How a marketing strategy opened the doors for Luke
In the early 1990s, Rip Curl unleashed a new concept known as The Search.
It was a stroke of marketing brilliance that paved the way for a new professional surfer known as the ‘Free Surfer’, filmed to surf unrestricted in perfect waves.
North End boardrider Luke Hynd, 23, got his call-up to join the new version of The Search.
“I was lucky enough to be on the Rip Curl team when they were initially revitalising The Search campaign,” Hynd said.
“With all of the top guys busy competing on the WCT, Rip Curl needed someone that had a more flexible schedule to be able to jump on last-minute trips.
“Pretty much just got a call one day and next minute I was living the dream.”
His most memorable search trip was the first one he was sent on and is now famously documented on Rip Curl’s YouTube as Louie’s Left.
“The trip was to a remote atoll in the pacific,” he said.
“It took about four days of transit to get to with some wild open water crossing in a small boat.
“When we finally arrived, I surfed a perfect left-hand reef pass by myself all afternoon.
“The next day the swell died off and we went home.”
Born in Southport, Hynd learnt to surf with older brother Harry at the age of 10, when their dad bought them their first boards for Christmas.
Growing up on the Gold Coast has been a huge bonus for his surfing development.
“It’s a perfect place to grow up surfing. Access to world-class breaks, consistent swell year-round and warm weather make it pretty easy to lure you into the surfing bug,” Hynd said.
“Being surrounded by a lot of good surfers and waves in competitive line ups definitely help you push your surfing from an earlier age.”
Growing up he has looked up to Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson describing them as the epitome of performance surfing.
“Having the opportunity to see them surfing in person has been pretty special, “he said.
His best contest results include runner-up in a QS1000 at Cabarita last year and third at a QS 3000 in the Caribbean in 2018.
Last month he was selected to compete for his club, North End, at the Straddie Assault placing equal second with host club Point Lookout.
“Luke Hynd is an integral part of the North End family,” North End president Damien Healey said.
“He’s been a great member for over ten years and he’s won several Open NEB titles, the JA club championships and he had won countless heats for us in big team club events.”
Being a backhander living on the Gold Coast, point breaks has helped Hynd to hone his backhand skills at Burleigh Point.
“It’s given me a lot of opportunities to practice my backhand reos,” Hynd said.
“I’m definitely not one of the boys out there but I pretty much know most of the Burleigh crew and knowing who not to snake is a major key out there.”
While he enjoys competitive surfing, he says he finds it very structured.
“To do well you must surf to a specific judging criteria.
“When filming for my movies, I don’t need to worry about surfing in front of a judging panel and can surf more organically.”
According to Damien Healey, the North End groms really look up to him.
“Louie is one of the most stylish free surfers getting around, he’s completely down to earth and humble and always giving the groms encouragement and support,” he said