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Mark Richards (MR) 5’8 thruster shaped in 1985, #0012. All original condition. Perfect for any Mark Richards fan. Use as a decorative surfboard art piece or functional surfboard.
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History of Mark Richards surfboards
“I am just an ordinary person who can stand on a surfboard very well.” - these are the humble words of a great man, the legend of the world surfing.
Mark Richards, known also under the initials MR, is an Australian surfer who was the first professional to win several world titles. He is also known by the nickname “The Wounded Gull” due to the way he held his arms and hands over his head while surfing. Born March 7, 1957, in Newcastle, Australia, he was surrounded by surfboards from the first years of his life. His father, Ray, was the owner of one of the first stores for surfers in Australia. Mark’s parents often took him to the beach, where he quickly learned the basics of the sport. He took his first steps in surfing at Blacksmith Beach and Rainbow Bay, where he surfed at Snapper Rocks. His career began at the age of only 13. He stood out from other young surfers and qualified for the national team for the world amateur championship in San Diego in 1972. Despite the small success at the time, everyone was sure that he would soon become an important opponent.
That was exactly the case, although not immediate. In 1976, during the world pro tour, he decided to stay at home and take care of his new surfboard-shaping business. “I wanted to be a shaper because there was no such thing as pro surfing.” - explains Mark Richards, but inevitably shaping boards was what led him to a giant success later. He had an opportunity to work with some of the world’s greatest shapers such as Geoff Mc Coy, Gerry Lopez, Spider Murphy, and Dick Brewer. Mark mentions, that all of them, but especially Dick Brewer had an enormous influence on his later work. He had learned a technique that made it possible to turn the image from his head into a reality. That’s how, in 1977, he shaped his famous Free Ride Twinfin, his new take-on the twin-finned surfboard, original design and creation that was ideal for the swooping turns and gliding. It was a remarkable surfboard that made a difference in the surfing world and made him famous. The Free Ride Twinfin was MR’s “secret weapon” to win four straight world titles in 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982. Many other surfers had tried to follow up on his achievements, but no one could be as great as him until the world heard of Kelly Slater in the mid-1990s.
After his major success, he left the pro tour again, allegedly due to his back problems. Surprisingly, his main sponsor, Lightning Bolt declined to renew their cooperation, even though MR was at the top of his career. During the 1980s he steered clear from the spotlight and competed selectively, mostly in Hawaii, but also in Japan and Australia. MR returned to the pro tour in the Masters rank over 20 years later when he had won an age-division world title at the age of 44. “Surfing gave me some of the greatest years of my life. There’s nothing better than being in a sport you like.” Mark Richard still lives in his hometown, Newcastle, Australia. He owns a surfboard manufacturing business, Mark Richards Surf Shop in Hunter St, the same shop as his parents. Up to this day, he exceeds the limits of surfboard design, making his “MR” logo one of the most iconic of the surf culture. Despite the health problems (a reverse curvature of his back), he never really quit surfing. He still has the same passion and love for this sport and is yet involved in Pro surfing, where he gets an idea on how to make his surfboards even better.