Michael Burness

San Clemente, California, 1988

I can think of a few guys on the circuit who would definitely benefit from two years spent in the army.

“Hard Look, Soft Touch: Michael Burness Steps Out of the Shadows,” by Matt Warshaw, ran in the May 1988 issue of SURFER Magazine. Burness was 26.

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You’re a betting man.

Yeah, I go to the track quite a bit when I’m home, like on the weekends when the surf’s crowded and stuff, and I feel like doing something different. It’s fun to go and hang out. I’ve got quite a few friends there.

Do you study the form and everything?

I read the form, yeah, and I usually take the Pick Six.

Have you hi...