Child star at sixteen, ranked third in the world at seventeen, winner of the Pipeline Masters at nineteen – Mark Occhilupo looked set to sweep all before him with a radical, spontaneous, irresistible brand of surfing. Yet a spiralling descent into drug abuse and depression snuffed his flame out prematurely when he quit the pro tour at just twenty-two. After years spent immobile and overweight on the couch, in his so-called ‘Elvis period’, Occy eventually emerged from his cocoon, reborn and ready to tackle a whole new generation of surf stars. His celebrated comeback to win the world title in 1999, sixteen years after his career began, is a sporting fairytale without equal.

“Occy was always a missile going hyperspeed, about to blow up at any moment. – it’s true of so many highly intelligent or gifted people . . . All of his passion was put into his surfing.” Kelly Slater, 11-time world champion.

“By going down so hard, by fully falling apart, he was able to give himself longevity. It’s like the Buddhist teachings about birth and death – something has to die for new birth to happen, and that happens inside us too. Occy was the ultimate example of that.” Tom Carroll, two-time world champion.



5 OUT OF 5 STARS: “This book is All-time. A story of the rise, fall and rise of a true sporting legend. A tale of a sportsman who changed the path of his sport only to find the trappings of fame and fortune too much. This book is a must for any surf fan but stands up as a top read for anyone. The story is one of someone overcoming adversity and realising a life-long dream. Not only is Occy one of the greatest surfers of all time, he is an example to anyone of how to chase and realise a dream no matter what obstacles lie in your way. A brilliant read, I’d recommend this to anyone!”