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Mark Richards: Froth Lord

Mark Richards was given his first pair of Quiksilver boardshorts in the early 1970s. Quiksilver’s founders Alan Green and John Law custom made Mark a pair of boardies and sent them to him – these were the days before MR was sponsored so he was stoked to receive a free pair of boardies he’d wear all year round.

Over 40 years later Mark is still stoked on surfing, shaping surfboards … and boardshorts. MR shares on his blog and instagram sick photos from back in the day where the wetsuits were a little brighter and the boardshorts were a little shorter.

Check out a few rad vintage shots of MR below.

This was shot in the mid 70's on the cliff at Bells Beach. I was there for the @ripcurl Easter Classic. At the time I was riding boards shaped by Ben Aipa from Hawaii. They were his 'stinger ' models. This one is 6'8", 201/4" wide & 27/8" thick. The rail didn't have the standard round bottom edge through the middle up to the nose. It had a flat 45 degree chime with a hard resin edge on each side of the chime. It ran from the 'stinger' to the nose tip. The board went great , but I think the pervious stingers with a normal rounded bottom edge on the rail felt more forgiving.The 'wettie' was an early prototype with shoulder zips. The other thing that strikes me about this photo is how much hair I had then , I would love to still have that much hair now !!!!!

Photo Dick Hoole.1976. Off The Wall , North Shore , Hawaii. I'm riding a wing pin single fin shaped by Reno Abellira. It's 7'8", 19" wide, & 27/8" thick. I used to get asked a lot how my style evolved & where it came from. or who influenced it.... It came from within me. I've always believed that a persons surfing style is an expression of who you are as a person. Everyone stands, walks, & talks differently & this is reflected in how you surf. I've always focused on turns & I just wanted to come off the bottom & hit the lip hard. The body mechanics & mannerisms just followed. When I was growing up if I admired someone's surfing I always tried to be influenced by the manoeuvres they did or the way they approached a wave . But I always made sure I didn't copy someone else's body mannerisms.

Photo Lance Trout.. Pipeline , 1978. The board is a round pin single fin, 7'4",19" wide & 27/8" thick. I shaped it in Dick Brewers room at Chuns Reef on the North Shore. I first surfed Pipe in 1973 or 1974 & I'd never had an injury or really scary experience there until 1986. The day before the Pipe masters that year on a super low tide I took off on the last wave of a set ,way too late & got pitched with the lip. As I hit the water the wave exploded on me, & I remember thinking , "this isn't going to be good", just before I got driven head first into the bottom on an angle, hitting the reef on the side of my head above my ear. I hit so hard it felt like I'd been wacked by a baseball bat. Got to the surface with my head throbbing & seeing stars. I felt the side of my head to see if it was all still there, it was, total relief, but my hand was instantly covered in blood. I drove back to where I was staying at Sunset Beach to tell my wife I'd hurt myself. She freaked when she opened the door & I'm standing there covered in blood. She drove me straight to the hospital. I ended up spending the day in hospital with concussion, a few major egg size lumps on my head & not much skin left on my ear. To this day I know I'm very fortunate to still be here !!! I lucked out & hit flat reef, If I'd hit a pinnacle or a coral head I would have been royally fucked big time !!!

1985. This is a sequence from yesterday's 6'2" Twin Fin bottom turn post. (For board details see previous post). I'm actually a little embarrassed by the 'wettie' color, Pink arms !!!. It was made by Victory Wetsuits in Japan & I wish I could blame them for the color choice, but that would be a massive fib. Yes , guilty as charged , I picked the colors. ( what the fuck was I thinking ???? ). The only defence I can offer is that in 1985 bright pinks , yellows , oranges , & lime greens were totally acceptable as wetsuit highlight colors. I wouldn't wear a 'wettie' this color now as my current favourite color is Black & Black !!! I shaped , sprayed & glassed this board & I don't still have it. No idea where it is.

Pipeline , North Shore , Hawaii, 1976. This shot was sent to me by Michael Matoi who lives in Hawaii. He didn't know who the photographer was & I haven't seen this photo before. I've never forgotten this day. It was an epic west swell & Pipeline pumped all day. By far the best day of the winter. 10-12' with some bigger sets & a light offshore trade wind. I was there from dawn to dusk , surfing my brains out. Minimal crowd . Around 20 for most of the day. I was riding a Reno Abellira shaped wing pin single fin . 8'0", 19" wide & 3" thick. If you look closely I'm in a 1/2 crouch with my hands behind my back, ( kinda cool ? ) . I'm a million miles ahead of the tube. It would have been an amazing shot if I had been a little deeper & actually been in the tube !!!!

Early 1980's. Shaun Tomsom, Mark Warren, & I on the beach at North Narrabeen. The photo was taken by one of the Sydney daily newspaper staff photographers. It was for a story to publicize the 2SM-Coca Cola Surfabout event. We are all looking at some point or imaginary friend off in the distance. Aussie newspapers seem to love what I call 'The Far Far Away Look' !!! I think these kind of photos look even sillier if the subjects are smiling. I've never understood why they don't want the person looking at the camera. If you look at a mag like Rolling Stone or a surf mag they have amazing portrait & group shots where the person or group is staring straight into the camera lens. It seems like you get so much more of the essence of a person when you can see their eyes looking straight back at you. @markwazza . Mark has a Geoff McCoy single fin , mine is a 6'2" twin fin , & I think Shaun's board was a twin fin shaped by Spider Murphy in South Africa.

Check out MR's instagram and blog.