'Scarier than Margs main break': Taj takes a tumble from a chopper over Rotto
The last time WA surfing legend Taj Burrow went to Rottnest he was a 17-year-old grommet who thought the waves at Strickland Bay were pretty decent.
Now a world class professional surfer with scores of titles under his board short elastic, the 38-year-old has returned to the idyllic island - but this time he dropped in a bit differently.
"It was so hectic. I just wanted to jump out of the thing and get it done!"
Burrow jumped out of a helicopter flying at 8,000 feet strapped to a professional skydiver - all to help promote the upcoming Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
After a long free fall and a cruisy parachute decent, Burrow landed safely on the beach grinning ear to ear, saying the swell down south has nothing on jumping out of a perfectly good helicopter.
"Over the years at Margs I've definitely had my heart rate up, I've had some heats at Margaret's main break there that are huge, you know 12 or fifteen foot and you're on edge for sure, it's terrifying. And definitely Box too, Box gets your heart rate up, that's the shortest most intense wave ever, it's terrifying. "But neither of those got me as terrified as I was jumping out of that chopper, that's insane!"
This year will be the the first time since 1998 that Burrow won't be competing on surfing's World Championship Tour, but he will have a front row seat when his former competitors converge on the South West from March 29 - April 09.
"Not competing at Margarets this year has its gonna be bizarre for sure. Im pretty happy to spectate at this stage. Im looking forward to just sitting back and watching,. But if the waves get good Im definitely going to be envious of the boys
"It's my hometown and l like to perform, especially in front of the home crowd. But I'm looking forward to watching."