Burrow Out for Europe, in for Fatherhood

Scoring in Fiji
Burrow proved that he still had skills to spare at the Fiji Pro. He found this throaty tube to earn a 9.07.

This October, Taj Burrow (AUS) will be trading Tour duty for Dad duty. Currently ranked No. 6 in the world, the longtime pro will skip the Quiksilver Pro France and the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal for the birth of his first child.

It didn't really sink in until we saw the little nugget kicking around.

In an interview with WSL Analyst Joe Turpel, Burrow said that the prospect of fatherhood "didn't really sink in until we got our scans and saw the little nugget kicking around in there. I was like, 'Wow, this is really happening!' We're due October 8, it's a game-changer, but I'm really excited."

Missing the contests will likely keep Burrow from winning a World Title, an achievement that has eluded him throughout his career. Yet he's long been one of the most consistently successful surfers on Tour: In his 18-year elite career, he has finished out of the Top 10 just twice and been Title runner-up twice. Most recently, Burrow finished third in the Fiji Pro.

Burrow Gets Barreled
He may be opting out of Europe, but Taj Burrow isn't slowing down. He took advantage of the recent Indian Ocean swell and found this gem.

According to Tracks magazine, missing another Title shot isn't a concern. "I don't yearn for [it]. I'm not upset with my career. I don't dwell on it at all. And I don't have the drive for it... . In events right now I feel so much more relaxed. I'm not as fired up anymore -- not even close -- but I'm still enjoying myself. I just look at how lucky we are at events to be surfing good waves with one other guy in the lineup."

Still, the Aussie knows that becoming a dad will impact his routine, on Tour and off. "It would be pretty hard to travel with a kid," he told Turpel. "I have a hard enough time looking after myself on a plane. So with a grommet it would be pretty tough.

I'm not as fired up anymore -- not even close -- but I'm still enjoying myself.

"It would be cool to do a couple more years to show my girl and my grom a few places around the world. And then I'll be happy to raise my kid here in the Southwest [of Australia]. But I don't think it'll change things too much -- wait, what am I talking about it will change everything! I'll soon find out."

Catch Burrow and the rest of the Top 34 battle at the J-Bay Open July 8 - 19 local time LIVE here and on the WSL App.