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 a coma and spent five days in a 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 has 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 and 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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