Hi, my name is Mark Mathews. My discipline is Surfing. My friends call me Chalky. I was born on 27 November 1981 in Sydney, Australia. My special talent is persistence. My philosophy of life is life is very, very, short. My favourite food is garlic prawns. My favourite music is Lorde, at the moment.
As one of the world’s most committed heavy-water surfers, there isn’t much out there Mark Mathews hasn’t done. He’s scouted, surfed and survived some dark and dangerous ocean. He helped pioneer the surfing of breaks like Cape Fear, Cyclops, Shipstern Bluff and more recently The Right in Western Australia. He’s scored a perfect 10 at Pipeline that still might be the best wave he’s ever caught. He’s made the invite list for 'The Eddie' in Hawaii and has been named the best big-wave rider in Australia three years running.
“No one is born fearless,” says Marky. Growing up in Maroubra as a shy, skinny, scared kid, the idea of becoming a big-wave surfer seemed more nightmare than dream. “In Maroubra at that time the number one thing you could do to impress the older guys and get respect was surf big, heavy waves, so that’s what I did.”
Mark got noticed, but also got an education in the trade of big-wave surfing. Sharp, calculated and pragmatic, Marky soon became the thinking man’s big-wave lunatic. There is no dumb luck in what he does. He’s thought it all out and knows you can’t out-think a 20-foot tube. At that point you’ve just got to stand tall and stare it down, and by doing this for over a decade he’s become one of the most respected surfers in the world.
Marky is maybe the most high profile underground guy in surfing. Over the years he’s scored a brace of magazine covers and the showreel of his best clips is jaw dropping. He’s starred in his own award-winning feature film, Fighting Fear, alongside his TV series, The Crew. But while it’s unlikely that Mark’s surfing career will go belly-up from chronic underexposure anytime soon, it’s been built on a ferocious work ethic, a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to put his neck on the line.
Sport(s) you practice