Mark Richards


  • Name: MARK RICHARDS
  • Date of Birth: 3/7/1957
  • Hometown: Newcastle, Australia

  • Mark Richards changed the way surfing looked - literally. He shaped his own boards, and he shaped the future of surfing while he was at it. His knock-kneed, wide-armed wounded gull technique was completely unique to the sport and his futuristic way of reading waves and drawing lines opened up the doors for progression. He won four consecutive World Titles from 1979-1982. He won the Surfer Poll awards in 1979, 1980 and 1981. He starred in countless surf films. His board designs are still widely sought after, decades after they were introduced. To put it simply, MR was mimicked by many but matched by none.

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In a fitting climax to the Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil sponsored Bali Big Eco Weekend, Bali legend Made Switra barreled his way to victory and celebrated his win at Single Fin as the sun set on a day of epic waves. The event brought tourists, local surf community members and legendary local and international surfers together to surf Uluwatu in order to highlight its beauty and the need to continue to improve the environmental welfare of Bali.


For his win, Switra had the honor of adding his name to the perpetual Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge trophy and having it presented to him at Single Fin by none other than 4-time World Champion Mark Richards and Simon Anderson, the inventor of the thruster surfboard.


Switra shared, “I didn’t think about winning the contest today, I just wanted to enjoy good waves with good friends and have some fun. I was winning already when I paddled out but it’s great to be the chosen winner of this event and I want to say thanks to God, thanks to the Ulu boys and to all the legends that joined in as well.



For just Rp2 million ($150 USD) entry fee, the lucky 40+ surfers paddled out in perfect 4-5ft Uluwatu to compete with Quiksilver legends including Mark Richards, Matt Hoy, Tom Carroll, and Simon Anderson. Joining the international legends were Bali legends that included Ketut Menda, Made Switra, Made Lana, Tipi Jabrik, Dede Suryana and Rizal Tanjung as well first time international competitors Dylan Longbottom, Ozzie Wright and professional snowboarder Matt Crepel for a total of 54 participants. This year’s Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge was run in the Eddie Aikau 6-person heat format where each surfer competes in two 30-minute heats and their two highest scores from their four best waves were then scored and totaled. Switra was the surfer with the highest two-wave score total of 17.5 (out of a possible 20 points) with a 9.0 (out of a possible 10 points) in Heat 1, and then an 8.5 in Heat 2, both being deep Racetrack barrels.


The 5th annual Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge this year was a fundraiser by Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia for the Uluwatu based NGO, Project Clean Uluwatu (PCU), to raise money that will go towards new infrastructure programs at Uluwatu that will keep the world-class wave clean and pristine for generations to come. Bringing world-renowned surfing legends to Bali helps to draw attention to the challenges it faces with accelerating tourism growth.


4-time World Champion Mark Richards (AUS) didn’t get to surf in the competition this year due to a back injury, but counts this as one of the most enjoyable and important events he attends each year, saying “Bali is being loved to death by tourism, so it is under an incredible amount of environmental stress, so I think it’s important that anyone that is trying to make a difference is supported, because we need to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of this place for future generations.”


Richards added, “I know there are a lot of people that still long for the old days where there was just a couple warungs here at Uluwatu and you walked in over the fields, but unfortunately that’s not the reality of life…when you find something special, it’s impossible to just keep it for yourself, and I guess Bali is the classic case of where people from all nations come and want to enjoy this place, not just for surfing but the culture and just general tourism as well, so its vital that each of us, to whatever level we can, do our part to preserve Bali for the future.”


2-time World Champion Tom Carroll (AUS) recently underwent a complete knee replacement so was unable to surf with a conventional surfboard, but not to be denied Carroll gamely swam out on a surf mat to take on the 4-6 foot Uluwatu barrels. When asked about his adventure out in the Uluwatu lineup he replied, “Even though I couldn’t stand up on a board, I knew I had to go out and have a go! I figured it is also really good rehab for my knee by activating the muscles… I’ve been doing some training in the pool with little trainer fins but it was a different story getting flogged by those sets out there today… it was great fun!”


Regarding the event itself, Carroll said, “It is so great to see all the positive energy around this event…engaging the locals, local businesses, and the government, Coca Cola Amatil and Quiksilver have built an amazing CSR program that shows what industry can do to have a positive impact in the areas it conducts business. With the Indonesian government planning to increase tourism numbers to Bali there will be even more ecological pressure on the environment, so it’s going to be even more important to be in the forefront, keeping the flame alive and keeping up the visibility, which is the aim of the annual Bali Big Eco Weekend and Uluwatu Challenge. I can’t wait to come back next year when I’ll be back on my surfboard and getting barreled again at Uluwatu with the boys!”


Former world tour surfer, Matt Hoy, also carried an injury into the event having hurt it in the recent swell that lashed the Australian east cost, but as with Carroll, it wasn’t enough to stop him from surfing perfect Uluwatu with only a few other guys saying “As I grow older the friendships I have made through 30 years of professional surfing become the most important thing to me and to be able to share in the Bali Big Eco Weekend with Indonesian and International friends and highlight the importance of keeping our oceans clean is an event I pencil into my calendar at the beginning of each year.”


World renown as the inventor of the Thruster style surfboard (three fins), Simon Anderson thoroughly enjoyed himself, and when asked what were his highlights from the weekend he replied, “The surfing here at Uluwatu was the highlight of the weekend for me…I was hoping to get one good wave today, which I did this year, so I’m pretty stoked. I’m traveling with my wife this trip and she enjoyed the turtle release where the Bali Beach Clean Up program has now released more than 140,000 turtles back to the sea.”



Photos by Tim Hain and Josh Symon


What comes to mind when you think of Bali?For most, the answer sounds something like this: amazing waves, warm water, wild nights and an ice-cold Bintang always within an arm’s reach. It sure can feel like paradise


Each year, we host The Annual Big Bali Eco Weekend to raise awareness for the cause and celebrate the efforts of those working hard to correct the island’s environmental issues.


As part of our commitment to keeping Bali clean, we have supported the breeding of sea turtles at Kuta Beach since 2007. In that time, we have released over 140,000 sea turtles back into the ocean. The 2017 Big Bali Eco Weekend gives you a chance to get involved and bump that number up even higher. To get involved, get down to Kuta Beach on Saturday the 29th of July. The beach clean up will be at 4pm followed by the Sea Turtle release at 5pm.


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What about the part where you actually get to go surfing? Yeah, just here.



Part of the weekend includes a surf contest, which means you get to paddle out at Uluwatu...with only 4 guys out. There are 40 spots on a first-come, first served basis. Just get there early on the morning of July 30th.


This year, Quiksilver and Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia will work closely with Uluwatu based NGO, Project Clean Uluwatu (PCU) and the local Uluwatu Boardriders to raise funds that will go towards new infrastructure at Uluwatu that will keep the world class wave clean and pristine for generations to come.


The lucky 40+ surfers will get to paddle out and compete with Quiksilver legends including Mark Richards, Matt Hoy, Tom Carroll and Simon Anderson. Joining the international legends will be Bali legends that include Made Kasim, Ketut Menda, Made Switra, Made Lana, Tipi Jabrik, Dede Suryana and Rizal Tanjung for a total of 54 participants.


Need we say more? Here are some photos from last year... This could be yours for about $150 US



To register for the Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge event, please send your name and contact information via email to quiksilver.challenge@quiksilver.co.id.


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See you at Racetracks!

StubbiesProBurleighHeads


Here’s an old story:


In the 1970s, World Champion Rabbit Bartholomew walked into a bank to apply for a loan. He needed a quick $2K for a plane ticket to Hawaii. His plan was to get over there, compete in a few events, win himself some coin and pay the bank back. Easy.


Rab fills his paperwork out and writes “professional surfer” as his occupation. So he’s sitting there, waiting patiently for approval. The bank manager rolls out of his office. Rab stands up to shake his hand...and is quickly told that “professional surfing” is not a job and gets escorted out of the bank. Damn.


Fast-forward a few decades and surfers have contracts in the multi-millions. There’s a highly-respected, virally-viewed international tour that pays millions of dollars and is broadcasted around the world. It. Is. Legit. We’re allowed in banks now.

BurleighHeads


A lot of factors have contributed to the acceptance, growth and admiration of it all — but there was one moment that made more impact than the rest. One event that changed everything: the 1977 Stubbies Pro at Burleigh Heads.


A lot of factors have contributed to the acceptance, growth and admiration of it all — but there was one moment that made more impact than the rest. One event that changed everything: the 1977 Stubbies Pro at Burleigh Heads.


It was the first contest of its kind, introducing the man-on-man competitive format. It offered the biggest purse. It drew the biggest crowd. It was unbelievable. And Mark Richards experienced it all firsthand.


So, MR...what was it like?


“We went into it not knowing what it’d be like. The man-on-man format was a completely new invention and it turned out to be a game changer in terms of competitive surfing. Before that, you’d get caught up in all the hassling. A lot of time you were winning or losing a heat based off of tactics. But with this new format, you were actually able to strategize what you were going to and concentrate on your performance. Plus, it made it easier for the judges because they could actually see all the waves. It also made more sense from a spectator point of view.


First prize in the Stubbies was $3000, which was huge back then. In my memory, sponsorship was pretty much nonexistent in those days. If you got free boardshorts and wetties, you were stoked. I didn’t have much of a vision of what it’d all become in terms of legitimizing the sport. I just thought it was a ton of fun.”


The current empire of professional surfing wasn’t born overnight — it was a slow process involving an extraordinary amount of factors. However, the blueprint was laid out at the ‘77 Stubbies Pro. And surfing changed for good.

BurleighHeadsMarkRichards


Not satisfied? Need more? Find the full Radical Times Gold Coast experience below.

 


Check out the opening night shenanigans at the Quiksilver Boardriders Torquay on Friday, 18 September.

Anticipation had been mounting for months as Torquay locals watched the transformation of the old Quiksilver store morph into the new Boardriders Torquay, so on Friday night there was much to celebrate. Legends Tom Carroll, Matt Hoy and Mark Richards plus Matt Banting and local Cody Robinson joined the party along with 300 locals to get amongst the paella, beers and free barber haircuts as DJ Claire Elliott and Calling All Cars amped the crowd. Good vibes all round.

For more photos check out Boardriders Torquay Facebook page.


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Mark Richards first visited Bali in 1981 for the Om Bali Pro held at Kuta Beach and back then there wasn’t really much going on except the locals doing what they do and the occasional surfer. When he headed up to Ulus, he felt he’d struck gold. And that stoke rush seeing the Uluwatu line-up never changes no matter what year it is, where you’re from, or your board of choice.



What has unfortunately changed over the past few years is the influx of trash on Bali’s beaches and it’s at its worst during the wet season. To combat this problem Quiksilver partnered with Coke and since 2007 have employed a 75 strong beach clean-up crew who work every single day of the year on a stretch of beach from Kuta to Kedonganan. The result is over 29 million kilograms of rubbish collected since 2008.



To raise awareness Quiksilver host Bali’s Big Eco Weekend each year and this year surfing legends Tom Carroll, Mark Richards, Matt Hoy and Jake Paterson came along to show their support. Since the clean-up began the stretch of beach has seen sea turtles return and this afternoon 1000 baby sea turtles were released back into the ocean in celebration followed by a traditional Kecat dance at sunset.





Today it’s a day of surfing at the Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge. The final will run along with a two-hour expression session with Tom Carroll, MR, TC and Hoy along with some of the ROXY team riders and the forecast is looking offshore and clean.




Nearly every surfer who visits Bali falls in love with the place – the waves, the culture, the food, the people, the sunsets, the good times. What’s not to love?

But over the years Bali has started to deal with a trash problem – and it’s not going away. For four months of every year during the wet season Bali’s beaches are full of rubbish. It sucks. So Quiksilver partnered with Coca-Cola Amatil and Garuda Indonesia and decided to do something about it. Since 2008, 75 local workers have been cleaning six miles of beach from Kuta to Jimbaran every single day – that’s 13,000 dump trucks of rubbish and counting.

Each year to raise awareness – and surf – we host Bali’s Big Eco Weekend. Last Saturday, our legends and team riders headed to Legian for a beach clean-up, release 1,000 freshly hatched sea turtles back into the ocean and to share the stoke with the local groms and tourists. To wrap up the day – and prepare for the Uluwatu Challenge – a Balinese Hindu priest welcomed the good spirits with a blessing on the beach of the team riders and legends at sunset.

Photos: Jason Childs.
The gods were smiling on Sunday as glassy sets rolled into Uluwatu. Surfing six person heats, our team riders sat in the line-up with frothing surfers whose entry fee pays to keep the clean-up project going. Everyone was stoked. Among the crew was a 16 year old from Barbados, expats, Uluwatu locals, and the Quiksilver work experience kid from the Bali office. They took turns to get barreled (or go over the falls trying) with team riders and legends. Freddy P, Matt Hoy, Craig Anderson, Jake Paterson, Mark Richards, Rosy Hodge, Bruna Schmitz and Kelia Moniz were in the water. Plus the local crew Dede Suryana, Tipi Jabrik, Rio Waida. Not a bad line-up.


Balinese Hindu offerings / Photo: Tim Hain

As the clean five foot sets rolled in, Kelia Moniz nose rode on one wave as Jake Paterson threw buckets on the wave behind. The guys hooted the girls, the girls hooted the guys. Everyone was super stoked. Freddy P scored a perfect 10, winning the comp.

At sunset, Bintangs were clinked, the music was cranked and Hoyo jumped up on stage to bang out some AC/DC at Single Fin. Epic. Make sure you’re there next year.


Photos: Jason Childs.
Mark Richards / Photo: Ryan Heywood
Craig Anderson & Kelia Moniz / Photo: Ryan Heywood

Rio Waida / Photo: Jason Childs


Jake Paterson / Photo: Jason Childs

Kelia Moniz / Photo: Jason Childs
Craig Anderson / Photo: Jason Childs
Photo: Tim Hain
Rosy Hodge & frothing local Billy Hangan / Photo: Jason Childs
Matt Hoy / Photo: Jason Childs
Mark Richards / Photo: Jason Childs
Jake Paterson / Photo: Tim Hain
Kelia Moniz and Bruna Schmitz / Photo: Jason Childs
Freddy P / Photo: Jason Childs
Rosy Hodge / Photo: Tim Hain


Have you ever wanted to surf Uluwatu uncrowded? Yep, so have we.

Have you ever wanted to surf with legends like Mark Richards, Matt Hoy or Jake Paterson? Or how about Craig Anderson or Freddy P? Or local Bali legends Made Kasim, Ketut Menda, and Made Lana and Quiksilver team riders Tipi Jabrik and Dede Suryana? Yep, so have we.

This Sunday 22 June, 32 lucky surfers will paddle out and compete with these legends and team riders to raise money for environmental and beach clean-up programs in Bali.

Our clean-up program employs a crew of 74 who collect rubbish every day from the Kuta, Kedonganan, Jimbaran, Seminyak, and Legian beaches. Since 2008, over 24 million tons of rubbish has been collected. Yep, that's truckloads.

HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE ULUWATU CHALLENGE:
Email nadia.masrunon@asiansurfingtour.com with your contact details. All entries are on a first come, first served basis. The entry fee is Rp. 2 million (about $180 USD) entry fee - and proceeds go to beach clean-up programs in Bali.

Successful applicants will be notified and expected to attend the opening party at the Boardriders Café on Jalan Legian in Kuta starting at 7:00pm on June 20, where they will pay an entry fee and view heat draws.

The event will run in an Eddie Aikau six-person heat format, where each surfer competes in two heats and the two highest scores from their four best waves will be scored and totaled. The surfer with the highest two-wave score total (out of a possible 20 points, maximum of 10 points per wave) will be declared the winner of the event.

“I travel all over the world and still rate Indo as my favorite…looking forward to getting on to some long lefts at Ulus!” says Craig Anderson.

After the competition the Single Fin bar will open up for a sunset party and host the awards presentation. Good times.

If you want to get more involved with Bali's Big Eco Weekend come down to Legian Beach all day Saturday for a community event - there's a beach clean-up and locals ripping in the Padma Challenge Surf Comp. Our legends and team riders crew will be sharing the stoke too. Come and get amongst it.

The Quiksilver Uluwatu Challenge is presented by Quiksilver, Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia, Garuda Indonesia, Boardriders Café, Single Fin, Jim Beam, and San Miguel, with support by the Uluwatu Boardriders Club and the Asian Surfing Championships.

Photos by Jason Childs.
One of the best ways to keep an eye on our team riders is on Instagram. They're spread far and wide across the globe. Just this past week, there's the team riders keeping busy on lay days during the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia; our young guns having fun in Ecuador competing in the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship; Matt Banting making his way from LA down to Mexico ... and Dane building a pigeon coop at home in California.


@KanoaIgarashi - Exploring Ecuador with @maddiepeterson_ on a lay day.


@ThomasVictorCarroll - "and I am frothing", ended @markrichardssurfboards post Rally Car Hot Lap freak out with driver Scott Pedder (navigator Dale Moscat) in their Renault Clio R3 they are lap time leaders heading into the Power Stage of the Quit Forest Rally, Busselton Western Australia. #gravity #defiance #speed @rcj6666


@SealTooth - spent the last week learning basic carpentry from @baresco while building a pigeon coop in my back yard. always fun to learn a new skill. ba's a good teacher. he gives me basic guidance and lets me fuck up or figure it out... or something... anyway seems like a loose educational process and been super fun.


@Aritz_Aranburu - Best place on Earth. Mejor lugar del mundo @gopro #hero3+ @quiksilver @pukassurf #tubito


@LFioravanti - Finally got to Ecuador after 36 hours of traveling. Waves are really fun, can't wait for the comp to start!! #2days @quiksilver @redbullitalia PC - @cidoubleyou


@MattBanting - Went to have a little look around Venice with the crew @sierradriessen @derek_peters @jimmy__graham


@FloresJeremy - This my GF Lily she is the bombbbbbb !!!! #sorryuncletrav @travislogie !!!!! @melissapatacchia @freddyp808


@CodyRobinson - Stoked to take out my first heat in 3 months expecially here in ecuador for the #isawj. #goaus


@FreddyP808 - Pic @stephenisbelly This is two seconds before I ran him over & thought I cut his arm off. The risk we take for Instagram photos. Haha


@MattBanting - Ohhh Mehicoo

Mark Richards was given his first pair of Quiksilver boardshorts in the early 1970s. Quiksilver’s founders Alan Green and John Law custom made Mark a pair of boardies and sent them to him – these were the days before MR was sponsored so he was stoked to receive a free pair of boardies he’d wear all year round.


Over 40 years later Mark is still stoked on surfing, shaping surfboards … and boardshorts. MR shares on his blog and instagram sick photos from back in the day where the wetsuits were a little brighter and the boardshorts were a little shorter.


Check out a few rad vintage shots of MR below.


This was shot in the mid 70's on the cliff at Bells Beach. I was there for the @ripcurl Easter Classic. At the time I was riding boards shaped by Ben Aipa from Hawaii. They were his 'stinger ' models. This one is 6'8", 201/4" wide & 27/8" thick. The rail didn't have the standard round bottom edge through the middle up to the nose. It had a flat 45 degree chime with a hard resin edge on each side of the chime. It ran from the 'stinger' to the nose tip. The board went great , but I think the pervious stingers with a normal rounded bottom edge on the rail felt more forgiving.The 'wettie' was an early prototype with shoulder zips. The other thing that strikes me about this photo is how much hair I had then , I would love to still have that much hair now !!!!!


Photo Dick Hoole.1976. Off The Wall , North Shore , Hawaii. I'm riding a wing pin single fin shaped by Reno Abellira. It's 7'8", 19" wide, & 27/8" thick. I used to get asked a lot how my style evolved & where it came from. or who influenced it.... It came from within me. I've always believed that a persons surfing style is an expression of who you are as a person. Everyone stands, walks, & talks differently & this is reflected in how you surf. I've always focused on turns & I just wanted to come off the bottom & hit the lip hard. The body mechanics & mannerisms just followed. When I was growing up if I admired someone's surfing I always tried to be influenced by the manoeuvres they did or the way they approached a wave . But I always made sure I didn't copy someone else's body mannerisms.


Photo Lance Trout.. Pipeline , 1978. The board is a round pin single fin, 7'4",19" wide & 27/8" thick. I shaped it in Dick Brewers room at Chuns Reef on the North Shore. I first surfed Pipe in 1973 or 1974 & I'd never had an injury or really scary experience there until 1986. The day before the Pipe masters that year on a super low tide I took off on the last wave of a set ,way too late & got pitched with the lip. As I hit the water the wave exploded on me, & I remember thinking , "this isn't going to be good", just before I got driven head first into the bottom on an angle, hitting the reef on the side of my head above my ear. I hit so hard it felt like I'd been wacked by a baseball bat. Got to the surface with my head throbbing & seeing stars. I felt the side of my head to see if it was all still there, it was, total relief, but my hand was instantly covered in blood. I drove back to where I was staying at Sunset Beach to tell my wife I'd hurt myself. She freaked when she opened the door & I'm standing there covered in blood. She drove me straight to the hospital. I ended up spending the day in hospital with concussion, a few major egg size lumps on my head & not much skin left on my ear. To this day I know I'm very fortunate to still be here !!! I lucked out & hit flat reef, If I'd hit a pinnacle or a coral head I would have been royally fucked big time !!!


1985. This is a sequence from yesterday's 6'2" Twin Fin bottom turn post. (For board details see previous post). I'm actually a little embarrassed by the 'wettie' color, Pink arms !!!. It was made by Victory Wetsuits in Japan & I wish I could blame them for the color choice, but that would be a massive fib. Yes , guilty as charged , I picked the colors. ( what the fuck was I thinking ???? ). The only defence I can offer is that in 1985 bright pinks , yellows , oranges , & lime greens were totally acceptable as wetsuit highlight colors. I wouldn't wear a 'wettie' this color now as my current favourite color is Black & Black !!! I shaped , sprayed & glassed this board & I don't still have it. No idea where it is.


Pipeline , North Shore , Hawaii, 1976. This shot was sent to me by Michael Matoi who lives in Hawaii. He didn't know who the photographer was & I haven't seen this photo before. I've never forgotten this day. It was an epic west swell & Pipeline pumped all day. By far the best day of the winter. 10-12' with some bigger sets & a light offshore trade wind. I was there from dawn to dusk , surfing my brains out. Minimal crowd . Around 20 for most of the day. I was riding a Reno Abellira shaped wing pin single fin . 8'0", 19" wide & 3" thick. If you look closely I'm in a 1/2 crouch with my hands behind my back, ( kinda cool ? ) . I'm a million miles ahead of the tube. It would have been an amazing shot if I had been a little deeper & actually been in the tube !!!!


Early 1980's. Shaun Tomsom, Mark Warren, & I on the beach at North Narrabeen. The photo was taken by one of the Sydney daily newspaper staff photographers. It was for a story to publicize the 2SM-Coca Cola Surfabout event. We are all looking at some point or imaginary friend off in the distance. Aussie newspapers seem to love what I call 'The Far Far Away Look' !!! I think these kind of photos look even sillier if the subjects are smiling. I've never understood why they don't want the person looking at the camera. If you look at a mag like Rolling Stone or a surf mag they have amazing portrait & group shots where the person or group is staring straight into the camera lens. It seems like you get so much more of the essence of a person when you can see their eyes looking straight back at you. @markwazza . Mark has a Geoff McCoy single fin , mine is a 6'2" twin fin , & I think Shaun's board was a twin fin shaped by Spider Murphy in South Africa.



Check out MR's instagram and blog.