Taj Looks To Defend His Boost Mobile Surf Sho Title Later This Month

World no.4 surfer Taj Burrow will unleash some high-flying moves over Surfers Paradise when he defends his Boost Mobile Surf Sho presented by Nokia title later this month.

The West Australian is hoping his aerial prowess will turn-around a testing start to the 2008 season. At this same time last year, Burrow was literally on top of the world when he took out the inaugural Boost Mobile Surf Sho event. Earlier that same week he had won the 2007 Bells Beach title to then hold the world no.1 ranking.

“Those two wins last year, gave me plenty of confidence which led to more big results in 2007 and that ended up being my best ever year on the World Tour to date,” said twenty-nine year-old Burrow.

Burrow’s results over 2008 haven’t been as ideal, belying his sensational surfing on-show over the opening leg of the ASP world tour.

He posted the top wave and heat score on the Gold Coast before finishing equal 9th overall. Then a wave-starved semi-final at Bells Beach forced him to settle for equal 3rd.

“It’s been the most frustrating start to the year because I feel I’m surfing well, I’m fit and I’ve got great equipment,” said Burrow.

“I’d love to make up for it by reclaiming the Boost Surf Sho title.”

“I’ve been practicing and working on some new flips so, hopefully I can get the jump on the boys again”, added Burrow.

Burrow will line-up against world champion Mick Fanning (Tweed Heads) and a formidable field of aerial aces in the $40,000 ASP sanctioned aerial event from April 18th – 20th.

The Boost Mobile Surf Show presented by Nokia will pit the world’s best against aerial dynamos such as 2007 runner-up Dru Adler (Palm Beach), aerial king pin Dave Reardon-Smith (Coolum), surfing artist Ozzie Wright (Narrabeen) and Western Australian ripper Ry Craike (Kalbarri, W.A.) in the innovative and entertaining ‘game show’ style event.

Free-surfing star Dion Agius (Gold Coast), wonder-kid Julian Wilson (Coolum, Qld, Aus) and former world tour competitor Troy Brooks (Tugun, Qld, Aus) all granted a start in Sunday’s exclusive Surf Sho finale.

Renowned aerial expert Dion Agius is excited to compete against Burrow and Fanning.

“They are the surfers I have always looked up to since I was a little kid and still do,” said Agius.

“So to go out against them in a contest like this should be a lot of fun.”

“Maybe I’ll even get lucky and manage to get through a heat or two.”

Agius is in no doubt as to how tough Burrow will be.

“Taj is a joke,” said Agius

“Last year he proved that he is not only one of the best surfers in the world but one of the best aerial surfers as well.”

“He will be the man to beat,” he added.

Surfing sensation Wilson, who has been touted as a future world champion, enters the event keen on busting out his own aerial maneuver ‘The Sushi Roll’.

During a photo shoot in Japan last year, Wilson performed an aerial maneuver that is a startling combination of a “Superman” (made popular by free-style motocross riders) and a twisting, carving, backhand loop. Wilson appropriately dubbed the aerobatic maneuver “The Sushi Roll”.

“I was just surfing one day and I flew out of the back of the wave and then the board got away from me and I pulled off that Superman maneuver,” said Wilson.

“Hopefully there will be a few opportunities for me to throw out the roll at the Surf Sho.”

In contrast to traditional competition, the format is based around a large spinning wheel (Boost Mobile Surf Sho Wheel) that will dictate the aerial tricks to be performed by surfers.

More than just a surf competition, the interactive tournament will throw a weekend beach festival for fans. In addition to the action in the water, the Surf Sho features an 80m by 40m beach structure for integrated music events on site at the beachside on Cavill Ave.

Webcast: Those who can’t make it to Surfers Paradise for the event can catch all the aaction live from the global webcast at Boostsurfsho.com.au.

Boost Mobile Surf Sho Festival Band Line-up: The action will be just as hot on land with a beachside music event to be staged between 3-5pm on Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th April, 2008.

Kicking off the music action on Saturday 19th will be Funky Mantis, before Amy Meredith and Future Role Models rock out Surfers Paradise.

Kwerkshoppe will next hit the beach stage on Sunday 20th along with Amy Meredith and Razbin Sam.

Wildcard Entries Open- Surfers from the General Public who want to have a ‘GO’ against the world’s best are invited to join the line-up. Wildcard entries are still OPEN. Those willing to compete for 4 spots in the final, prize money and experience of surfing along with the greats need to register their entry via the official event website Boostsurfsho.com.au by April 16th.

Format: The three day Surf Sho will open with the Boost Mobile Junior Air Sho Challenge on Friday 18th of April, which is open to forty eight of Australia’s hottest aerial punks aged 18-years and under. The winner will surf away with $1,000 plus a spot into the AUD $25,000 Boost Mobile Surf Sho final. The action continues on Saturday 19th of April with sixty of Australia’s finest aerial exponents (including wildcards) fighting it out for AUD $7,500 worth of cash and prizes and one of four spots in the Surf Sho final. The format is as per a standard surfing event with four surfer heats. Wrapping up the exciting, all weekend surfing festival will be the invitational Boost Mobile Surf Sho presented by Nokia on Sunday 20th of April, 2008. Twenty of the world’s best aerial surfers will surf against each other in a one day; winner takes all AUD$25,000 Surf Sho. The format will be based around a large spinning wheel (Boost Mobile Surf Sho Wheel) that will dictate the aerial tricks to be performed.

Adding to the already high stakes is the Boost Mobile Jet Ski Tow-In Expression Session. Aided by a jet ski, Surf Sho competitors will attempt to launch themselves as high as possible off a wave into the air, completing a technical aerial move at the same time. This session is bound to be a crowd pleaser.