Simon Anderson

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Simon Anderson
Simon Anderson after surfing.jpg
Simon Anderson holds a surfboard at North Narrabeen Beach, NSW, Australia.
Born (1954-07-07) 7 July 1954 (age 66)
Surfboard shaper
Known forProfessional surfer and inventor of the three fin surfboard

Simon Anderson (born 7 July 1954) is an Australian competitive surfer, surfboard shaper, and writer. He is credited with the 1980 invention of a three-fin surfboard design, called the "thruster".[1]

Early life[edit]

Anderson grew up in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney with three brothers.[2] His family lived in a house that overlooked Collaroy Beach.[2] In 1977, he won the junior division at the Bells Beach Classic Easter competition and began shaping surfboards in the Sydney suburb of Brookvale.[2]


In 1977 he won the Bells Beach Classic competition and the Coke Surfabout in Sydney.[2]

In October 1980, after seeing a twin fin surfboard with a "trigger point" fin Anderson had the idea for a new version of the existing three fin design which was later dubbed the "thruster".[1] Anderson created a prototype for the "thruster" design and took it on tour with him to Hawaii and California. When he returned to Sydney, he made two more surfboards with similar designs.[2]

In 1981, using one of those surfboards, he won the competition at the Bells Beach Classic and the World Surf League Offshore Pipeline Masters. "Surfing history took its biggest turn since polyurethane foam" as the "thruster" design became the most popular fin design for surfboards over the next 30 years.[1][3][4]

Anderson retired from professional surfboarding in the mid-1980s[2] and never sought to benefit commercially by patenting his invention. Anderson said: "If I didn’t come up with it right then, there were a lot of other people at the time that were working toward that same end goal. I’m just fortunate, and happy to contribute."[2][5]

In November 2000, Anderson was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for services to surfboard design.[6] In August 2010 Anderson was honored by US Blanks at the Sacred Craft Expo in San Diego California.[3] In 2011, Anderson published his autobiography called Thrust: The Simon Anderson Story[7][8] and was inducted into the Surfer's Hall of Fame.[9]

For some time, Anderson was a surfboard shaper at BASE, a Gold Coast surfboard-manufacturer that closed in 2011.[10][11]

Anderson has support many team riders including Kerby Brown and Cooper Chapman.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Anderson lives with his wife and two sons in Newport Beach, Sydney.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Koteen, Casey (10 August 2010). "Simon Anderson Talks Thruster". Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Nick, Caroll Simon Anderson profile Surfline, retrieved Sept 16, 2012
  3. ^ a b Author Unknown (19 July 2010) Simon Anderson Invented the Thruster 30 Years Ago Surfer Today, retrieved Sept 17, 2012
  4. ^ "Prizes & Placing - 1981 Offshore Pipeline Masters". World Surf League. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  5. ^ Koteen, Casey (9 Aug 2012) Surf Science 30 and Counting Surf Transworld retrieved Sept 16 2012
  6. ^ "Simon Anderson". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  7. ^ (19 April 2011) Simon Anderson reveals the story behind the thruster Surfer Today, retrieved Sept 16, 2012
  8. ^ Thrust: The Simon Anderson Story World Cat
  9. ^ Simon Anderson joins roster of 2011 Surfers' Hall of Fame inductees Surfers Village, retrieved Sept 16 2012
  10. ^ Unknown Author (17 Oct. 2011) Base Surfboard Manufacturer Goes Under,TransWorld Business, retrieved Sept 19, 2012
  11. ^ Unknown Author (17 June 2011) Three-Fin Simon Tells Story; Thruster Inventor Releases Biography, Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)
  12. ^ simon anderson surfboards team