The End Of The Road Blog From Teahupo‘o

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“The End Of The Road” Blog From Teahupo‘o: Day 4

Laurie Towner Interview Last night a new crew of surfers rolled into our house here in Tahiti that was led by Aussie chargers Laurie Towner and Dean Bowen. Laurie and the boys (Mitchy Parkinson, Soli Bailey, and more frothing Billabong groms) arrived just in time for a bump in the swell that unfortunately coincided with sloppy seas from yesterday’s onshore wind. So, jacked up on a few cups of instant coffee, I sat down with Laurie to hear his thoughts on the upcoming swell…and how he ended up with the same name as my Mom.—Justin Coté

TransWorld SURF: So you saw a 20-foot swell headed straight for Teahupo‘o and thought to yourself, “I’m there, dude!”

Laurie Towner: I got a call saying it was gonna be too big for the contest, so I thought I’d come try my luck. It only takes one wave out there, even if it’s packed.

Laurie Towner a few hours after stepping off the plane in Tahiti. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Laurie Towner a few hours after stepping off the plane in Tahiti. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

How do you prepare for surfing waves like that?

I just try to relax as much as possible. The worst part is beforehand when you’re thinking about what’s going to happen.

Who’s going to be your tow partner?

Dylan Longbottom, Dean Bowen, and Manoa Drollet and I are all going to trade off. Manoa will be the main driver though because he’s injured.

Are you scared, nervous, excited or what?

All three of those.

On a big day out here, what’s going through your head as you motor out through the channel?

Not too much, just feeling the nerves. Once you get your first wave the nerves are taken care of and you just pray everyone is safe and that you get the ride of your life, because its that kind of day.

Laurie ain't scared...Teahupo"o bomb circa 2010. Photo courtesy Billabong.

Laurie ain't scared...Teahupo‘o bomb circa 2010. Photo courtesy Billabong.

On a really big day when everyone is towing in, how does it work out there as far as priority?

Everyone waits their turn and whoever has been waiting the longest is up. Fair enough if the locals cut in line, I’d do the same of it was my home break. But then you get the odd gumby who blows it for everyone.

Who are a some of your favorite guys to watch surf out here?

Raimana, Dylan Longbottom, Bruce Irons—the usual suspects. It will be interesting to see which World Tour guys are keen. I know the Hobgood’s will charge it. It’d be good to see someone new have a crack at it, too.

What does it take to get the biggest and best wave of the day?

Luck, but also waiting and waiting so when the big one comes everyone knows you’ve been waiting for hours.

Do you plan on wearing some kind of safety equipment and/or Billabong’s new inflatable wetsuit?

It depends how big it is. If it’s 20-foot I’ll wear a life vest and tow board with straps. If it’s 15-foot I’ll wear boardies and my 6’8” with no straps.

No offense, but in America “Laurie” is a girls name. How did you, a real mans man, end up with it?

I don’t know. Fuck, all you seppos think it’s a girl’s name! In Oz it’s a tough guy’s name [laughs]. Nah, my name is actually Laurence.

Laurie Towner on the hot seat in Teahupo‘o. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

Laurie Towner on the hot seat in Teahupo‘o. Photo: Bielmann/SPL

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