Ace tuberider from Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia; best known as one of the original surfers to make extended visits to Indonesia, living half of each year in Bali between 1974 and 1984. McCabe was born (1955) in the south coast New South Wales town of Narooma, moved with his family to Newcastle at age eight, and began surfing shortly thereafter. He finished runner-up in the juniors division of the 1974 Australian National Titles (losing to Newcastle neighbor and future four-time world champion Mark Richards), and placed fifth in the men's division the following year.
McCabe was taught to shape by Sam Egan, father of future world tour start Luke Egan, and in 1976 McCabe founded Trade Winds Surfboards in Newcastle. He did all the boardmaking himself, and worked just enough to finance his trips to Bali, where he fast earned an international reputation for his tuberiding at Uluwatu and Padang Padang. McCabe was also one of the first surfers to ride Grajagan in Java, where he and Hawaiian surfer Gerry Lopez would occasionally perform high-speed crisscross "go-behinds."
McCabe was arrested in New Caledonia in 1984 for smuggling cocaine, and spent 18 months in a French prison.
As of 2015, McCabe lives in Newcastle and shapes surfboards, and continues to visit Indonesia for a few weeks each year. He appeared in nearly a dozen surf movies, including Tubular Swells (1977), Bali High (1981), and Storm Riders (1982).