Here's how Barton Lynch prepares for his WSL commentary
Barton is a really tough guy to ‘pin’ down – ha ha, my nickname for him is ‘Pinhead’. Whether he’s hosting surf trips to the Maldives, skiing in Canada or showing up in the WSL commentary room, the guy is phenomenally busy. We finally got to talk to him in depth when the book was almost done, and his words were so measured and heartfelt we knew straight away they belonged somewhere special. So Barton agreed to provide our ‘forward’.
These days I’m a guest judge at Barton’s Blastoff event and help out with some of his grommet surf camps, but our connection goes back to when he was a grommet himself. I famously picked him up hitchhiking to the Narrabeen Surfabout contest when he was about 13, and he had a ride in the notorious blue Holden panel van with me and South Coast photographer Mick McCormack. Before too long he was competing himself, and beat me in a heat of the Capricorn event at Taree, although I showed him who’s boss in the final.
Barton became ASP world champ in 1988 by winning the Pipeline Masters against the odds. Over the years we’d supported each other on the tour, an experience where every moment can be a test. The early years of pro surfing weren’t glamorous, there were some tough, grinding times far from home. Friendships like ours were the greatest protection against first round defeats, sleeping on strangers’ floors and not knowing how to order a sandwich in the local language. Barton knows me almost better than I know myself.