From an early age, travelling to the coast from a small country town in the north-west of New South Wales, was an annual event for Richard and his family. Richard moved to Avalon on the northern beaches of Sydney at the age of ten, and from that time was captured by the spirit of the ocean.
These trips to the beach birthed a life long Spirit of Adventure that has led him to the outer reaches of Samoa, North West Africa and the snow covered peaks of Hokkaido in Northern Japan. Richard also won the 1973 Australian Surfing Title at Margaret River in Western Australia and other major surfing events along the way. He is also credited with the discovery in the early 70’s, of the now famous Bali surfing break Padang.
While working in the film industry he was offered a job as one of Australia’s first professional surfers with Ron Wade for $30 a week. Then headed over to Shane Surfboards with a move up to the Gold Coast and eventually working with Dick Van Straalen and the Burleigh Heads Surf Co. That lead to him becoming a major force within Australia’s surfboard manufacturing industry.
After a win in the Australian titles, beating the likes of Michael Peterson, PT and Rabbit, he headed off to Hawaii.
A Duke Kahanamoku invitee and fourth place in the Pipe Masters in 73. After Hawaii in 73 travelling with Dick Hoole to Bali filming Tubular Swells (74).
On a day when the wind was onshore and big swell he paddled down the coast from Uluwatu to Jimbaran Bay, then to Kuta. Discovering the now famous break of Padang, and other breaks on the way.
Coming back to Bali from a surf trip to France where he shaped with Mons. Barland in Bayonne, Morocco and England, he took Dick Hoole, Bill Delaney( making the movie Free Ride), Peter McCabe, Terry Richardson and Tony Eltherington down to Padang.
He shaped for Klemm Bell in Torquay then a stint in Ventura, California where he hung out with the Campbell Brothers.
Back on the Gold Coast he started his own surfboard business, with business downturn and an offer from Billabong to join the company working as an accessory designer for 15 years.
Demand for his boards pulled him back into shaping full time and time to paint (one of his passions).
People also wanted to learn to shape so Richard started The Surfboard Shapers Workshop http://www.surfboardshapersworkshop.com.au/ and has taught well over 500 people to shape, many going on to start their own businesses.
Painting commissions, workshops, and shaping now fill his time at his studio at Miami (next to Burleigh) on the Gold Coast. As well as a successful surfing career, Richard has been handcrafting surfboards for over 50 years. Shaping boards for state and Australian champions as well as internationally. Travelling extensively and following the surf around the world that still inspires him to create works of art that reflect his love of surfing and the ocean. These range from modern contemporary style paintings on canvas to classic seascapes and timeless images of surfers on waves.
Since his early teenage years, his camera and journal have been at his side capturing experiences both terrifying and amusing. Richard’s books shares photos and stories of those travels.