IAIN / BUCHANAN
Iain ‘Ratso’ Buchanan was born and raised in Christchurch, and was one of our first surfers to head across to the hot bed of Australia at a sprightly 15 years of age basing himself in Cronulla. During an era where the world of pro surfing was developing, he hung and travelled with good mates and top surfers such as Gary Green and Occy which rubbed off on Ratso. He would return home to compete and dominate the NZ circuit winning 5 X straight National titles between 1983-87 a feat only matched by Wayne Parkes. He was so dominant that the then Surfing NZ president pushed for Ratso to be banned from competing as he was based in Australia, which years later would prove to be the only way to make it in pro-surfing. Ratso competed on the World Tour finishing 34th in his first year, picking up creditable 5th at the OP Pro in Bondi beating Occy in Man on Man and another 5th as the Stubbies Event at Oceanside in 1984 taking down 4X World Champ Mark Richards. At the time, these were some of the world’s biggest events and Ratso was awarded the Eddie Aikau Award for the most improved newcomer to the tour. Ratso went on into a career in shaping under the Hot Buttered label, and then into judging on the World Tour where he was European Head Judge and now judges at all the major WSL World Tour events. Ratso took on the role of mentor for NZ surfers coaching the World Championship teams to all the World Titles in the 90’s. In 2011 Ratso revived his competitive spirit and rivalry with surfers he used to compete against in the 80’s and won the ASP World Masters Championships Over 50’s up against 1978 World Champion Wayne ‘Rabbit” Bartholomew in the final.
ABOVE: Photo by Spence BELOW: Ratso 81 Surfbabout.