Kanga book launch with PT & Rabbit at Surf World

Surf World Surf Museum Gold Coast will host surfing Legends night with Ian “Kanga” Cairns book launch joined by Peter Townend (PT) and Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew

Surf World Surf Museum at Currumbin Gold Coast will host the Legends of Professional Surfing with Ian “Kanga” Cairn’s book launch on Thursday 4th April from 6pm during 2019 Quiksilver & Boost Mobile Pro.

Big Wave Champion and original ASP President Ian Cairns will kick off the Australian Book tour on the Gold Coast with his Kanga biographical story told in two books as written by longtime West Australian friend & writer Wayne Murphy.

What makes this night even more special is that Kanga will be joined by fellow professional pioneers Peter Townend (PT) and Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew.

Dubbed as the Holy Trinity with the formation of World Professional Surfing much is owed to their significant contributions to take surfing to a whole new professional level.

“When we analyse our careers and remember all the people we competed with, many of us like me and Rabbit and PT had competitive tussles in and out of the water,” Kanga said and elaborated further with a conciliatory remark.

“In essence though, we need to look back with a sparkle in our eyes and gladly accept we are all part of surfing history, that we have many good things and experiences in common. We need to recognize this so we can laugh about the hassles we had, and be supportive and congratulatory to each other.”

There’s been a lot of water under the bridge between these professional warriors yet Cairns philosophically accepts the past and is happy to join up with his fellow competitors.

Kanga stated, “I look back with a smile because intense rivalries are part of what makes sport so wonderful. Our conflicts from yesteryear also provide material for more stories today”, renowned for never holding back and telling it how it was in those formative days.

“Surfing in contests, I viewed my fellow competitors as enemies to crush. It was that intense. I always saw sport as a metaphor for war. There have been many great sporting moments throughout the years where numerous pro surfers duelled with fellow contestants.”

Cairns feels honoured to have fought hard against super competitive guys like Mark Richards (MR), Shaun Tomson, Jeff Hakman, Peter Townend (PT), Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, Michael Ho, Buzzy Kerbox, Reno Abellira, Michael Peterson(MP), and others of their stature.

“All of them have truly enriched my life. To have stood and be counted as a worthy adversary in the heat of battle with these brave men still fortifies my very being. So now, returning to the Gold Coast and sharing the stage at the Surf Museum with Rabbit and PT, to share some more stories and launch this book, well that really stokes me!”

Yes guaranteed this night will definitely keep the stoke alive and will also be attended by other giants of the surf industry such as  Surf Author Phil Jarratt, Movie makers Jack McCoy & Dick Hoole and special guest appearance from Gold Coast-based Australian singer-songwriter Terry Hannigan of Morning of the Earth fame for his song, “I’ll be alright.”

Tickets to be sold ONLY on Eventbrite – $10.00 admission

Background information on Kanga

Ian Cairns was born in Sydney where he started surfing but his family moved to Perth where his surfing career took off riding the big waves of Margaret River which gave him the edge in tackling the Hawaiian surf on North Shore of Oahu.

Throughout the 70’s era of the single fin, Cairns was such a dominant figure in Hawaii he was regarded as one of the best surfers in the World.

His famous snapback was his calling card as seen carving hard and fast during the 1977 Stubbies Classic at Burleigh Heads. It was the first ever man-on-man event which revolutionized the way surf comps were held around the world.

The event was won by enigmatic Kirra Aussie superstar Michael Peterson.  A week later Ian was on Phillip Island where he defeated Michael Peterson to win the Alan Oke Memorial event for the second year running.  A week later he was flying to Hollywood to hook up with world champion Peter Townend to commence filming the John Milius Warner Brothers blockbuster “Big Wednesday”.

Together with Mark Richards, Rabbit Bartholomew, Peter Townend and South Africa’s Shaun Tomson they redefined Professional surfing and demonstrated how you could actually make a living out of surfing. While PT and Rabbit would win World titles in 76 & 78 respectively, Cairns was deprived of a World Title yet his free surfing was second to none especially his performances on the North Shore of Hawaii earning the former West Australian known as “Kanga” a World Class reputation and culminating in taking out the OP Pro in 1980 win at Haleiwa in double overhead waves.

Surfing was about to transform even more in the following years with new advances in equipment, the introduction of the thruster by Simon Anderson and changes to its administration too, led by Ian Cairns who would become ASP’s first CEO in 1982.

His vision for surfing to be more professional became a reality. Don’t miss this night of the Titans of World Professional Surfing, the Australian Holy Trinity as they trace the steps of Surfing Professionalism in a highly entertaining night, as these pioneering professional legends peer into the crystal ball of surfing and commentate on its future!


04 April 2019


6:00 PM - 10:30 PM



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Surf World Surf Museum
35 Tomewin Street, Currumbin