Parasurfing world champion Barney Miller signs new contract with Rip Curl

Rip Curl signs world champion Bernie Miller

If you don't know Barney Miller, please read on.

His teenage life changed forever in 1999 when he was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree near his home town of Sawtelle on the New South Wales Mid North Coast. From that day on, he became a C6 quadriplegic.

Many people have given up on things they love, sports, and dreams they want to achieve. Some of them may even have given up on life. But Bernie was different.

In order to overcome his adversity, he made it his mission to live his life as before the accident. I kept trying to get up and walk even though I was told I couldn't. He returned to the ocean and continued surfing with the help of friends and family.

Bernie's determination is well known in the surfing world, and his efforts paid off in 2017 when he won the Para Surfing World Title and took home a gold medal.

“Ever since I was young, I dreamed of becoming world champion,” he said at the time. "When I broke my neck in an accident 18 years ago, I knew this was a goal I had to let go of," he said on social media after the awards ceremony.

"It's a great honor to have the opportunity to represent this great country, but winning the gold medal and becoming world champion means absolutely everything to me!"

Bernie has always been part of the Rip Curl team through his friendship with three-time world champion Mick Fanning and subsequent association with Rip Curl. When he joins the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, local staff will come together to help him surf the Bells Bowl. Surf sessions with Barney are amazing. Not only is his enthusiasm contagious, but it also allows able-bodied surfers to see how easy it is for them and how difficult it is for those with disabilities.

This week, Barney signed a new contract with Rip Curl, giving him the right to wear the prestigious Rip Curl "black sticker." With Gabriel Medina winning his third world title at the Rip Curl WSL Finals, now is the perfect time to announce Bernie's new contract.

All world champions on the Rip Curl team will be able to remove their red stickers and apply the prestigious black stickers as a mark of respect. This is something only given to world champions like Gabriel Medina, Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, Tom Curren, Damian Hardman, and now Bernie Miller.

Barney's story and his relationship with his wife Kate Miller (known as Kada in her musical career) are well depicted in their film You and Me. The couple are currently touring Australia in their custom campervan, and their life revolves around surfing and music. On their journey, they stopped at the Rip Curl headquarters in Torquay to pick up their black stickers and sign the contract.

"If you watch surfing and you're a surfer, it's your dream to be a world champion, and when that happens, you'll be friends with so many world champions in this family and be part of that elite crew. It's a great honor. " 

"This black sticker makes you stand a little bit higher. It's a great feeling." - Barney Miller

You are an inspiration, Bernie!

Stay tuned for more information on how to interact with Barney and Kate in Australia.