Inspirations: Cheyne Horan

Cheyne Horan is a living legend of the surfing world, with professional experience that spans the lifetimes of some of the current pros.

His 30-plus year career has seen him win major events, come runner up in the world championship four times (1978-81) and consistently rank among the best surfers in the world. But Horan was also known for doing things his way, even from an early age, earning himself a nickname as “the Bondi Brat” among World Tour peers.

“I’m not into doing the same thing that’s always been done,” he once told Tracks magazine, adding, “I’m into evolution.”

Career Highs

Although now based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Horan grew up a Sydney boy. In fact, Bondi Beach was Horan’s introduction to the surf when, at the age of 10, he first went out on a Coolite.

Four years later he won the New South Wales Junior title, followed by the Australian schoolboys championship in 1976. Soon after these wins the first professional surfing tour, the IPS, launched and a 16-year-old Horan jumped on board, finishing in seventh.

In 1977 he also joined the ranks of the high-profile Bronzed Aussies surf team as their youngest member, but his desire for evolution and commitment to doing things differently saw him move on because he “wanted to make it as an individual”.

A year after joining the Bronzed Aussies, Horan finished runner-up to Wayne Bartholomew for the 1978 world title, after winning the Waimea 5000 in Brazil.


“During that stretch, he was the fastest surfer alive, refusing to relinquish single-fins to jump on the twin-fin or the thruster bandwagon,” his website says.

“A radical surfer for his era, Horan won the inaugural Op Pro in 1982 with a crowd-pleasing backhand 360 in the final. His popularity culminated with a win in the 1983 Surfer Poll and a spot in a widely distributed Sunkist soda commercial.”

In 1986 he was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame and in 2000 he battled out many of his previous competitors to win the under-40 title at the Quiksilver World Masters Championship in France.

As well as being a legend in the surf, Horan has made his mark on the entire industry. He frequently rode on innovative boards, like the wide-backed Lazer Zap, and is often referred to when discussion about “radical designs” comes up and has appeared in over 50 surf movies and videos.

Since 1999 Horan has run a surf school Queensland and has coached numerous Australian and World Champions during his time as a professional instructor, showing just how much evolution is possible in the industry.