Born Joshua Ian Kerr in Tweed Heads, Australia on the famed Gold Coast on March 29, 1984, he found himself the youngest of 6 kids (5 of them girls). Tweed Heads has been known to churn out great surf talent, and Josh started his journey at 7 years old when he started body boarding. He was standup surfing by 9 when his father gave him his first surfboard. Sadly, just 2 years later, his father (a local surfboard sander) died of a heart attack while windsurfing.
Kerr was soon surfing competitively, cutting his teeth amid the winding sections of Snapper Rocks and making a name for himself as part of Snapper Boardriders Club. The talent pool on the Gold Coast runs deeper than just about any location on the planet, so Kerr found a niche all his own to set himself apart from the masses. Aerial surfing was fast becoming more appreciated, and at 16, Josh was a standout above the lip. He competed in his first air show and pulled 2nd place. Soon, he all but forgot about traditional contests and instead focused on the international air show events, eventually garnering 2 world championships in 2001 and 2003.
In 2002, after a night of drinking on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii , Kerr was hit by a car. Injured and lying alongside the Kam Highway, Kerr was found by Kelly Slater who called for an ambulance. But he was back in the water and back into the air in no time. By age 20, he began the arduous journey of qualifying for the elite ASP WCT and by 2006, he was ranked 7th on the World Qualifying Series which was good enough for slot on the World Tour. With a new wife, new child, and a bevy of lucrative sponsors, Kerrzy busted down the door in the hometown opener at Snapper Rocks. Finishing 5th in the event (and thus securing a short-lived 5th in the world) and making an international impression against world champ Mick Fanning , Kerr made the quarter-finals before his clash with Fanning in the highest scoring heat of the year. The two Gold Coast locals amassed near perfect scores of 19.53 to 19.10.
Josh Kerr looked to be on his way to pro surfing success, but his star fell as he finished poorly the rest of the year and eventually lost his seed on the WCT in 2008. Midway through the year, Kerr expressed feelings of disillusionment with the strangling format and judging criteria that forced him to hold back and blunt his radical approach. At 23 and ranked 35th in the world rankings, Kerr told FoxSports News, I’m not going to do the tour next year anyway, even if I re-qualify...I feel like I'm training right now to surf safer and that's just not who I am.”
But after making his signature film, “The Kerr-azy Chronicles,” which alerted the world to what was fast becoming one of the most dynamic and exciting surfers on the planet, Kerr again qualified for the world tour and found himself among a new crop of the sport’s most radical surfers. Dane Reynolds , Jordy Smith , John Florence , and Julian Wilson juxtaposed with veterans like Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning, and Kelly Slater; it seems that throwing caution to the wind will no longer be the exception for winning a title but rather the rule.
Josh Kerr - "If I win a world title I want to do it the way I want to surf it."