Mark Richards: four-time world surfing champion (1979-1982)

Four-time world champion. World surfing legend. Australian hero. One of the most humble, down-to-earth world champions the sport has ever produced. Explore the mind and the thoughts of Mark Richards.

Mark Richards was born on March 7, 1957, in Newcastle, New South Wales. He won four consecutive world titles (1979-1982) under the International Professional Surfers (IPS) insignia and probably fueled by Coke and Caramello bars.

His unorthodox style is inimitable, and the lines he draws on the wave face resemble classic architectural sketches. Nobody bottom-turns like Richards, the "wounded seagull," and his full speed cutbacks are instantly recognized from any 1970s and 1980s video.

"First he was ugly. Then, he was good but weird. Then he was graceful - superbly graceful," surf journalist Phil Jarratt once described him.

Mark Richards has always had a passion for surfboard shaping and, since 1975, the light-eyed regular-footer adopted the Superman-inspired inscription "MR" in all his boards and wetsuits.

The Australian surfer is responsible for introducing twin-fin surfboards in the pro surfing scene. Today, Richards' retro secret weapons continue to sell and inspire surfers around the world.

Now, take a look at some of the most memorable quotes from Mark Richards:


When I left school, I wanted to be a surfboard shaper.

I wanted to be a shaper because there was no such thing as pro surfing.

I love shaping boards, it's what I'm good at, but I'm not so sure I'm so good at retailing.

[Back then] if you got a free pair of board shorts you thought you were doing great, a little different to the way it is now.

Surfing gave me some of the greatest years of my life. There's nothing better than being in a sport you like.

I am stupidly competitive. When it comes to putting on a colored singlet, I would paddle over the top of my mom to get the next wave. I love competing. I love beating people. I hate losing.

I have no desire to bust down any more doors.

I am just an ordinary person who can stand on a surfboard very well.

When I was competing on the Tour in places like Japan, South Africa and also Hawaii, to let my parents and friends how I went, it was basically after the event, a really fast phone call, because phone calls were so expensive. And then you wouldn't see any vision of the event until weeks afterward.

I was frustrated on single fins because with the narrow tail I couldn't get the performance I wanted in small surf.

I believe a well-designed twin fin will work in any conditions from slop to perfection up to 6'.

The two most important elements on my twins were the hard resin edge which ran from nose to tail and the concave fluted wing on the bottom.

Fins placed parallel to the stringer and with no lean out do not work. They track.

Tri-fin is for surfers who can't ride twin-fins properly.

The problem with Martin Potter is that he keeps doing turns and cutbacks even after the wave has stopped.

What's makes me happy? Sex and tube rides.

I don't think there's any sport in the world where you actually go to bed at night psyching and wondering how good the swell is going to be tomorrow.

I am a much happier person if I get to go surfing. As hippy-cosmic as this sounds, I feel whole in the water, and not whole out of the water.


Discover the best surfing quotes of all time.