Ian “Kanga” Cairns for Bronzed Aussies: Sagas of Shred

Greetings, Shredderz! Look, I realize that I can be excitable at times, and I’ve referred to more than a few shapers and/or surfboard labels as my favorites. But this time I mean it: in terms of sheer entertainment value, I think there are few, if any, brands with a better name than Bronzed Aussies. Technically speaking, I think the advertisement you see here is for Bronzed Aussies Sportswear, which seems like it was an American clothing licensee for the Bronzed Aussies brand. I’m also unsurprisingly a huge fan of Bronzed Aussies Surfboards. Ian “Kanga” Cairns’ signature model for the Bronzed Aussies Surfboards label has perhaps the single funniest laminate in the history of our great sport.

I can’t begin to explain why the decision was made to depict Kanga as a kangaroo centaur with a hilariously out of proportion lower body, but I couldn’t be happier that this was the case. But while it’s easy to have a laugh at the logo, Ian Cairns was an early power surfer, who transitioned from an upbringing in Perth, Western Australia’s largest city, to standout performances in serious Hawaiian surf. In addition, Cairns was one of the driving forces behind surfing’s transformation into a real, competitive sport. The modern tour no doubt owes much of its current success to Cairns’ organizing efforts.

Bronzed Aussies via Tracks Mag.jpg
Cairns, in what I can only guess was a promotional Bronzed Aussies photoshoot, can be seen in the black outfit. Note the Bronzed Aussies logo on the board. Pictured left to right are Jim Banks, Cheyne Horan and Peter Townend. Photo via Tracks Magazine

The Bronzed Aussies ad you see here originally ran in the May 1981 issue of Surfer Magazine (Vol 22, No 5). I was surprised to read that Cairns went from his Bronzed Aussie roots to relocating full-time to California, where he apparently still resides today.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and check in next Thursday evening for another vintage surf ad, courtesy of Sagas of Shred!


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