Surf history

Wayne Parkes

Domineering New Zealand surfer and surfboard shaper from Takapuna Beach, New Zealand; national men’s division champion from 1966 to 1970. Parkes was born (1950) in Whangarei, raised in Takapuna, and began surfing at age 12. He won the juniors division of the 1965 New Zealand national titles, and went on to compete in the World Surfing Championships in 1966, 1968, and 1970. The sure-footed, smooth-turning regularfooter retired from competition in late 1970, at age 21, not long after winning his fifth consecutive New Zealand men’s division title. “I gave up the contests,” he later said, “and then I started surfing properly.”


Parkes learned his boardmaking skills while doing an informal apprenticeship under Australian board shaper-designer guru Bob McTavish in 1966 and 1967; he’s since had a long and successful boardmaking career, based out of Takapuna, and opened Wayne Parkes Surfboards in 1980.


Parkes was featured in a small number of surf movies in the late ’60s and early ’70s, including Out of the Blue (1967), Children of the Sun (1968), and Seven Sundays (1970). He was New Zealand’s top vote-getter in International Surfing Magazine’s 1967 Hall of Fame Awards.


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