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Mark Richards, Gentleman Killer

Mark Richards, 1975. Photo: Jeff Divine
Mark Richards, 1981. Photo: Rob Hutchinson
Mark Richards, 1975. Photo: Lance Trout
Mark Richards (left) and Wayne Bartholomew. Photo: Crawford
Mark Richards. Photo: Lance Trout

Shaun Tomson and Wayne Bartholomew maintained their pro tour credentials for years to come, following their world title wins in 1977 and 1978, respectively. By the end of the decade, however, both surfers were riding in the wake of Newcastle regularfooter Mark Richards, who reinvented the twin-fin surfboard and proceeded to win an astounding four consecutive pro tour titles. Never before had a pro surfer been so dominant. Richards won a third of all events he entered (Tomson and Bartholomew’s...

What Shaun Tomson did for performance surfing on the horizontal axis, with his deep tuberides and sweeping cutbacks, Mark Richards did on the vertical, bullwhipping his board from trough to crest, again and again, one water-shifting turn after the other.