There's a common theory in certain circles that suggests Cooly Kid Dean Morrison might just be the most barrelled surfer in history. Which at only 34 years of age is quite some claim, but if you'd grown up in Kirra's heyday, living in Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew's pointside apartment and surfing more than you went to school, a pattern starts to emerge. Throw in a decade on the world tour, a dozen-year winter residency in the Volcom House on the North Shore, surfing Pipeline to Off The Wall your every waking moment, and a new found passion for heavy slabs like The Right and Ours, and it seems to make much more sense.
Imagine, then, having all that taken away from you. Such is the fate that befell the man they call Dingo at the end of the 2008 ASP season. A lingering hip injury required surgery, nothing but rest for rehab, and suddenly the saltiest surfer on the tour was drydocked. Fishing seemed the obvious ocean substitute.
"I was 27, indestructible, and had a bit of money," says Morrison. "When people started hassling me about never having caught a decent fish I figured I'd show them. Besides, I had nothing better to do. I went and bought the best boat I could, and set out to catch the biggest thing I could find."
When Gold Coast waters proved barren, Dingo enlisted a motley crew of mates – Paul Fisher, Dazza Scott, Shaun and Dean Harrington – to head up to Great Barrier Reef, where fish are plentiful and people few. Success would have seemed assured, but with the rabble he'd enlisted as crew, Dingo's trip turned out anything but triumphant.
The rest, as they say, is history. Hit play and enjoy That One Time: Dingo and the Walking Ghosts, the first episode in a new series we're excited to bring your way. And for the record, Dean never did insure his brand new boat.