Kieren Perrow reflects on career, transition to WSL commissioner role

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Friday December 11th, 2015

As Kieren Perrow watches the World Surf League title decided in the pounding waves of the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore, he might think about his loss to Jeremy Flores in the waning minutes of the 2010 Pipeline Masters final. Or maybe he’ll flash back to his triumph at the same site in 2011—his first and only World Tour event victory. Or maybe he’ll remember his first round heat on December 8, 2013. Perrow pulled into a seemingly perfect backdoor barrel—the right at Pipeline. The wave “exploded.” Perrow dislocated his right shoulder. Four members of the Water Patrol were needed to carry Perrow out of the shorebreak. He was carted off the beach on the back of an ATV.

It was his last wave in a contest. 

But since Perrow retired from competitive surfing after nine years on the World Tour, he has moved into an even more prominent spot among the sport’s elite: He is the commissioner of the World Surf League (WSL).

Kelly Cestari/ASP via Getty Images
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“He would love to get out there and have another go at Pipe [in a contest],” Handley says. “He still thinks he might get the call up.”

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