Flipping Out: Mikey Brennan Calls His Shot

When office water cooler talk turned from Monday morning quarterback to Shipsterns Bluff (deemed one the world’s heaviest waves by Transworld SURF recently) my ears perked up at the mention of Tasmania’s Mikey Brennan and his intent to do a flip out there…

“He wants to what?” I asked Managing Editor Casey Koteen.

“He wants to do a flip at Shipsterns—right off the boil.”

With that, it was time to track down the Tasmanian Devil aka Mikey Brennan…

Tasmanian surfer Mikey Brennan wants to do what’s nver been done before at Shipsterns—a backflip. Photo: Jones.

Transworld SURF: Let’s get this straight; you wanna do a flip off the boil at Shipsterns?

Mikey Brennan: Yeah, I’ve actually thought about it a lot. Sometimes you can get the perfect launching pad out there—I know its possible and somebody’s gotta try it! Shipstern is a crazy wave; it’s really the one of a kind wave, which offers those who want to go for it a boost section in the middle of a 12-foot barrel.

His last session at Shippies resulted in this gory puncture wound. Photo courtesy Mikey Brennan.

How did the idea of doing a flip at Shipsterns come about?

I’ve been surfing that wave since I was 16 so I’ve had some waves out there. If you can have a local spot, that’s mine for sure. I think it just came to me right after the Billabong XXL Big Wave Contest—the realization that the wave has a lot more to offer than the biggest right hand barrels in the world and the step is something I actually enjoy in the wave, without it I reckon it would be boring! So many waves are different out there its crazy. Just talking to the boys they all reckon it’s possible as well, but usually you aren’t thinking about doing anything off the step besides making it or getting a deep pit!

Front flip or back flip?

Back flip—but you could try a front flip if you want! Kids in America should look at that wave and want a piece of it—your kids are the best at aerials! But also mad grabs which are easier…I already tried them out there, but you definitely need the right step!

Strapped in, right?

Yeah strapped in for sure. A kickflip—now that have to be done without straps.

An interview Mikey did on an Australian news channel asking about his XXL Big Wave Award.

How do you practice something like that?

When it comes down to it, I think practice is going to prepare you for it—it definitely gets you thinking about the whole process. It’s a fine line…you either are going to make it or you wont…The Trampoline’s the way to go and that’s where I’ve been practicing on my tow board.

A one-footed bunny hop over the ledge at Shippies? No worries mate! Photo: Jones.

Aren’t there rocks and shit right in front of the wave?

Yeah you gotta be careful out there for sure, it’s pretty close to the rocks and if you’re unlucky you can go into them. It’s not a nice area to get close to—its just full of boulders with lots of cracks to get stuck in!

What do you think your chances of making it are?

Well I’m Tasmanian—I got two heads so I think I got a pretty good chance…

Best of luck mate, we’ll be waiting for the photos!

Sweet mate!

So there you have it, he’s Tasmanian and has two heads so of course he’s gonna pull off the first ever flip at Shippies! We’ll keep you posted on the antics of our new favorite Tasmania Devil; Mikey Brennan.

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There's the boost section he's looking for, the next step is to flip it! Photo: Hilton Dawe.