Most figures in surfing history tend to fit neatly into one category or another. They are either explorers, shaping virtuosos, big-wave hellmen or solid persons of industry. Randy Rarick spans all these niches and beyond.
Rarick dreamed up the Triple Crown of Surfing and with partner Fred Hemmings crafted the blueprint for the professional world tour. He was on the beach in Byron Bay when the shortboard revolution took root, and he has shaped boards for some of the best surfers in history.
Many aspects of surfing that you dear reader value, whether its watching the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on the webcast or running your hand down the rail of a vintage Pipeline gun or planning a trip to a far flung corner of the globe, whether you know it or not, Rarick has been directly involved.
Randy’s story in his own words...
From a very young age, I decided I wanted to do everything possible in the world of surfing. I remember at the 11 years old, walking into the Honolulu Velzy shop and smelling resin for the first time. I was intoxicated by the smell and decided then and there, that I wanted to make surfboards. I went on to become a repair expert, that seque wayed into shaping and along the way learned every aspect of the manufacturing process.
Because of my interest in the sport, I passed out posters for the early surf movie makers and went on to work with Bud Browne, Bruce Brown, MacGillivaray & Freeman, Hal Jepsen and a host of others in showing early surf films and this led to producing surf related films, events and other productions.
Growing up in Honolulu and then later moving to the North Shore, I competed in various events and eventually won the Hawaii State Surfing Championships and then was on the Hawaii Team for the World Contest and as pro surfing begin to take off, invited to the Smirnoff Pro-Am, Duke Kahanamoku Invitational and the first "Eddie".
'If there was any aspect of surfing you could possibly do, I did it'
So, I had a broad background as a competitor in both small and big waves. I took my first trip from Hawaii to the mainland USA at 15 and caught the travel bug at an early age, of wanting to experience the surfing culture in other parts of the world, which resulted in a one year journey to Australia when I got out of high school and wetted the appetite for future travels. If there was any aspect of surfing that you could possibly do, I did it. I like to consider myself a "surfing entrepreneur".
With my early travels to Australia, South Africa, Asia, South America and Europe, I saw the emerging trend for the seeds of the first pro movements. There were individual pro events in Australia, South Africa, Peru and of course the USA and Hawaii in the early 70's. But there was no cohesiveness to them.
After a two year World traveling stint, upon returning to Hawaii in 1975, I hooked up with Fred Hemmings, who was the main promoter of surf events at the time, and convinced him we should set up a circuit to link all the individual events together.
Hemmings agreed to include his three Hawaii events and I used my international contacts to string the existing other events together into a tour and in 1976 we formed "International Professional Surfing" or "IPS" for short and this went on to become the first World Tour from 1976 thru to 1983, when it was superseded by the ASP.
'In 1976 we formed "International Professional Surfing" or "IPS"