FORMER shortboard champion Dean Bevan has successfully qualified for next year's World Surf League Longboard Tour.
Commonly known as "Turbo” by his mates from the Southern Gold Coast and Tweed Coast surfing community, Dean is now a World Title contender. It was his Dad, Ray Bevan, who suggested that he take up the art of riding mals and compete.
"Dad's generation learnt to surf on mals and made the transition to shortboards. He was the one to convince me that I should give it a go,” Bevan said.
Bevan's older brother Shane, better known as "Bevo”, had a successful career on shortboards in the 90's qualifying for the ASP World Tour in 1996.
The year before, Turbo was runner-up to Glen "Ballboy” Pringle in the Australian Open men's shortboard titles at Duranbah Beach.
In those days, the Bevan brothers were high profile members of the Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club. Both were reciprocates of the Queensland Professional Surfing Circuit in the early 90's; the forerunner of Australian Championship Circuit and WQS events like the Kirra Pro.
Turbo was expected to win the Australian Title in 1995 and took the loss to Cronulla's Glen Pringle pretty hard.
"I was gutted when I didn't win and felt I'd let down my mates who all came out cheering for me. That loss stopped me from continuing to compete,” Bevan said.
But as they say in the land of opportunity, when one door shuts, another door will swing wide open and Turbo, renowned for his beach running in the competitive tag team format, turned to rugby league as a winger/five-eighth playing for Cudgen and the Southport Tigers over an eight-year period.
At the recent Australian Titles held at Cabarita, he nailed his first National title with a win in the 0/35's.
"I know every square inch of Caba and love surfing there. It felt great to win there in front of my mates and family,” Bevan said.
Bevan has been working as a caring aide to help his Dad and moved to Wellington Point, Queensland to be by his side. That move qualified Dean to be part of the Queensland team.
Multiple Australian Longboard Champion Hayden Swan offered to teach Bevan the tricks of the trade with years of experience under his belt. Swan had moved to Noosa from Sydney and found himself in the same Queensland Longboard team as Bevan. Swan has been a perennial longboard champion for years and is a great bloke to have in your corner.
Another Tweed legend and Snapper Rocks president, Jay Phillips, has been urging Turbo on. Phillips was recently runner-up in the national 0/35s at Cabarita and has lent support and coaching advice to his old Snapper mate.
Previously the WSL Professional Longboard title has been decided by one event in China but next year will see a return to as many as four combined events to elect a 2018 world champion.
In the Australian world qualifying events this year, Bevan placed fifth at Kingscliff, narrowly missing out on the final but greatly improved on his rankings with a second to Jack Entwistle in Western Australia. That earned Bevan a number two seed on the ratings and qualification for next year's World Tour. Only the top two from each country qualify and at 42 years-of-age, Bevan has reinvented his surfing career.
"I love competing, it's in my blood. I can't wait to give it a serious crack,” Bevan said.
The new World Longboard Tour will have events in Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and other locations. Well done Turbo, your persistence has paid off! Good luck in 2018.