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What I Learnt From Luke Egan

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Luke Egan has had an extraordinary career which spun 22 years on the World tour. He was definitely a fan favourite on the tour with his style and power which came from his unique large frame which set him apart from the usual slight built competitors on tour.

While Luke didn’t achieve the ultimate high of a World Championship his competitiveness, ability and consistency saw him as a threat at many stages of his career. He finished in the top 5 overall on five occasions with a second and third amongst this as well and most importantly major respect amongst his peers.

Today he continues to mentor some of the finest surfers in the sport with his talent including the like of Connor O’Leary and Courtney Conlogue after a successful period coaching one of the greats in Joel Parkinson. Luke has a very humble approach he is always open to learning which I think is a major strength and reason for much of his success.

I had a great chat to Luke about what it takes to make it on tour, the highs and lows, the characters and of course his incredible up bringing in Newcastle.

There are some great takeaways and learning opportunities from the podcast and I encourage you to listen to the entire episode on the player below or continue for my key learning points from our powerful chat.

Pay attention to detail and work on self belief

“At this level and the elite level there isn’t one big thing that sticks out. It’s really getting neat and tidy on every little thing. You got to keep keep pushing, chipping away and believing in yourself”

In most industries there is not a lot separates competition at the top. But controlling the controllables and as Luke points out that self belief and that attention to detail is a key ingredient.

Preparation is Key

Just as with attention to detail it’s the little extra’s that can help you get it done.

“With surfing its one thing being good riding a wave but you have to be excellent at reading the ocean, the tides, the forecast, the swell direction & the winds. All this stuff is part of being a successful surfer”

Get your priorities right to find balance

“It’s family, surfing, work – in that order"

Luke definitely has his priorities in order which probably is the reason for his big smile and calm persona. He makes a great point how many times do we make work a priority with many of us living to work which makes no sense at all. That happy balance is crucial while also giving key focus as he tells us below.

“My dad was a surfboard shaper and still is at 74 and has been shaping for 54 years and we owned the local surf shop in Newcastle but I was never pushed to be a competitive surfer. Becoming a professional surfer was around the time I was leaving school. I had to make a decision was I going to study, get a job or make something of surfing. It was just about the only time my Dad put his foot down sat me down at the table and said you got some decisions to make and you better make them pretty quick. So I had to start working hard towards a career”

Use your time wisely

“I sat around with Mum and Dad who with owning a surf shop had brands like Rip Curl, Quick Silver and Billabong come around to our house. I used to sit around and be interested in hearing them speak business to my Mum and Dad. You really show an interest, I didn’t watch TV but hung around the side and took an interest in what they were talking about and wanted to know what was going on and find out the next best thing and the next best product”

A smart move by a young Luke but this a great example of using our time constructively. How much idle time to do have in a day? Instead of watching TV which at times we need to relax but in the majority of time we can use this valuable time to put into our projects or continuous learning.

Work on your weaknesses

“My passion was good waves. Surfing and travelling the world for good surf. I had to put a lot of work in to be good in small waves because of my size and little waves were more difficult. That’s when I started getting good results consistently”

The ability to recognise our weaknesses and work to improve them can be a game changer. Sometimes we don’t want to do things we aren’t good at but getting out of the comfort zone can bring major results.

So to summarise the key points:

1. Pay attention to detail and work on self belief

2. Preparation is Key

3. Get your priorities right to find balance

4. Use your time wisely

5. Work on your weaknesses

What I love what Luke is he doesn’t try to over complicate or exaggerate he just tells it how it is. It’s simple and effective chat. Also while many of these have helped him be successful in surfing they are key ingredients that can be translated into other industries and life.

There were some great stories that I didn’t include in the article which I think you would enjoy. Our chat included:

How he loves the release of surfing and continues to push himself after retirement

The Realisations pointed out by Rugby league champion Andrew Johns

The joy of fatherhood at a later age

Growing up in Hamilton South and his love of muscle cars

The advantages of the Mereweather Surf Board Club and Australia’s point of difference

Surfing against his boy hood hero Mark Richards

Meeting Gordon Merchant and building a loyalty to Billabong

Touring the world with his best mates

Competing against Kelly Slater and why he was different

Mind games in competition

His relationship with Andy Irons

Be sure to continue to follow Luke on his journey.

If you love your surfing be sure to check out episodes with Mark Occhilupo, Mark Mathews, Ryan Hipwood and Richie Vas.

You can find all of these episodes online or subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your podcast.

For show notes, athletes lists and more learning articles, please visit

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