused, the loss not even factoring in. “I couldn’t have picked a better way to finish my last event ever. I feel like I won the event. I feel like I won the world title, I’m just so happy.”

All week the gods have smiled on TB and scripted his final event perfectly. He suffered a loss in round one, but found sublime form in round two to dust the dangerous Caio Ibelli with an inspired series of patented TB backhand whips.

The early work done, Huey then took and eight day vacation allowing TB, the boys and anyone game enough to join the fray some much needed time to celebrate, reflect, shave heads and hit Skull Drags. A few days to wash off the dust and Cloudbreak was back and ready to party, turning on in spectacular fashion for TB’s last hit-out.

Looking forward, Taj is just as excited for the future.

“I’m just looking forward to spending a bit of time at home with my girls,” he says with honest candour. Before adding, “I’m also going to go on some surf trips and hunt some swells.”

And the cherry on Top for Taj?

“Every time it’s good out the front of my house I’m gonna be there!”