Surfboard Show Announces Wayne Lynch as Icons of Foam Honoree
November 16, 2019 (Encinitas, Ca.) — The Boardroom International Surfboard Show today announced Wayne Lynch, dynamic Australian surfer/shaper, will be honored during the Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters Shape-off presented by US Blanks at the 2019 Boardroom International Surfboard Show in Del Mar.
“It is an honor for me to be recognized for my shaping accomplishments along side the past Icons of Foam honorees,” said Lynch. “Thanks to all of them and all the craftsmen in our tiny yet global surfboard industry. See you all in May at The Boardroom.”
Wayne Lynch has been shaping surfboards since the age of 14. At first Lynch drew inspiration from the heavy vee bottoms of Bob McTavish and his Plastic Machines. Lynch’s shaping evolved through the decades and today are highly regarded for their clean aesthetic and tried and true reliability. A main figure in the shortboard revolution, Lynch is often referred to as the first vertical surfer, taking his loose and nimble backside approach straight up the wave face.
“We are over the moon to be honoring Wayne Lynch,” said Scott Bass Boardroom Show Executive Director. “The Boardroom prides itself on acknowledging great craftsmen, great shapers, and great surfers, but also great human beings. Wayne Lynch checks all the boxes. It is going to be a great show and Wayne has promised some surprises are in-store for the shape-off.”
Past Icons of Foam honorees include Mike Diffenderfer, Bill Caster, John Bradbury, Dick Brewer, Renny Yater, Doug Haut, Simon Anderson, Carl Ekstrom, Mark Richards, Rich Price, Terry Martin, Ben Aipa, Rusty Preisendorfer, John Mel, Gerry Lopez, Al Merrick and Marc Andreini.
The Boardroom, beginning it’s 12th year, is a consumer facing showcase for the surf manufacturing industry featuring shapers, designers, manufacturers, artists and of course the industry’s state-of-the-art surfboards. The show also highlights fins, wetsuits, skateboards, performance wear for both men and women, board shorts, technology, other hard-goods, the California Gold Surf Auction and much more.
Encyclopedia of Surfing Entry: Wayne Lynch
Dynamic Australian goofyfoot surfer from Lorne, Victoria; teenage messiah of the shortboard revolution in the late 1960s and early ’70s, and generally regarded as the inventor of “vertical” surfing. “He was the Future of Surfing incarnate,” Hawaiian pro surfer Reno Abellira said of Lynch. “A boy wonder with searing eyes, a disarming choirboy smile, and an attacking style that often left him upside-down in the curl, only to recover in midair and land back on his wax.”
Lynch was born (1952) in the southwest Victoria town of Colac, the son of a fisherman-carpenter, and raised in the nearby town of Lorne, 25 miles west of Bells Beach. He began surfing at age 10; the following year he entered and won a statewide open-age contest, but event organizers, flustered by the smooth-cheeked phenomenon, hastily gave him the “Best Wave of the Day” award rather than the first-place trophy, and banned him from competing the following year, saying he was too young. In 1965 he won the first of six consecutive juniors division Victoria state titles.
While surf magazines published some impressive black-and-white photographs of Lynch in 1968, his star-making moment came in 1969 with the release of Evolution, Paul Witzig’s rough-hewn cult classic surf movie. Two years earlier, surfers on 10-foot-long boards were focused mainly on walking the board and hanging ten. Lynch, the 16-year-old master of the just-introduced shortboard, featured in the opening sequence of Evolution riding a 7′ 1″ stubby, changed the direction of performance surfing almost singlehandedly, riding out of a low crouch, his thin legs collapsing and extending pneumatically from one tightly arced turn to the next. Although 1966 world champion Nat Young and 1968 Bells winner Ted Spencer costarred in Evolution, the film is mostly remembered as a Lynch showcase.
Lynch won the juniors division of the Australian National Titles four straight times (1967 to 1970), appeared in a small number of surf films (most notably 1971’s Sea of Joy), then suddenly dropped from public view, saying he “wasn’t interested in fame or money,” and that he wanted to be “just a surfer, not a star.” Only later did he admit that he spent nearly three years avoiding Australia’s then-mandatory military service.
A motorcycle accident in Bali in 1972 put Lynch in an Indonesian hospital with a broken collarbone and sprained back; while there he caught malaria, was bedridden for six months, and unable to surf for all of 1973.
He returned to the water in 1974, and the following year reentered the competition scene, placing sixth at Bells, then earning $3,500 for winning the Surfabout event in Sydney, the second-richest pro event of the year. Lynch competed part-time for the next three years (finishing 11th on the debut International Professional Surfers circuit in 1976, second at the 1978 Katin Pro-Am, and second in the 1978 Surfabout), then once again retired.
In the 1978 short film A Day in the Life of Wayne Lynch, surf filmmaker Jack McCoy shows the one-time child star dividing his time between his quiet, woodsy house in Victoria and surfing alone—and brilliantly—in the deepwater reefs nearby. Lynch was regarded by many as the ultimate soul surfer. In talent and temperament three-time world champion Tom Curren of California would in years to come be likened to Lynch.
Lynch turned up regularly in surf videos and documentaries, including Legends: An Australian Surfing Perspective (1994), Litmus (1997), Great Waves (1998), and Biographies (2001).
Lynch was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame in 1988, and was cited by Surfing magazine in a 2004 articled titled The 16 Greatest Surfers of All Time. Making another return to competition, Lynch placed ninth in the 1997 Masters (for surfers 36 and over) and fifth in the 1999 Masters.
In Another Day in the Life of Wayne Lynch, a 2011 short film by Cyrus Sutton, Lynch revealed that he’d had a heart attack and that over the previous few years he’d lost interest in surfing. At the end of the film, he’s seen happily riding an inflatable raft alongside his son.
“Uncharted Waters: the Personal History of Wayne Lynch,” a feature-length documentary, was released in 2013.