Open main menu

Mark Mathews

  (Redirected from Mark Mathews (surfer))

Mark Mathews is an Australian professional big wave surfer.

Mark Mathews
Personal information
Born Mark Mathews
(1983-01-16) 16 January 1983 (age 35)
New South Wales, Australia
Residence New South Wales Australia
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 75 kg (165 lb)
Surfing career
Years active 2009–present
Career earnings $442,651
Sponsors O'Neill (brand)
Surfing specifications
Stance Natural (regular) foot
Shaper(s) Darren Handley and Wade Tokoro
Favourite waves any pointbreak
Favourite maneuvers Hacks and tubes


Early lifeEdit

Mathews was frightened of the ocean as a child and spent his childhood visits with family to the ocean sitting on the beach. Later he grew up surfing at Maroubra, New South Wales with fellow Bra Boys the Abberton brothers and his ambition was to become a big wave surfer.[1]

Big wavesEdit

His first surfing of big waves occurred at Shipstern Bluff which saw him featured in photos and videos and gave him his start as a professional when sponsors were attracted.[1]

Mathews transition to big waves has seen him carve a niche in the sport as one of the top big wave surfers in the world.[2] Mathews has surfed many of the world's heaviest and biggest waves including Cape Fear, NSW, Teahupoo, Tahiti, Jaws, Maui and The Right, WA[3][4]

He has won three Oakley Big Wave Awards.

2009 Biggest Wave Ridden[5]

2010 Biggest Slab Award[6]

2011 Biggest Wave Ridden[7]

Red Bull Cape Fear 2014Edit

Mathews and fellow professional surfer Ryan Hipwood organised the first Red Bull Cape Fear event in August 2014.[8] The contest is an invitational event with 20 of the world's top big wave specialists from Australia and overseas. Due to its location spectators cannot watch the event but it is broadcast live and free.[9]

Film and TelevisionEdit

There have been several films that Matthews has been involved in as himself.

In 2007 Matthews appeared in Bra Boys : Blood is thicker than water , "A film about the cultural evolution of the Sydney beach side suburb of Maroubra and the social struggle faced by its youth - the notorious surf gang known as the Bra Boys."[10]

Fighting Fear (2011) is a documentary involving the friendship of Mathews and Richie Vaculik and the competition between them. Several well known surf stars including Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater also appear as themselves.[11]

Another documentary entitled Immersion the Movie (2012) which was 7 years in the making looked at the journey of surfing. Tom Carroll and Kelly Slater are among the many surfers who also appear.[12]

Waveform a short appeared in 2015. Also in 2015 Matthews appeared in an episode of a series Focus: What Drives the World's Top Athletes which featured athletes from many different sports.[13]

He also featured in an episode of ABC's Australian Story called Scared Straight about a documentary being produced about the Bra Boys.[14] He appeared in episodes of The Crew with Richie Vaculik and Macario De Souza.

Mathews appeared in two Australian big wave films featuring Kelly Slater, Journey and Encoded (2014).[15]

Motivational SpeakerEdit

Mark Matthews has become a motivational speaker through a number of companies which provide speakers. An example of a testimonial from attendees attest to the his ability to show others how to overcome the same fears he experiences when facing a big wave,

"I truly believe you have helped my Soldiers overcome fear and doubt on many levels.They exhibit the same attitudes you spoke of, they have found something that they want or value enough to allow them to overcome their fears.” – Michael A. Tougher III Lieutenant Colonel, Infantry Commander[16]

Major injuryEdit

On 25 October 2016 Matthews was working on a photographic shoot on the south coast of New South Wales when he was injured. He was being double towed in 6–8 foot waves when he was caught in a wave and landed feet first on a reef.[17] He suffered, " a broken leg, a dislocated knee, two snapped ligaments, major nerve damage, and an artery that tore lengthways, filling his leg with blood" and he was fortunate not to have his leg amputated.[18]

In an interview in February 2017 Matthews admitted that the injury may end his career as doctors had advised that nerve damage may stop him from surfing in his usual style.[18]

Matthews hopes to one day surf again and is undergoing physiotherapy, yoga and foundation training. He suffers from drop foot which means he can no longer lift one foot and is hoping to use a custom built brace to assist with this disability. A custom built knee brace is also being designed to assist him in the water.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Mark Mathews – Life Beyond Fear By Dan Hutton". Beast. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  2. ^ "The best big wave surfers of all time". Surfer Today. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  3. ^ "The 10 Heaviest Waves In The World, According to Mark Mathews". Stabmag. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Crushed in West Oz By Todd Prodanovich". Surfer. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Mark Mathews wins Oakley Surfing Life Big Wave Award". Surfers Village. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Winners Announced at Oakley Surfing Life Big Wave Awards". 18 February 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Winners announced". Surfers Village. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Gallery: Red Bull Cape Fear 2014". Stab Mag. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Frequently asked questions". Red Bull. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Bra Boys". IMDb. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Fighting Fear". IMDb. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Immersion the Movie". IMDb. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Focus: What Drives the World's Top Athletes". IMDb. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Australian Story - Scared Straight - Transcript". 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
  15. ^ "Maroubra big wave surfer Mark Mathews and Kelly Slater feature in Australian surf festival movies By Torin Chen". 24 January 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Mark Matthews". Speakers Solutions. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  17. ^ "The big wave charger was airlifted to hospital after a heavy wipeout during a double-tow session By Mimi LaMontagne". 26 October 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Mark Mathews on the Wipeout that Might Have Ended His Career By Alexander Haro". The Inertia. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Mark Matthews on horror injury : I refuse to believe that I won't surf again By Jason Lock". Magic Seaweed. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.

External linksEdit