Matt Warshaw interviewed Mark Richards in 1994. Quotes were used in “Stayin’ Alive: 1976 and the Birth of Professional Surfing,” which ran in the Spring 1995 issue of Surfer’s Journal. Richards was 37 years old.
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When did you make the decision to be a pro surfer?
Never. There was no conscious decision. I never really thought it would happen. At 15 or 16, my mission in life was to make some kind of career in surfing, but I was sure I’d do it primarily as a shaper. I had no vision of...