Like so many people who make up the permanent population of the island, “Ringa” came from elsewhere originally. In his case, his parents were missionaries with the Seventh day Adventist Church in NSW, taking their family from Vanuatu to Fiji, Port Macquarie and even Mansfield in the Victorian Alps. He landed on the island in 1989, when his parents took off to Africa, and thinks he started shaping with Island Boards around ’93. It was his older brother Tony – an avid surf explorer - who’d found the place. “Ringa” was able to base himself out of the island (initially in a van) throughout his pro surfing career (1996-2002), as well as shaping most of his own boards. “Matt (Ryan) offered me everything – shaping, sponsorship, the surf school. I said I’ll take the lot.” So his experience of competing was radically different to his peers, and is almost unthinkable now.
Ringa’s best result was a fifth at Teahupo’o, the year he scored a centrespread in Tracks with a Steve Ryan barrel sequence, shot at the infamous lefthander. It ran in the very last of the newspaper format Tracks editions. Occy on the front, the close of a different era. Glyndon’s now 44, a husband and father, focussed on his shaping and his family. “We do church together at Leongatha,” he says. “I come from a strict background, and we’re not that strict. I want them to be more based in love and kindness. I’d prefer my kids to be living in a rural place like this, but they’ll need to make their own choices. There’s none of that bored, going round in circles for teenagers on this island. Melbourne comes here – there’s so much to do. The education’s good enough.” The only thing Ringa can think of that’s missing – and he doesn’t mention the pub – is a decent skate park.
Top: Between cameos in the Rip Curl Pro Bells main event and working with the WSL water-patrol crew, Glyndon Ringrose is part of the team at Island Surfboards.
Bottom: Glyndon channels his gecko grip and drifs over a collapsing section.