Damien Hardman “2021 Surf Champion”
Taking home a total of 19 pro tour victories over his storied career
Damien was known for his flowing aggressive style seen here competing in Australia at the Coke Contest here on his home break of Narrabeen
Dooma, as he’s known, loves his beers, especially after winning the second of his WSL World Championships in the ’90s.
In his early days as the ISA World Junior Champ, he was sponsored by Aussie company Mango before he became a Rip Curl lifer.
A two-time World Champion, Damien Hardman shares a telling statistic that was only later matched by the likes of Tom Curren and Kelly Slater — most tour wins in a single season, when he grabbed seven event victories in 1988. A World Champ in 1987 and 1991, Hardman was renowned as being “the Iceman” and the world’s toughest competitor throughout the ’80s and ’90s.
Hardman began surfing at age 10 and spent his formative years honing his skills on the beaches of the Sydney, Australia suburb Narrabeen, famous for producing such highly-skilled waveriders like Simon Anderson. He placed third at the 1982 Australian National Titles and two years later won the junior division in both the National Titles and World Championships, which quickly allowed him to turn pro. During his first full season on the pro tour (1995), the razor-sharp goofyfooter with a searing backhand attack finished number 17 and was named rookie of the year. The following season he jumped up to number 6.
By 1987, Hardman, just 21, won his first world title in an epic showdown with fellow Aussie Gary “Kong” Elkerton in the final event at Manly Beach. From there, he became the world’s most dominate competitor over the next six years, finishing number 2 in 1988, number 4 in 1989 and 1990, number 1 in 1991, number 2 in 1992 and number 4 in 1993. He dropped to number 13 the following year and seemingly vanished after that…until the Iceman roared back for a final spin in 1997, at age 31, finishing number 6.
Hardman announced his retirement, but the competitive fire inside continued to burn strong, so he changed his mind. He ended 1998 rated number 14, rose to number 9 in 1999, dropped to 25th in 2000 and ultimately retired for good in 2001, taking home a total of 19 pro tour victories over his storied career.
Of course in his glory years Damien graced the covers of many international magazines, including Surfing Magazine here in America.
PHOTO: Ron Lyon. Induction Day September 23rd, 2021 on stage with John Etheridge, Dylan Slater Rip Curl USA CEO accepting award for Damien Hardman, and PT.