Tanner On Top.
Congrats on the win in the inaugural Boog Jam win! How does it feel?
Thank you! I am over the moon to have won. I know it wasn’t a traditional “competition” but winning any sort of event at Pipeline has been a long time goal of mine, so to have finally achieved it is very satisfying.
Where does this win rank in your career highlights?
This would be high up there. The only thing that would top it is my win in 2018 at Arica. That final day at Arica was such an intense and emotional high so I still regard it as my highest achievement. The Boog Jam win has been less of an emotional rollercoaster, so I have been able to reflect on it differently.
How did you find the format for the event compared to a traditional contest?
For an event at Pipeline I loved it. I went into the day just super excited to be surfing pretty firing Pipe with 10 people out. It was pretty stress free the whole time and for the most part everyone was just out there having fun. We all kept each other accountable for priority and really just got to enjoy two hours at empty Pipe.
Did you change your contest strategies at all to fit the format or just surf as hard as possible?
My strategy was definitely different. I sprained my shoulder in Bocas so I was nursing that pretty hard. The only session I had between the events I had to cut the session early because it hurt so much to paddle. Going into my heats I was just focused on trying to get the biggest and best barrels I could. I was a bit nervous at the thought of a heavy landing so I had to rein myself in a bit on that. I did end up finding myself on a wave that had too good of a ramp to resist hitting though. I think it played in my favor not looking for ramps as much as I normally would, it forced me to be a lot more patient and selective with the waves I took.
Can you describe the vibe of the contest both in the water and on land?
The vibes were great all around. I think everyone was just excited to surf good Pipe with no one out. Everyone seemed much more relaxed than a normal event. You didn’t have to stress about making it through your heat so you could really just enjoy the time out there. I had a moment with Iain in our second heat where we were just sitting out the back, by ourselves, laughing in disbelief about how amazing of an experience it was. The guys in my heat all communicated well and held each other accountable as far as who was up next in priority. I think there may have been some miscommunications in other heats but overall I’d say it worked out fine having the riders sort it out amongst themselves.
Can you see the Boog Jam format being applicable to other contest venues?
I don’t think so. The main reason I think this format was so cool was the amount of time you got to spend at an uncrowded pumping Pipeline. The Pipe event already has that allure when it’s run a traditional way and I think the new format just amplifies that.
Will you be chasing the World Title this year through the IBC tour?
I am currently 3 hours into a 12 hour layover in Santiago, in transit to Arica for the kickoff of the Chilean leg out the tour. I plan to compete in the 3 events here in Chile and then evaluate from there. If I do well in these events then it’s full throttle for a World Title.