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Smith, Col (Sydney)


Dynamic Australian goofyfoot surfer from Narrabeen, New South Wales; winner of the 1977 Australian National Titles, and progenitor in the late '60s and early '70s, along with fellow Aussie Wayne Lynch, of high-performance backside surfing. "I just started going up and down the wave instead of along it," he later said with a shrug.

Smith came on the scene like a Viking, with long white-blond hair and a jutting goatee—Surfing magazine called him "a 1972 version of Errol Flynn"—and locally was nearly as famous for public nudity as for his exploding through-the-lip turns. Australia's Surfing Life magazine in 1992 named Smith as one of Australia's 50 most influential surfers.

Smith was featured in several surf movies of the late '60s and '70s, including Bob Evans' Splashdown (1969), Freeform (1970), and Family Free (1971). A surfing accident in 1989 required spinal surgery; Smith recovered, but drastically cut back on his surfing time. 

In 2014, Smith was elected to the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.