Whether surfing’s second favourite Wayne was in fact the first guy to surf vertically is debatable to a certain degree, he definitely wasn’t the first to draft-dodge the Vietnam war. But straddling the era from longboards to short, as performer, shaper, anti-hero and soulman as both performer and exponent of a lifestyle are known attributes of one of Australia’s all-time greats. There is something consolatory, wholesome for the everyday city surfer to picture a 1970’s Wayne Lynch hiding out under a dew drenched Victorian gum tree playing the didgeridoo, avoiding the authorities and their Vietnam war, waiting for the swell. There’s something reassuring in popular lore of alternative lifestyles and extrapolated fringe values that reminds us that we too are surfers. And why.
Witzig’s 1969 film ‘Evolution’ revealed Lynch and Nat young as new, innovative performers for a brand new era, and his many profound, occasionally sanctimonious utterings on film and in print since, right up to the recent biopic uncharted Waters reveal much about one of the sport’s fascinating characters. Technique-wise a forerunner to Occy and Carroll’s radical goofy lines, persona-wise the forerunner to Curren’s non pop-idol mystique, Lynch’s story will always remind us that it’s those who stray from the conventional path that ultimately shape its true course.