Ian Cairns (born 24 July 1952 in Kew, Victoria) is a former champion surfer who was also influential in establishing the world professional surfing circuit and particularly the World Championship Tour.
After moving west with his family from Victoria in early 1967, Cairns dominated the surfing scene in his adopted state of Western Australia. From the age of 13 he consistently won every competition on offer. He moved to Hawaii in the early 1970s in search of big waves and before a professional circuit had established. Cairns joined the Australian team at the 1970 and 1972 World Surfing Championships and at Laniakea off Oahu in December 1973 he won the Smirnoff Pro event at Sunset Beach from Hawaiian Jeff Hakman. He won other big events in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship in 1975 and World Cup events in 1976 and 1980.
In 1975 Cairns and fellow Australian Peter Townend devised a rating and scoring system for surfing events. In 1979 he moved to California and with Townend formed the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA). In 1983 he became the first director of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) in which he is a life member.
He returned to Australia in 1986 where he farmed at Margaret River, Western Australia. In 1996 he returned to California where he now lives with his wife Alisa Schwarzstein. Schwarzstein is a former ASP professional.
Cairns was inducted into the Western Australian Hall of Champions in 1990. The Western Australian Surfers' and Waveriders' Association awards the Ian Cairns Award to the Western Australian male surfer of the Year.
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