WHEN it was Matt Hoy's turn to speak at a World Surf League lunch at Merewether Surfhouse on Friday, he proudly introduced himself as "Tex Hoy's dad".
Tex, of course, is the rising Newcastle Knights playmaker and fullback who has put the family name back into the sporting spotlight, 20 years after his surfing father stepped back from the pro tour after a decade in the top league.
It's an inter-generational family joke, because as Matt's father, Brian Hoy, told the Newcastle Herald on Saturday, it's the same way that he resorted to introducing himself as Matt's surfing career took hold.
Brian was a very good surfer in his own right, and was Merewether club champion in 1974-75. But as his exploits were overshadowed by his son's, Brian Hoy became "Matt Hoy's dad".
But he was more than just a "dad" in a surfing sense because he also shaped many of the boards that his son rode on the world tour. Ditto the Egans, with master shaper Sam Egan crafting many of son Luke Egan's boards on tour.
At 70, Brian Hoy is still surfing and shaping at Skennars Head near Ballina, while Sam is still hand-shaping boards in Newcastle at 78.
STORIES AND VIDEOS SO FAR:
- Ten point rides: Newcastle's best surfers across the decades
- 'Girls can't surf?' Yes they can. And how
- Boardriding brilliance on the bus from Wallsend: Kelly Bashford
- Longer hair, shorter boards: Peter Cornish
- 'Radical Roger' Clements, with rare 1968 video footage
- Opposite ends: Smooth Belinda Baggs and the frantic Sabre Norris
- The impossibly stylish Craig Anderson
- Paige Haggerston: Aussie champ at 17
- The tropical life of Peter McCabe
- Merewether pioneers Pam Lane, Nancy Newburn and Judy Clements
- Young guns Amelie Bourke and Ellie Lambkin
- Revered at Redhead: 'the other' Col Smith
- Bells Beach winner at 16: Nicky Wood
- Elle Clayton-Brown riding the WQS table
But back to Matt. Born in 1971, he says he didn't do that well in amateur contests before Luke got in his ear when he was still at school and said: "Come on the tour".
Sponsored by surf brand Quiksilver, he surfed on the top-level tour for 11 seasons from 1990 to 2000.
He won three events over that time, with his most famous victory coming at the 1997 Rip Curl Pro at Victoria's Bells Beach.
1997, as no Newcastle rugby league fan will ever forget, is the year that the Newcastle Knights won their first NRL premiership, led by their surfing halfback, Andrew Johns.
Johns and Hoy have been good mates for years, and the tales of their nights on the tiles at Merewether's Burwood Hotel (and well beyond) are the stuff of legend.
In May 2012 we reported Hoy pulling an unconscious Johns from big surf at Merewether.
The two are scheduled to unfurl their double act at a sports dinner at Central Leagues Club, Charlestown on Saturday night: "Andrew Jones and Matt Hoy, Unplugged and Uncensored."
At $120 a ticket, it's already a sellout.
In 2019, Hoy told Surfer magazine his behaviour would get him "kicked off today's tour", but his party animal reputation tends to obscure the reality: that he was a hell of a surfer.
Luke Egan had this to say yesterday: "I think Matt was pretty happy with what he did on the tour.
"He won Bells. I never won a Bell! That's almost like Wimbledon, to get to that level, to win that contest. So it's hats off from me.
"He is absolutely one of the best to ever come out of Merewether."
GREAT READ HERE: Neil Jameson on 50 years of Merewether Surfboard Club
As rugby league has the "Gidley flick", so surfing has the "Hoy hack".
There's one in the bottom left photo in our frame of four pics, above.
Hoy buries the board and leaves a monster rooster-tail as wrenches himself back towards the breaking lip.
His aggressive approach made him a surf video favourite, and he appeared in more than a dozen films, back before the digital age flooded the world with footage.
Surfing moves are constantly progressing, but the power game that Hoy is famous for will never go out of fashion.
And in case you are wondering, when nrl.com interviewed Matt and Tex last year, Tex said he didn't surf, "at all".
"I don't enjoy paddling," he said.
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