The people who’ve adorned Surfing World’s covers over 51 years are each caught in a moment of their lives –invariably at the peak of their careers and in their surfing prime. The image is only ever a snapshot of a surfer’s life. How they got to that moment – and where they went next – is a fascinating thing to explore. This month that surfer is original Bronzed Aussie, Australian Surfing Hall of Famer and four-time SW cover star Mark Warren.


SW: What’ve you been doing with your day?
MW: Ugh! (laughs) Trying to get a spot in the line-up. Narra’s been really good lately. I used to look at her like a mystery lady, but now everyone knows what she looks like thanks to the fricking internet. I’ve just come back from the best time in Hawaii – spring there, in April and May, is a great time to go. I find going to Hawaii really good – I’ve been going there more than 40 years and more than ever, it still gives me what I need. I’m funemployed at the moment. Quiksilver cut me three months ago. There was a purge at Quik, under the new management: they cut and gut things. Over the last few years I was only doing webcast production, and when the ASP took over, they didn’t need an in-house webcast producer. Before that we did TV, The Crossing, Young Guns and more. It was really good. In your 60s, you can get a bit dumped, so you have to self-generate. I’ve still got ideas I’d like to contribute. But I’ve been surfing a lot. I’m 62 this year, I’ve had two hip operations called “re-surfacing,” and I’m fitter than I’ve been in 10 years. My hips are now the best part of me. It’s like getting an old home and just renovating two rooms beautifully. I do some pilates to keep the posture strong, and a technique called “Rolfing”. Enid Rolfe invented it. It’s incredible for your body.

What are you riding these days?
I’m mostly on a 6’4” Simon Anderson Mollusc. And I spend a lot of time in Hawaii, so over there I’ve got two Brewers, a 7’4” and a 9’6”. It only took me 60 years to get my hands on ’em! Jack Reeves, the laminator over there, he had these two beauties there, just taking up room in the house. They’re what Bruce Raymond calls the “If you can’t beat ’em join ’em” models – when Sunset stands up on the peak, there’s old guys out there on these huge boards, just getting all the set waves. I like to surf there, always have. It’s a real open ocean wave, and you can get very out of position very easily. Anyway, it’s all really revived my surfing – I’ve got a full quiver of boards and a full quiver of hips.

So let’s have a look at these covers…
That “Two Heads” shot is taken at Yagen, near Seal Rocks. That board that TF’s got is a Shane – how’s the fins! Mine’s a Keyo or a McCoy. When the twin fin thing happened, everyone just went “right! Let’s just do this!” They’d put the fins anywhere. I was probably 18 or 19 in that shot, and TF would be maybe 21. The blue cover was shot at Bells. That board was a beauty. Geoff (McCoy) hated that logo but we all loved it – quite eastern and mystical, trippy. He just wanted ‘McCoy’ up in lights. The red cover shot was from Clubhouse Rights at North Narra. Jeez, I’m right up on the nose, hey. The wave was a real speedy barrel, a closeout. The yellow cover shot (bottom left) is a Dan Merkel photo from a place called Scorpion Bay on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Bruce Raymond and I did some trips there in 75. I wrote a story about it which ran in Surfing and Surfing World. It was me that gave it that name for the story – around the fire there’d be mice running around, and every now and then you’d shine a torch on one and it’d actually be a massive scorpion.

Are you bothered by the way your generation of pioneers are treated by surfing today?
No. I don’t think there’s any lack of respect for my generation of surfers. And I don’t go out seeking respect.

- Jock Serong



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Catching up with: Mark Warren


The people who’ve adorned Surfing World’s covers over 51 years are each caught in a moment of their lives –invariably at the peak of their careers and in their surfing prime. The image is only ever a snapshot of a surfer’s life. How they got to that moment – and where they went next – is a fascinating thing to explore. This month that surfer is original Bronzed Aussie, Australian Surfing Hall of Famer and four-time SW cover star Mark Warren.


SW: What’ve you been doing with your day?
MW: Ugh! (laughs) Trying to get a spot in the line-up. Narra’s been really good lately. I used to look at her like a mystery lady, but now everyone knows what she looks like thanks to the fricking internet. I’ve just come back from the best time in Hawaii – spring there, in April and May, is a great time to go. I find going to Hawaii really good – I’ve been going there more than 40 years and more than ever, it still gives me what I need. I’m funemployed at the moment. Quiksilver cut me three months ago. There was a purge at Quik, under the new management: they cut and gut things. Over the last few years I was only doing webcast production, and when the ASP took over, they didn’t need an in-house webcast producer. Before that we did TV, The Crossing, Young Guns and more. It was really good. In your 60s, you can get a bit dumped, so you have to self-generate. I’ve still got ideas I’d like to contribute. But I’ve been surfing a lot. I’m 62 this year, I’ve had two hip operations called “re-surfacing,” and I’m fitter than I’ve been in 10 years. My hips are now the best part of me. It’s like getting an old home and just renovating two rooms beautifully. I do some pilates to keep the posture strong, and a technique called “Rolfing”. Enid Rolfe invented it. It’s incredible for your body.

What are you riding these days?
I’m mostly on a 6’4” Simon Anderson Mollusc. And I spend a lot of time in Hawaii, so over there I’ve got two Brewers, a 7’4” and a 9’6”. It only took me 60 years to get my hands on ’em! Jack Reeves, the laminator over there, he had these two beauties there, just taking up room in the house. They’re what Bruce Raymond calls the “If you can’t beat ’em join ’em” models – when Sunset stands up on the peak, there’s old guys out there on these huge boards, just getting all the set waves. I like to surf there, always have. It’s a real open ocean wave, and you can get very out of position very easily. Anyway, it’s all really revived my surfing – I’ve got a full quiver of boards and a full quiver of hips.

So let’s have a look at these covers…
That “Two Heads” shot is taken at Yagen, near Seal Rocks. That board that TF’s got is a Shane – how’s the fins! Mine’s a Keyo or a McCoy. When the twin fin thing happened, everyone just went “right! Let’s just do this!” They’d put the fins anywhere. I was probably 18 or 19 in that shot, and TF would be maybe 21. The blue cover was shot at Bells. That board was a beauty. Geoff (McCoy) hated that logo but we all loved it – quite eastern and mystical, trippy. He just wanted ‘McCoy’ up in lights. The red cover shot was from Clubhouse Rights at North Narra. Jeez, I’m right up on the nose, hey. The wave was a real speedy barrel, a closeout. The yellow cover shot (bottom left) is a Dan Merkel photo from a place called Scorpion Bay on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Bruce Raymond and I did some trips there in 75. I wrote a story about it which ran in Surfing and Surfing World. It was me that gave it that name for the story – around the fire there’d be mice running around, and every now and then you’d shine a torch on one and it’d actually be a massive scorpion.

Are you bothered by the way your generation of pioneers are treated by surfing today?
No. I don’t think there’s any lack of respect for my generation of surfers. And I don’t go out seeking respect.

- Jock Serong