Allan Byrne Passes Away
By Luke Kennedy | 08 August 2013
The channel-shaping guru who made it possible for all of us to go a little faster.
The surfing world is mourning the loss of legendary surfer/shaper, Al Byrne.
Byrne passed away this morning as a result of injuries suffered from a motorbike accident in
New Zealand-born Byrne was recognized as a master shaper and skilled competitor. Al was on the highly selective invite list for the inaugural 1977 Stubbies and finished second in the Pipe Masters in 1981. “Every surfer in
As a shaper Al was revered by his peers and granted guru status from surfers as a result of his ability to produce beautiful looking, highly functional channel bottoms. While shaping for Hot Stuff in the 70s and 80s Byrne’s clinker-bottom boards were instrumental in the success of Gary Elkerton, Rabbit Bartholomew and Chappy Jennings. Meanwhile Kelly Slater still has an AB or two in his Pipe quiver. “He was hot stuff at Hot Stuff,” suggests legendary surf photographer, Marty Tullemans. “There was a real synergy between him and Gary Elkerton.”
While the pros excelled on Byrne’s boards, thousands of regular surfers enjoyed some of their best rides on his built-for-speed channel bottoms. Surfing has lost one of its true artisans and most universally liked characters.