GOING BIG: Professional big wave surfer Ryan Hipwood drives an Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 Space Cab.
GOING BIG: Professional big wave surfer Ryan Hipwood drives an Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 Space Cab.

Stars' Cars: Big wave surfer Ryan Hipwood

TAMING the world's most extreme big waves means little should faze professional surfer Ryan Hipwood.

Yet "Hippo" still goes through the same driving dramas we can all relate to, including those ever-irritating right-lane hoggers.

Ryan has the driving stories to match his high-seas adventures - from rolled Range Rovers to 110kmh T-bones - making him an ideal candidate to tackle our searching motoring questions.

What was your first car?

My first car was a Commodore wagon. It ended up being written off after some lunatic T-boned me at 110kmh. I walked out of that one a very lucky man.

What are you driving now?

I'm driving an Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 Space Cab. Best thing is it gets me anywhere offroad - heaps of low-down torque, which is great on the beach, plenty of room in the back for all my boards, tows like a dream and I get about 1000km to a tank. Can't fault it.

What cars did your family have while you were growing up?

The family were Range Rover lovers - not sure why. They were a nightmare. Plenty of problems. Dad had three: Mum rolled one of them; we blew the engine up on the second one, and the third, I can't remember what happened to that. (Let us guess - it rusted away into oblivion like most British cars from the 1980s? - Ed)


No Caption
EPIC: What Ryan does when he's not driving his ute. He's pretty good at it, too. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED


What is your greatest frustration on the road?

I can't stand people who sit in the right lane when not overtaking.

Do you have any preferred driving music?

I'm hooked on Spotify, so everything from country to metal. You name it, I'll listen to it.

If you were to pick anyone in the world to go on a road trip, who would it be and why?

UFC fighter Connor McGregor. I'd have trouble understanding everything he says, so I wouldn't let him navigate, but he'd be a funny character to have on board.

What would be your dream car if money were no object?

A Bugatti Veyron. 400+kmh top speed, 750kW, 1250 Nm of torque - say no more!


Vital statistics

Who: Ryan Hipwood.

Born: August 23, 1985, Gold Coast.

Resume: Ryan's love for the ocean and surfing started at age eight, and a passion for the big stuff was confirmed when he braved Hawaii's infamous reef pipeline aged just 14.

Chasing big waves ever since, Ryan won the Waves Black Knight award in 2009 as the People's Choice for favourite free surfer, and was runner-up in the 2009 Billabong XXL Big Wave Award for a wave ridden at Shipsterns, Tasmania, and runner-up again in 2012 for his massive backhand barrel at Cloud Break, Fiji.

Despite nearly losing his life in 2012 when surfing The Right off Western Australia's south-east coast, today Ryan is one of the most photographed and respected professional big wave riders in the world.

Ambassador: For Isuzu Ute Australia.