New Zealand Surfing - - Introducing -

In a sim­i­lar vein to Doug Young, Kevin ‘Ernie’ Jar­rett is the only surfer on this list whose ac­co­lades don’t ex­tend to com­pe­ti­tion suc­cess. As we sug­gested in our in­tro when ques­tion­ing who and why are the great­est surfers in one’s opin­ion Kevin is the per­fect ex­am­ple. While Kevin won the NZ Na­tional Ju­nior ti­tle in 1971, he tended to shy away from com­pe­ti­tion and ba­si­cally built his rep­u­ta­tion through rid­ing the tube, mainly at his home break of Matakana Is­land where for twenty years plus he mainly surfed alone get­ting piped off his head. Kevin forged a re­la­tion­ship with Al­lan Byrne early on as a grom when AB came to shape for Bob Davie in the Mount, and the two be­came mates for life push­ing each other in the surf as to who could ride the deep­est. In 1977 both Kevin and AB were in­vited to com­pete in the Stub­bies event, the big­gest con­test of the day. AB was also Kevin’s Best Man at his wed­ding and AB is quoted in world surf me­dia that dur­ing his time Kevin was one of the best tube rid­ers in the world. Kevin fea­tured in pub­li­ca­tions around the world slot­ted in­side per­fect Matakana cylin­ders in the 70’s and in a Surf­ing World sur­vey sim­i­lar to this in the 80’s Kevin was voted the Worlds 110th most re­spected and pub­lished surfer. Kevin also gained mas­sive rep­u­ta­tion on a visit to the Gold Coast point breaks where Kevin blew minds out at Burleigh Heads and Kirra go­ing toe to toe with some of the world’s best surfers at the time Michael Peter­son and Ian Cairns, this feat spread world­wide and Kevin’s tube rid­ing skills were highly touted. Kevin made his liv­ing as a lo­cal com­mer­cial fish­er­man so spent many of his days parked up at his lo­cal is­land on his way to and from work on the seas.

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