ALLAN / BYRNE
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