Australian surfski pioneer Dean Gardiner has been recognised for his contributions to the sport. PHOTOGRAPH: © Rob Mousley.


Dean Gardiner has been named the winner of the 2021 Joe Glickman Award.

The Australian surfski pioneer edged out Billy Harker and Greg Kitto to become the second recipient of the accolade, which recognises those who have made profound contributions to downwind paddling.

For the first time, the Joe Glickman Award was decided by the surfski public, with more than 3,000 paddlers casting their vote.

Gardiner was told of the honour in a video conference with the award’s committee members.


“What a prestigious honour to have thrown on us,” Gardiner said upon accepting the award.

“I actually was one of the people that nominated one of the other nominees, so I want to thank both of them for their contribution because otherwise [the sport] wouldn’t be where it is.

“Every person plays their part along the way, and I’m just very fortunate to have been involved in the sport during a great period of time.

“I’m so stoked to have Joe’s name on a trophy that I’m involved with… I really love that guy and he’s sadly missed by all of us.

“I’m just stoked to be part of this whole thing.”

The Perfect Boat for any Paddler
The impact that Harker and Kitto have had on surfski paddling was celebrated during the video presentation. Both will receive a plaque to commemorate their nominations.

“Billy really brought an ignition to the sport by what he did in South Africa.” Dawid Mocke said during his recognition of the nominees.

“And Greg’s storyline on his productions has really brought the sport to a professional level and feel part of an event.”

Joe Glickman’s wife Beth also spoke during the presentation, reflecting on how pleased Joe would be with Gardiner’s acknowledgement.

“Dan, you along with Oscar are Joe’s godfathers of paddling,” she says.

“What he got from you was that you can be serious about a sport and compete really hard, but that it was ultimately about the fun and the fellowship.

“You’re a huge part of why he fell in love with paddling… he would be delighted with this choice.”

The committee of the Joe Glickman Award and The Paddler would like to thank everyone who voted on this year’s award for their support of the project.