INDEX
 

Wright, Oscar "Ozzie"


Straw-haired aerial specialist from Narrabeen, Sydney, Australia. Wright was born (1976) in Sydney into a bohemian family and raised "suburban hippy" in Ingleside. He began surfing in 1986, at age 10; later that year he moved with his family to Narrabeen; on Christmas Day 1995, Wright's father committed suicide. "It left a big horrible scar in my heart that I still struggle with," Wright said later, adding, obliquely, that it was a "powerful experience, positive and negative."

Wright developed into a fast, acrobatic rider, less concerned with form ("all flying elbows and knees," as surf journalist Matt George put it) as with testing the limits of aerial surfing. Doing so came at a cost: in 1997 he tore ligaments in his knee, was beached for three months, and immediately afterward suffered a second knee injury that kept him out of the water for another six months.

Wright meanwhile earned a reputation as a kind of anti-establishment professional; his quirky pen-and-ink sketches of thin sad-eyed hipsters were used in Volcom surfwear ads, and Australia's FHM magazine named Wright the country's fifth best-dressed man in 2002 in an ironic nod to the shabby-chic trend he helped popularize. Wright is the lead singer of the Goons of Doom, a tongue-in-cheek semi-punk band formed in 2004. 

Wright has appeared in a number of surf videos, including Computer Body (2000), The Decline (2002), 7873 Transworld Surf (2003), and 156 Tricks (2005)