For Dick “Rozo” Rosborough, timing is everything. When he started surfing at 14, in 1964, he was poised for the coming radical shift of the Shortboard Revolution — but not before first cleaning up at contests up and down the East Coast on a longboard.
Rosborough was among the early stars of the fledgling East Coast amateur circuit in the 60s, finishing in second place in the Juniors Division behind Mike Tabeling (ECSHOF, Class of 1996) in the 1967 East Coast Surfing Championships. His natural ability and desire to adapt to the sudden changes in surfboard design led to a spot on the U.S. Team that competed at the 1970 ISF (now ISA) World Contest at Bells Beach.
In a sign of his nomadic future, following that event, Rosborough decided to stay behind in Australia while the rest of his teammates returned to the States. For the next five weeks, he surfed his way north, from the cold reef breaks around Bells to the turquoise runners of Kirra and Burleigh. After Oz, Rosborough dove into shaping, which led him to the North Shore of O’ahu, where he worked withfellow Floridian board builder Jim Turner, producing Turner/Chapman Surfboards alongside surfing legend Gary Chapman. Rosborough became both a respected shaper and Sunset surfer — he even landed on the cover of Surfing Magazine in February 1970. A highlight in his North Shore shaping career came in 1981, when he glassed two thrusters made by Simon Anderson — designs few had seen at that point.
Today, Rosborough is back in North Florida, living on a beautiful, quiet patch of land right where the St. John’s River meets the Atlantic. “I’ve never tried to go big,” he says. “I always just had a little shaping room, glassing room and sanding room. My motto is, ‘I’m not out to take over the world; I just want my little piece of the pie right here.’” He was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame in 2016.