Thorson, Mitch

Down-home power surfer from Western Australia; world-ranked #16 in 1986 and 1987. Thorson was born (1964) and raised on Rottnest Island—a gorgeous, sparsely inhabited seven-mile-long island located 12 miles off Perth—and his formative surfing years were spent riding big waves alone on the craggy Rottnest reefs.

Thorson was Western Australia's juniors division champ in 1980 and 1981, and was runner-up to world-beater Mark Occhilupo in the 1984 Pro Junior. "Not a glamour boy," as described by ...