Allan Byrne: the channel bottom pioneer

Kiwi surf legend Allan Byrne has passed away after failing to recover from head injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident, in Bali, Indonesia.

Byrne, 62, had slipped into coma and spent five days in very fragile health condition.

The surfer-shaper who applied the "channel bottom" to surfboards, was expected to compete in the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang, in the Masters division.

Allan Byrne suffered a broken arm and a fractured skull, and was found bleeding on the brain. He was rushed to a local Balinese hospital, but never recovered.

New Zealand loses a surfing legend. Born in Hamilton, Byrne collected a total of eight national surfing titles, in Junior and Open divisions.

The goofy-footer finished runner-up in the 1981 Pipeline Masters, in Hawaii, against the Australian Simon Anderson.

"It was Al who was the most impressive surfer of the 81 Pipe final. Great surfer great shaper designer, Al has a legion of dedicated surfers of his progressive shapes and designs. Deepest sympathies to Al's family and friends", says Anderson.

Allan Byrne has developed high-end big wave surfboard, in which he applied his knowledge in aerodynamics. No one made water-directing surfboard designs like him.

The legend of surfing in New Zealand is survived by his wife of 30 years Jayne, and sons Michael, Jamie and Matt.

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