Ryan Hipwood was born August 23, 1985, on the Gold Coast, Australia. Raised by a sport-driven family, Ryan always had a strong competitive streak and a passion for sports. At 8 years old Ryan discovered a love for the ocean and the art of surfing. Ryan dedicated every spare moment he had to surfing, and spent most of his time surfing along the Gold Coast’s famous stretch of coastline. Inspired by the professional surfers he grew up with, and the legends of the sport, fuelled Ryan’s desire to accomplish a successful surfing career.
Through his teen years, Ryan participated in countless surfing competitions, and entered the pro junior circuit. During this time, Ryan achieved great results, and was ranked in the top end of the junior competitive series. Ryan found himself feeling burnt out, and frustrated with competition surfing, and decided to focus on pursuing his dream of becoming a professional free-surfer.
Over the years, Ryan has attained some of surfing’s highest and most respected achievements. In 2007 Ryan won the Cloud Nine Invitational contest in the Philippines, a specialty event based on barrel riding skills. In 2008, Ryan gained an invite to the Billabong Teahapoo, trial’s Tahiit, and gained the ‘biggest paddle in’ award. In the same year, Ryan teamed up with good friend Koby Abberton to take the World Tow-in Title, held in Chile. In 2009, Ryan won the Waves Black Knight Awards, a peoples choice contest where the Australian public vote for their favourite freesurfer.
As an accomplished free-surfer, Ryan found his niche’ in the surfing world by discovering the art of Big wave surfing. In 2009, Ryan was runner-up in the prestigious Billabong XXL Big wave Awards for his monster wave ridden at Shipsterns, Tasmania. This was the same wave that made International headlines and almost took his life.
Ryan is always pushing the limits and is constantly searching the globe on an endless quest to find the biggest, most perfect waves. It is this passion for chasing monster slabs and fearless nature that has made Ryan one of the most photographed and respected surfers in the world.