Back in 2008 when the GFC savaged the economic world, it didn’t spare the surf industry. Huge losses were incurred, budgets tightened and redundancies were announced, and those extended to athletes like Laurie Towner.

To many the sacrifice of Laurie over many other surfers on contract at Billabong was always a head scratcher. He had endless talent and style, was nailing covers and charging the gnarliest sessions all around the globe, and to back it all up he was a salt of the earth bloke.

Much to the delight of surf fans across Australia, Laurie has made somewhat of a comeback over the last year or so. With the modest backing of sponsors like Need Essentials, Laurie has made his way to some of the more memorable swell events of late and picked up right where he left off …. Dominating.

The ABC recently caught up with Laurie to talk about that crucial time in his life, and how he handled the swift and brutal transition from surf star to unemployed and back again.