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1980 Mitch Thorson & Dave Kennedy at South Point

NZ surf photographer Ric Chan took these 1980’s photos of young surfer Mitch Thorson & surf industry legend Dave Kennedy at South Point on Cowaramup Bay.

Photo: 1980 Mitch Thorson & Dave Kennedy preparing to go surfing at South Point. Photo Credit Ric Chan.

1980 South Point Mitch Thorson & Dave Kennedy  - Ric Chan img757

In 1981 Mitch won the coveted Duke Kahanmoku Trophy for the most emerging surfer at the National Surfing Titles held at Bells Beach Victoria.

Images: 1981 Mitch celebrating his Duke award at the Bells Beach contest. Images courtesy of West Coast Surfer mag.

1981 Mitch Thorson Duke Kahanamoku Award

Mitch Thorson won three Australian Surfing Titles before turning Pro in 1983. After a successful ASP career spanning 10+ years he returned to amateur ranks and won a 4th Australian Surfing Title. Mitch now lives & surfs with his family at Margaret River.

Photo: 1981 Mitch Thorson carving on a Star Surfboard at South Point. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1981 Sth Pt Mitch Thorson - Ric Chan 013

Dave Kennedy opened & ran Star Surf & Skate surf shop in Perth city from 1980 until 2006 when at the age of 51 he lost his battle with leukaemia.

Photo: 1980 Dave Kennedy with a Star Surfboard at South Point. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1980 South Point Dave Kennedy & Star Board - Ric Chan DSC00002

See Surfing WA Celebrating 50 Years book for more details of the two legends.

  • Surfing Down South

    From Adrian Wilson:

    Great photos of Mitch and DK.

    I remember at the 1976? spring titles at Car Park, I got into my first Open
    final…….after the comp, I got a lift back to Perth with DK….which I
    thought was really cool.

    Like most WA surfers of that time I went on to become very good friends with DK.
    He was an exceptional guy, terribly sad when he passed away some years ago.

    Keep up the good work….

  • Surfing Down South

    From Steve Cockburn:

    Thanks for the 1980 photos heads up on Dave & Mitch, 35 years went quick!

    I remember Mitch winning the Duke Kahanamoku award for best young up & coming surfers at Bells Australian Titles in the 70’s,

    but didn’t realize he went on to win 4 Aussie Titles. And Dave was a great guy, always friendly.