New Zealand Surfing - - Introducing -

In 2013 Al­lan Byrne trag­i­cally passed away from a mo­tor­bike ac­ci­dent in Bali rock­ing the surf­ing world. AB as he was known was as proud a kiwi as you’d find any­where although he had been liv­ing and work­ing in Aus­tralia since the late 70’s. Orig­i­nally from Gis­borne, AB burst onto the scene in NZ surf­ing’s in­fancy years when the first boards came into NZ. At 13 years old, he en­tered his first comp, the 1964 Na­tional Champs in Mt Maun­ganui and won his first Na­tional Ju­nior Ti­tle beat­ing Wayne Parkes. Still a ju­nior in 1966 AB was se­lected to rep­re­sent NZ at the ISA World Champs in Cal­i­for­nia along with Wayne Parkes. He also made the 1968 NZ Team to the ISA World Champs in Puerto Rico fin­ish­ing a cred­i­ble 9th. AB ended up win­ning 4X NZ Ju­nior ti­tles be­tween 1964-68 and 4X NZ Na­tional Open Ti­tles be­tween 1971- 1979. Dur­ing his time at the World Cham­pi­onships in the 60’s AB had ce­mented some strong friend­ships with sev­eral Hawai­ians and be­came a reg­u­lar in the Hawaii Win­ter Sea­son putting in his time and earn­ing re­spect. He was in­vited to com­pete in the 1981 Pipe Mas­ters and fin­ished with an in­cred­i­ble 2nd place run­ner up to Si­mon An­der­son which many ex­perts still claim AB rightly won. In the same year AB fin­ished 21st in the World IPS (pre-ASP/WSL) rank­ings. AB was taught to shape boards by the late Bob Davie in Gis­borne as a teen and went on to a ca­reer as one of the worlds most re­spected crafts­men, un­der the Hot Stuff and Byrn­ing Spears la­bel. AB con­tin­ued to push the lim­its in Hawaii and In­done­sia un­til his last day.

ABOVE: A 16 year old AB with a stacked haul. MAIN RIGHT: AB on his way to NZ’s best ever in­ter­na­tional re­sult a 2nd at the Pipe Mas­ters. Photo: Jeff Devine

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