Josh Constable surfs like a man. No feminine flourish. No fancy pomp to make him seem something he’s not. He’s a regular foot regular guy who surfs naturally. With a hint of Nat Young, he’s a big dude whose surfing looks smooth and effortless in quality waves but forceful and pragmatic in junky contest surf. The son of a surfing dad and the dad to two surfing sons, he is Australia’s working class surf star who has been systematically winning heats and relentlessly traveling the world since he was 15 years old. In the process, he earned the ASP World Championship, 5 Australian titles, and even the first SUP championship for Australia. With almost 40 career titles, Josh Constable works hard and knows how to win. He makes no apologies for embracing the progressive side of longboarding. Defending his longboard sporadic lip tricks and airs: “…if you want to win events and make a living out of the sport I think you have to be solid in the progressive side of Longboarding cause that’s what the judges want to see and that’s how you win.” This attitude has made him a feared competitor for over a decade and will place his name alongside surfing’s greatest pro athletes.
Born January 12, 1980 among the classic points and pumping swells of Noosa Heads in Queensland Australia, Constable was riding on the nose of his dad’s board before he could walk. For a time, he watched passively from the beach as his father Ben surfed, but it wasn’t long before he was paddling out himself. As a youngster, he began competing locally in local junior board riders events as a short boarder. Cutting his teeth alongside peer prodigies Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning, Constable flourished in the bubbling talent pool as a short boarder, but on a family trip to Byron Bay, he rode a longboard for the first time and was instantly hooked. He soon started riding longboards more often and began in 1996 competing in pro events. At 15 years old, he was still surfing both short boards and longboards in contests and was finding inspiration in local surfers Ray Gleave, Jason Blewitt, Wayne Dean and Noel Woods.
A year later, he joined the Professional Longboard Circuit and qualified for the Oxbow World Championships in Hawaii in 1998. At 17, he made the final of the US Open of Longboarding at Huntington Beach. He traveled and competed around the world for the next 7 years, racking up an impressive amount of Noosa Festival and national titles. Those results laid the path to the 13th Annual Rabbit Kekai International Longboard Classic held in Costa Rica. There in juicy Playa Hermosa beach break, he took the 2006 ASP Men’s World Longboard Title, defeating Hawaii’s Ned Snow in a tight man-on-man final and earning a cool $50,000 for his efforts. Afterwards, he remarked, “Yeah mate that was a big accomplishment… a dream of mine since I was a grom.” After being nominated 5 times as “Sports Star of the Year,” he finally won the title in 2006. Soon after, Longboard Magazine named him “one of the most influential surfers of the past 15 years.”
By 2009, a serious fin cut kept him out of the water for 9 months. He celebrated his return to the water becoming the first surfer to ever win 5 Australian Titles. Days later, the 30 year old rode a borrowed board to become the first Australian to win a Stand Up Paddle championship. Already in the record books, he took the Hyundai Pro Longboard Title in New Zealand in 2011 after winning an incredible 3 out of 4 events and then backed up that win with a 2nd ASP Australasian Longboard Tour title.
For some 15 years with his nose to the grindstone, Josh Constaple worked hard to make a legitimate career out of surf competition even when he lacked sponsorship and struggled with waning corporate support of professional longboarding. But every hard worker earns his rest. Today, the former champ with a multitude of historic titles plans to slow down. With a focus on traveling and surfing select events, he will no doubt put in time with his wife Anna and sons Jet and Jive. He says, “There’s no money left over but it’s like that in a lot of jobs…The bonus I have is that I love it and get to tour the world.” I doubt any of us working stiffs can argue with that.