New Zealand surf photographer Ric Chan is a man of many talents.
Ric – In the 60s I was the lead singer in a pop band in NZ performing Beatles covers in towns around the North Island.
After reading how to make a surfboard in Popular Mechanics, I went about making my own. The problem was, I forgot to put in rocker and my first board nose-dived a lot.
Because my father would not let me touch his Pentax camera, I bought my own Pentax and added a 600mm lens (which I still have until this day), and took off to shoot surf.
Of course, the only place that had the surf was OZ. It was there that I would shoot and ride surf. Starting in Qld from where the long ride started.
I got a job in Brisbane, then later moved to the Gold Coast, from where I shot and surfed Byron Bay, Currumbin, Noosa and most of the other surf breaks in Qld and northern NSW.
On my travels, I met some of the biggest names of surf at that time including Lane Habib (who asked me to come to SA), Wayne Dean, Peter Drouyn, John Henneberry and many more.
After a year or so on the Gold Coast, I took off for Sydney, where I found and rebuilt a VW Kombi. I stayed at Jacks Knight’s parents place for some time, then took off for SA where I shot surfing photos of Wayne Lynch and Wayne Dean. And from where I was commissioned by John Arnold to fly to Perth to cover the 1969 Aust Champs at MR.
After returning to SA, I put together the Evolution Poster/Ticket for John Arnold. Then I decided to return to WA and drove my kombi over the still unsealed Nullarbor Plain.
Image #1. 1969 Ric with his gold Kombi and surfboard on the Nullarbor. Ric Chan pic.
In WA I continued surf photography and worked as photo/journalist, male model, radio voice over and DJ in the 70’s into the early 80s.
In the 80s I travelled to Bali and managed Cheaters Nightclub and worked as a journo there.
Some people thought I had fallen off the edge of the earth in the 90s, but I had returned to NZ after the loss of my wife Sami.
In NZ I scored some work in radio voice overs and some parts in a couple of TV series. I have five credits as an actor in NZ 1997-2002…see filmography below.
Image #2. Ric Chan Filmography. Source IMDb
I appeared in three episodes of the popular fantasy TV series Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001) filmed on location in NZ. Lucy Lawless played Xena, a warrior who used her formidable fighting skills to help those unable to defend themselves. I played the characters: Master Swordsman, Healer and Jiu.
When I was playing the nasty Master Swordsman, I was seen gloating after I smashed her sword – then she punched my lights out!
Image #3. 2001 Ric Chan Master Swordsman in Xena TV series.
Image #4. 2001 Ric Chan prisoner in Xena TV series.
Image #5. 2001 Ric Chan prisoner in Xena TV series.
Them were the days!!!
Coming soon Ric Chan’s late 1960s American surf magazine articles.