Story & photo Eve Jeffery
Word around the traps is that local surfer, 2011 Master of the Pipe and one of Byron’s favourite sons, Kieren Perrow, is hanging up his competitive leg rope for the last time.
According to his ASP profile, Perrow is 5 foot 9, stands on the board with a natural foot, loves the waves at Lennox Point and is inspired by triple Pipeline king predecessor Tom Carroll as well as Tom Curren, Kelly, Andy, Margo and Parko.
Echonetdaily caught up with KP last week to see if the gossip is true.
Rumour has it you are retiring from competitive surfing – was that a hard decision to make?
It was difficult knowing that I would be retiring but I was offered a great opportunity. At the end of the year I didn’t have a decision to make as I was not qualified anyway!
Was it a long time coming – was there a strategy for winding down?
Not a long time coming but every year I knew that if I failed to qualify and stay on the WCT I would retire, not go back to the qualifying series. I was involved for a long time as Surfer Rep so thought I would take that further once it happened.
How many years have you been competing?
Since I was 13, so 23 years – at the top level only since 2002.
What has been a recent highlight in your career?
Winning the Pipe Masters in 2011.
What has been an overall highlight?
The same! And all of the opportunities I have had to travel the world. The experiences with my family and friends along the way.
What will you miss the most?
What will you miss the least?
Losing… and excess baggage.
Do you think you will actually spend less or more time in the water now?
Right now much less as I am out because of my shoulder injury. Overall hopefully more time.
What’s next ?
My role as commissioner for the ASP is really exciting and I am enjoying the challenge. I will still be travelling to most events, just not paddling out in heats.
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks to everyone in the Byron area for the support over the years; it’s been really cool. Thanks to my wife and kids and my family for being there for me through all of the ups and downs of competing.
As with any retirement, there’s a party going on. Hosted by the Byron Bay Boardriders in conjunction with the Great Northern Hotel, KP is having a ‘work’ send-off this Thursday at the Northern from 6pm.
With a door of just $10, the event will be emceed by Bruce McKenzie, Tommy Franklin will perform along with DJs, Chris Bradley and more. There will be door prizes and an auction to raise funds for local Mitch Bamping who was recently in an accident, that left him in a wheelchair.