One of Europe’s top pro surfers has been appointed patron to the British Surfing Museum.

Quiksilver and Gravis rider Gabe Davies, who holds multiple British and national titles, has agreed to join the not for profit organisation and will help out with publicity, advice and special events.

“We asked Gabe because we believe he is the perfect role model for British surfing,” said museum founder and director Pete Robinson. “His recent achievements alone – riding some of the biggest waves in the world off the coast of Ireland – mean his name is already legendary.”

“He has his own great history of British surfing, with his many competition wins and performances in oceans the world over – but more than that he is a forward thinking man with great credentials. Gabe is someone all surfers of all abilities can look up to with admiration.”

Gabe has been surfing since the age of 11, taking to the waves at his home beach of Tynemouth in North East England. He now divides his time between the UK and South West France where he lives with his wife – the best selling fictional author Lauren Davies.

The British Surfing Museum, sponsored by Oxbow UK, is in detailed talks with a trust in Cornwall and plans to establish a permanent home by 2010. Among its many artefacts, the museum owns more than 100 original British surfboards that create a complete timeline of the last century of surfing in the UK.

Its research has recently uncovered remarkable footage of stand-up surfing in Cornwall in 1929, plus references to surfing taking place in England in the mid 19th Century and evidence that Captain James Cook’s crew tried surfboards when they first made contact with Hawaii in 1778.

Gabe Davies said: “One of the most unique and fascinating aspects of surfing is its history and its heritage. Every surfer feels he or she is a direct descendant of the sport of Hawaiian kings. We all share that special connection with the ocean. The British Surfing Museum is the best way for myself and others to view our heritage first hand, as well as to help educate, and of course protect the roots of British surfing. This is something I feel proud to support and I'd encourage participation in the museum at every level.”

As well as appointing Gabe Davies as Patron, the museum’s steering committee has now been expanded to include World Champion kite-surfer Kirsty Jones, Surf Nation author Alex Wade, surf writer and journalist Alf Alderson, and Neil Watson from East Anglia who cut his teeth in surf publishing in the 1970s with seminal titles that included Ripple and Surf.