dean morrison comes up for air after the worst year of his life. by kirk owers
dean Morrison is known and admired for many things but talking himself up isn't one of them. Cast as one of the all-conquering Coolie Kids as a teenager Morrison has lived in the spotlight for most of his life. While Mick and Joel hit the World Tour burning rubber and have barely paused since, Deano struggled with fame and the pressure to perform. After his one and only tour victory in 2003 he fell off the pace and began slipping off the radar. Doubts circled like vultures. In 2010 he was shoved back into the limelight as his personal and professional life burst into flames. Today the gifted natural footer is back on firmer ground and is happier and more together than during his nine years as a wellpaid, high-profile Dream Tour surfer.
Morrison's lap through hell began in July 2010 when he awoke in hospital with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket. King hit from behind at the Coolangatta Sands Tavern, he was lucky to be alive. Morrison had started the tour year badly and was in desperate need of a good result. Compounding the pressure, the ASP were trialling a mid-year elimination format so by the time the tour hit Tahiti it was do or die. The dream he'd been chasing since he was nine years old was suddenly in serious doubt. He needed to get through one heat, against Tiago Pires, and things would have been very different but it didn't happen. The siren sounded. Dean Morrison was gone.
Knowing he would be hurting and keen to get away from it all good mate Koby Abberton organised a trip to Bali. Two days into the holiday Dean took a call from his wife saying she was leaving him for someone else. Around this time his sponsors began pulling back, going broke or investing their money elsewhere. His life was unravelling at a giddying pace. Then his beloved dog Ike died.
"2010 was fucked," says long-time friend Simon "Shagga" Saffigna. "It was just one thing after an-
Dean Morrison has never been more focused. || joli