A Milton surf shop owner has invited fellow former pro circuit surfers to reunite and raise awareness about suicide.
Former pro surfer Kurt Nyholm has organised the Surfers Unite to Fight Suicide event, to be held in the Milton-Ulladulla district on August 23 and 24.
Former pro surfers will rekindle friendships on the water in a tag team event on Saturday and reunite at two functions on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Mr Nyholm said he was organising a catch up with a heap of ex pro surfers when a childhood friend and former NSW title winner Jason Kirby took his own life.
About the same time world champion surfer Sonny Garcia had been hospitalised after trying to take his own life.
"It made me really think about where all us surfers are after our pro careers and how mentally fragile we are," Mr Nyholm said.
The public is invited to attend the first meet and greet with surfers at Akwa Surf in Milton at 5pm on Friday. Mr Nyholm will create the draw, go through the format and announce where the competition will be held.
Following Saturday's competition, expected to be held in Mollymook, the surfers will reconnect at Bannisters Pavilion from 6pm and the public is invited.
Keynote speakers will talk about their battles, how to overcome challenges, how to read the signs of friends who may be struggling and life as a pro-surfer.
"There will be surfers talking about life on tour, funny stories, sacrifices, and a really nice catch up where everyone can mingle with the surfers and local public," Mr Nyholm said.
"So as well as having a really fun event - all these guys are still ripping and still surfing so well - [it's about] having all these guys come down for a weekend to reconnect and realise there is a bit of nucleus they can lean on if times get a bit tough."
Mr Nyholm also wants to highlight the need of a welfare officer, similar to many professional football codes, to help guide their careers after surfing whether it be shaping boards, coaching, surf travel or working in wholesale or retail.
"Surfers dedicate so much of their time and lives to becoming a professional surfer and when they are 30-odd they're back at the starting point."