New Zealand Surfing - - Introducing -

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.

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