Weight: 143 lbs.
Hometown: Angourie, Australia
Sponsors: Billabong, Von Zipper, Reef, Surf Hardware, Limited Edition Surfboards
Turn off the Pacific Highway just north of Grafton, follow the road for fifteen miles as it traces the edge of the mighty Clarence River, pass acres of cane fields, cross a small fishing bridge, and you'll end up smack-bang in the happy town Laurie Towner calls home.
The Yamba/Angourie area is deeply entrenched in Aussie surfing folklore. It's here that the likes of MacTavish, Young, Greenough, Treleor, and other Morning Of The Earth pioneers laid early tracks. It's where four-time World Champion Mark Richards, industry icons like Billabong Founder Gordon Merchant, and a host of the nation's best shapers including Rod Dahlberg, Greg Webber, and Luke Short came to spread their wings, slow time, and test the latest designs. It's here where a thousand photographers have come to record a thousand surfers for a thousand videos and magazines. It's here where many of the aforementioned have decided to set up permanent camps. And it's here where second-, even third-generation Aussie surfers like Laurie have been spawned. A small coastal fishing port, it's home to a surfing macrocosm, an obtuse number of beautiful young ladies, and one particular world-class point break that “has it all.”
Laurie says, the night before his second-ever flight to Hawai'i: “On a good day you take off on this big bowl, you can do floaters, hit the lip, cutties, airs–whatever. If it's good, you can get tubed on the inside, then it just hits this closeout. I surfed out there this arvo (afternoon) with just one of my mates.” A good place to grow up? “Yeah!” The perfect canvas for a young fella beginning to draw some serious lines.–J.J.