Mark – who had been reported missing since February 7th – was a Newquay based shaper at the centre of the Seabase crew. Despite his critically acclaimed skills as a craftsman Mark avoided the spotlight, instead he let his work speak for itself.
His boards displayed the quality of a man who prided himself on his work. I met with him a few times, both for shoots and to see my own board being made. I was amazed at the skill he possessed in turning a lifeless chunk of foam into a beautiful, performance surfboard, entirely by eye and hand (with the odd template and ruler thrown in for good measure.)
In my experience he was a quiet and humble man. At the time I was a University student focussing on shaping as a project. He happily accommodated me for an entire day, talking me through the whole process, allowing me to create the shots I needed, even letting me have a go at shaping myself. He was a genuine man with plenty of advice and stories to share. He was truly talented at what he did, and had contracts with brands such as Nineplus and Stewart during his career. It was clear that this talent was recognised within his peers.
Surfing has lost a truly gifted man under tragic circumstances. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at Seabase.