"Mark Down Under"
Mark Richards, OAM (born 7 March 1957), known as MR, is an Australian surfer, four time world champion (1979–1982), and highly respected by his peers.
Richards was interested in twin-fin surfboards and in shaping. At the Surfabout in 1976 he saw Reno Abellira on a highly manoeuvrable twin-fin fish and thought something like that would be better than a single-fin for small waves. Back in Hawaii again for the 1976/77 winter, aged 19, he took his father's suggestion to pay for shaping lessons from noted pioneer Dick Brewer. It meant Richards was able to put his thoughts about design into actual foam. He credits Brewer for the style of shaping he came to use.
Brewer made Richards a twin-fin, and Richards took aspects of that and Abellira's fish for his own designs. The result was boards faster and more manoeuvrable than the single-fins of the day.
1975 Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships;
1979 International Professional Surfers (IPS) World Champion;
1980 International Professional Surfers (IPS) World Champion;
1981 International Professional Surfers (IPS) World Champion;
1982 International Professional Surfers (IPS) World Champion and
2001 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grandmasters World Champion
By 1979 Richards reckoned his career as shaping primarily, and just competing at home in Australia and in Hawaii where he would go for the northern winter anyway.
Today Richards still lives in Newcastle with his wife, Jenny, and three children, Kyle, Nathan and Grace. He runs the Mark Richards Surf Shop in Hunter St, the same shop started by his parents.