Mark Richards: Australian surfing myth

Four-time world surfing champion Mark Richards will be honoured at The Boardroom International Surfboard Show, between October 6th-7th. at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, San Diego, USA.

Mark Richards is one of only two world champions to shape and compete on his own handcrafted surfboards and will watch six shapers grind out a classic MR twin fin from the Free Ride era.

The legendary surfer from Australia will join Ricky Carroll, Wayne Rich, Pat Rawson, Reno Abellira, Taz Yassine and John Pyzel in the shape room.

"I’m stoked and excited to be honored at The Boardroom International Surfboard Show during the Icons of Foam Tribute in October," says Mark Richards. "It’s going to be great watching shapers I respect and admire attempt to replicate one of my classic boards."

Mark Richards, from Merriwether, New South Wales, set the international competitive world on fire when, at 18 years of age, he won both the Smirnoff Pro-Am at Waimea Bay and the World Cup at Sunset Beach.

Along with Rabbit Bartholomew, Shaun Tomson, Peter Townend and others, Mark Richards' Free Ride generation was in full blossom. His unique knocked-knee style: fast, balanced smooth and flexible punctuated with spectacular deep set turns took the surf world by storm.

Mark Richards was going places on the wave face in a futuristic fashion. Richards went on to win four consecutive ASP world titles (1979–1982). A key to Richards’ world title run was his re-fashioning of the twin fin.

He’d been shaping his own surfboards since age 15, but was struggling to keep up with smaller, lighter pros when the waves dropped below three feet. Richards took notes in 1976 when Hawaiian surfer Reno Abellira came to Australia with a wide, blunt nosed 5’3″ board with two fins.

The following year Richards crafted a longer more streamlined version of the twin fin. Doors where then busted down, most of them by Mark Richards.

A beautiful chaos, the ultimate surfing wave, a freak of nature, the advanced surfer's testing ground, a specialty wave, the premier tube riding arena, and, ultimately, the Mecca of surfing.

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