Speakers Profile - Mark Occhilupo

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Occy began his professional career on the World Championship Tour (WCT) at the age of 17. Over the next couple of years, the wunderkind of surfing built a strong reputation for his powerful and aggressive style in the water. At the height of his popularity, the 21-year-old Occy scored a part in the Hollywood surf flick North Shore along with another surfing legend, Tom Curren.

However, in the years that followed, Occy slowly dropped out of world surfing and disappeared into oblivion. Over the next few years he battled obesity and depression as well as other personal struggles. It wasn't till the mid-90s that he made a comeback to world surfing, hungry and determined to become the champion. In 1999, Occy finally won the world title.

Fast-track to 2007, and after losing in round three of the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Occy officially called it a day as a touring pro. As the crowd and the other pro surfers cheered him on, a beaming Occy said, “I'm not gonna give a great speech or anything … but it's time for me to exit and let the next generation come up”.

Retiring certainly didn't equal chilling out for the former ASP World Champ. These days he has more than enough on his plate: competing as a wildcard in various ASP events, fulfilling sponsorship commitments and doing media appearances.

His pure passion for surfing never ceases; Occy lives, breathes and promotes surfing full-time, whether through events such as the Occy Grom Comp or through his media appearances.