Simply put, Brendan “Margo” Margieson is a freakin’ legend. You may have missed the premier of his bigraphy titled Wanderjahr—too bad for you. Go buy it. Anyway, we here at TransWorld pulled him aside the other day for a bit of a quickie—this is what came out. Enjoy.—Checklesby
You’re here in the U.S. for the premier of the movie Wanderjahr. Are you excited with the way the movie came out?
For sure, firstly, I thought, “Let’s do a surf video. The guy who did it is my best friend—Justin Gane—so it was like, “You know, I want to do a surf video, and he said, “Yeah, that’d be cool, just travel around and get some surf. It worked out being a lot harder project and a lot more time consuming than I thought. It’s more rewarding that it’s finally complete. I’m pretty happy with the end product for sure. I’m just more relieved that we finished it, that it’s over and done with ’cause it was like a good year and a half, two years in the making sort of thing. It’s pretty hard. I’m sort of a personal sort of person and then here I am just showing my life. It’s sort of weird, but it’s pretty cool you know.
How many times have you been to the U.S.?Not many, this is my third time and each time I’ve been here it’s been for a couple of days. I’ve been fortunate, each time I’ve come here all you California guys say, “Ah, you don’t want to surf here—the waves suck. But every time I come here the waves are actually good—except for this time, there’s not much at the moment. I always get fun little waves everywhere. Maybe I don’t get that excited about getting surf and what I get I’m stoked on. I’ve had fun at Trestles and Newport Beach and the Carlsbad area.
Of all the places you’ve been in the world, if you could choose anywhere right now, where would you go?
Right now, geez, I’d like to go to Tahiti, not so much for Teahupo’o, but some of those other out of the way spots. I haven’t really done that much searching around there—they got big perfect waves around there. I’d like to do more exploring in Tahiti.
People always say how you were the first “freesurfer and the first to make a career out of that and now it seems like there’s a lot more guys doing it. Do you think it’s a good thing for surfing? I know in Australia a lot of kids have to compete and you and Rasta are the exception. Do you think you laid the groundwork in a good or a bad way?I just think it’s opening up doors for kids that don’t have that competitive edge that happen to have really good talent. There’s so many different sides to surfing these days with the aerial surfing, the contests, the big waves, and the tow-ins, I just think the most natural one of them all just to go surfing and if you’re fortunate to have a good style or a good talent—why not? I think it’s very worthy for a company to sponsor someone like that because all your contest guys are away on tour all year and these guys are gonna be sponsored because they’re photogenic and they can be accessible for you to be wearing the latest garments and stuff. I was just in the right place at the right time and I was just fortunate enough to choose the path that I did. I’m stoked to see guys like Rasta come up—he’d so successful. I’m surprised there hasn’t a lot more others. I see it in America, there’s a lot of guys that do what I do. Everybody says I was a pioneer or whatever, but there was a lot more guys doing before I was. Maybe I was just the first guy that sort of really got recognized.
Should kids still take a stab at competing?
For sure, everyone thinks that I don’t do contests, but I think to be a good, complete surfer, it’s good to do the junior contests or try the WQS events and I think it’s only gonna better your surfing and you’ve got to do it for your own personal reasons as well—you got to do it to feel good inside. That’s the most important thing.
Who’s your favoriutte surfer to watch?
Yeah, aww, god, there’s just too many to name really. Growing up, Occy and Tom Curren, I just idolized those guys. I just love guys that have really nice style. Like I love the Hobgoods’ style—guys that know how to read waves really good. Andy, Parko—all those guys are so good to watch. There’s so many good surfers.
Who do you think’s gonna win the title this year?
I think it’s gonna be really exciting. I’d say, for me, Andy again. I just think ’cause of the waves the ‘CT has at this time—he’s just a standout when it gets bigger. He’s just got that competitive edge it seems over the rest of the field at the moment. I’m pretty sure Andy’s gonna be pretty solid again. Hopefully, I’d like to see Parko, one of those young guys do good, but he’s having a child this year and stuff so I don’t think this is gonna be his year. I don’t know. Obviously Slater’s the only other guy that can surf those waves that can match him—I think Andy will win.
What are you looking forward to in the next few years?
I’m getting closer to the end of my career—I’ve been around so long now and I’ve had a lot of exposure over the years. I’m still obviously doing a lot of surf trips in the future, but I’m sort of concentrating a little more on doing some tow-in surfing. There’s a lot of big wave spots in Australia left to be discovered. I’m sort of in the process this year and the following years to find some of those spots. I’ve got no interest in surfing 100-foot waves or waves like Jaws or anything like that, but I know there’s still a lot of pretty big wave spots left to explore in Australia. I want to go places where there’s no one around.
What’s it like having Nutty (Heath Walker) for a brother in law?
It’s really funny. Heath’s just a cool competitive WQS grinder. Here I am the complete opposite. We’re sort of good for each other because we’re so opposite. Yeah, he’s a funny little man.