TON / DEKEN

New Zealand Surfing - - Introducing -

Born in raised in Sum­ner Christchurch, Ton Deken be­gan to turn heads in the surf as a young teenage grom, enough so that he got the at­ten­tion of Den­nis Quane one of NZ’s first ever surf­board man­u­fac­tur­ers and was given two surf­boards in a spon­sor­ship deal. Ton then be­gan to kick around the surf­board fac­to­ries and be­gan work­ing for Tatin Surf­boards fix­ing dings and sand­ing boards. In 1972 Ton went to Taranaki for the Na­tional Champs and loved it so much he never went home and set­tled in Taranaki as a 16-year-old. He picked up work with Del Surf­boards un­der Nigel Dwyer and Rob­bie Walsh, sand­ing and fix­ing dings be­fore he was of­fered a shap­ing po­si­tion with Tom Smithers out at Oakura where he lives to this day. Ton shaped boards un­til 1983 when he de­cided to head on out into the world to earn real money with a young fam­ily on the way. Ton won the Na­tional Champs 3X in 78, 80 and 81. He was also the win­ner of sev­eral Pro-Am events back in the 70’s-80’s when Aus­tralians such as Derek Hynd and Ian Cairns were reg­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion visi­tors. Ton made the top 32 (the main event in those days) in the Stub­bies Event at Burleigh Heads one of the big­gest comps of that era. Surfers of that era credit Ton as be­ing one of the hard­est com­peti­tors they’ve ever surfed against, one who wouldn’t give an inch once the hooter went. He also re­pressed NZ at the first surf con­test ever held in In­done­sia the OM Bali Pro held at Uluwatu where he gained in­ter­na­tional no­to­ri­ety for his power surf­ing. Ton still ac­tively surfs most swells at home in Taranaki.

ABOVE: Ton slot­ted in a Padang Padang pit early 80’s Bali and (LEFT) with a quiver of his own shapes late 70’s

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