Ian Cairns

North Shore, 1975

I went out to ride a 25-foot wave in the same manner as if I was riding a four-foot wave.

This interview, by Jack McCoy, ran in the May 1976 issue of SURFER, and was titled “Ian: We’re Number One!” Cairns was 24 years old.

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Why do you think the Aussies have been so successful this year?

The Australians are a really competitive bunch. Out in the water we’re all sort of competing against each other continually. Once you get a group of guys who are consistently pushing themselves further and further, the standards are undoubtedly going to rise. That’s what happened over the ...