<p>Mark Richards (born 7 March 1957), known as MR, is an Australian surfer, five time world champion (1975, 1979–1982), and highly respected by his peers.
Richards was born and grew up in Newcastle, son of Ray and Val Richards, both keen beachgoers. They worked at the Wire Rope Works, Ray Richards as an accountant, but he wanted more than that career could offer and started a business selling second-hand cars, at a time when new cars were too expensive for most people. Together they setup a showroom at the end of Hunter St and lived in an apartment above it.
In the late 1950s Ray saw the new balsa and fibreglass mailbu surfboards, which Greg Noll and other visiting Californians had brought with them in 1956. The new boards were shorter and more manoeuvrable than the solid timber boards used until then. He bought himself one, and when he saw how much it impressed people he made a decision to branch into selling them too, buying from early manufacturers in Sydney. So the business came a combination car yard and surf shop, and in time the cars gave way to the surfboards and it became a dedicated surf shop, one of the first in Australia.
So when Mark was born in 1957 he was always around</p>