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    30 of the Best Surfers Ever – Surfd

    People have been riding waves for thousands of years. Captain Cook, seeing a native Tahitian surfing in a canoe in 1877, exclaimed, “I could not help but conclude that this man felt the highest pleasure.”

    perhaps that is what makes surfing special: it is an activity that gives the surfer immense joy, adrenaline and satisfaction. For the ancient Hawaiians, surfing was the sport of kings: a way to demonstrate strength, skill and bravery. they sailed in canoes and dug logs, expertly carved to support the rider on an often bumpy ride to shore.

    Reading: Best surfers of all time

    When Protestant missionaries arrived in Hawaii, they considered surfing a sinful activity and, along with many other aspects of Hawaiian tradition and religion, attempted to erase it from the culture. If it weren’t for the tenacity of some dedicated locals like the legendary Duke Kahanamoku, surfing might not even exist today.

    the father of modern surfing

    Born in Honolulu in 1890, Duke Kahanamoku was the first world-famous surfer. when he was young, he dropped out of high school to earn money to support his family. He spent his free time on Waikiki Beach and shocked the swimming world when, a relative unknown, he broke the American freestyle record and quickly earned a spot on the United States swim team. A remarkable talent, Duke competed in three Olympic Games between 1910 and 1924, repeatedly setting the world record in the 100-meter freestyle and winning several medals. he was a dashing sportsman who valued the ‘aloha’ spirit of his homeland. Aloha means “breath of life” and is a sacred Hawaiian way of living, encouraging people to treat each other with love and respect.

    Despite suffering racial discrimination due to his darker skin and struggling financially for remaining an amateur athlete, Duke embodied the aloha spirit, sometimes even slowing down mid-race to let his competitors catch up with him. they will reach.

    World-renowned for his swimming prowess, increased demand for Duke’s attendance at competitions and exhibitions around the world. he embarked on several world tours both to give swimming demonstrations and to share his passion for surfing. He was the star of the world’s first surfing exhibition on the freshwater beach in Sydney, Australia, in 1915, demonstrating not only how to ride waves but also how to shape boards from local wood. He held similar demonstrations everywhere from New Zealand to California, planting the seeds of what would become the global surfing subculture.

    duke was inducted into the surfing hall of fame, and when hawaii became a state in 1959, he was named an aloha ambassador. Throughout his life, Duke continued to surf traditional Hawaiian surfboards, staying true to his roots and the aloha spirit.

    what is a surfer?

    A surfer is someone who has mastered the skills necessary to get on a surfboard and ride a breaking wave. for previous generations, this meant living near an ocean shoreline with regular wave activity. Today, a surfer can learn and develop his skills in a variety of wave pools, from Texas to Switzerland.

    There are no formal levels in surfing, but some loose definitions are:

    • professional surfer – an elite athlete, usually competing in the world surf league. an example is 11-time world champion kelly slater.
    • free surfer: someone who has reached the elite level but does not compete in competition. They are usually sponsored to travel and shoot videos for one of the major surf brands. one example is dave “rasta” rastovich, who has become a major voice in ocean conservation.
    • specialist surfer – someone who has specialized in a wave or condition type. For example, you get “big wave surfers” specialists or those who are “pipe specialists” meaning they have mastered banzai pipe in Hawaii. an example is jamie “j.o.b.” o’brien, who lives on the aforementioned pipe beach, and hosts a great youtube channel about his exploits.
    • Heavy Surfer: Someone who surfs most of the days of the week and has traveled a lot. they are confident in most conditions and can perform a wide range of maneuvers. they tend to base their lives on surfing and have jobs that allow them to prioritize catching waves over work.
    • intermediate surfer – someone who surfs regularly but doesn’t necessarily revolve their life around surfing. they can confidently ride small to medium waves and will be able to perform a variety of maneuvers, including slices (change direction), top turns (hit the edge or steepest part of the wave), and floats (ride on a breaking lip). ). they get rammed (ride inside a wave) from time to time and can even make a radical move (high performance) from time to time. intermediate surfers usually have a day job and can be considered “weekend warriors”.
    • beginner surfer – someone who is just starting out or surfs only a few times year. some people never graduate from this category. to advance to the intermediate level, a beginning surfer must at least be able to bottom turn (take off, then descend and change direction) before riding along an unbroken wave.
    • kook – a crackpot could be any of the above categories because it simply means someone with little regard for others. they can fall into another surfer’s wave or paddle into waves beyond her skill level, putting others at risk. they may just be in line causing a scene, usually about being a local and seeing strangers paddling. they are the worst kind of surfers and have spawned a number of hilarious instagram channels, such as wacko of the day.
    • grommet: these are young surfers, usually under the age of 15. .

    Surfers are often very weather conscious and pay close attention to wind direction and swell size. when the wind blows offshore (blowing from land to sea), they get excited because this will fan the waves into a silky smooth surface perfect for riding a surfboard. bumpy ground conditions are generally less pleasant.

    Most surfers have at least one surfboard. modern boards tend to be made of polyurethane, epoxy, and fiberglass. however, there is a revival of old-style wooden alaia surfboards taking place.

    Surfers tend to buy gear and clothing from a variety of surf brands that make up a vibrant surf industry. surf fashion tends to be laid back and casual and many non-surfers aspire to achieve the surf look. this is how brands like quiksilver and rip curl ended up in major shopping malls around the world.

    a list of the best surfers

    A list of the world’s best surfers will always be controversial and generally biased towards more recent contenders. With surfing’s colorful history and rich heritage, this article could contain hundreds of names that most people in the surfing community would recognize and revere.

    In this list, you’ll find people who aren’t necessarily the best or the most successful, but who are certainly among our favorite surfers in the world. we have another article available if you are interested in the best world champion surfers of all time.

    from slater to occy, from ross clarke-jones to cheyne horan, let’s start now.

    andy irons

    ai, one of the most dynamic surfers to ever ride a wave, was a multiple world champion who wore his heart on his sleeve and never backed down from anything. A native of Hawaii, Ai was the type of person who put family and friends above all else, and was fiercely protective of everyone close to him.

    andy dominated when the waves got heavy and dangerous at places like pipe and teahupo’o, but he also knew the smaller waves and was a ruthless competitor. He tragically passed away in Dallas in November 2010.

    find out more about andy irons:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • andy irons documentary kissed by god

    shaun tomson

    1977 world champion shaun tomson was the world’s answer to the hippiedom surrounding surfing in the 70’s and 80’s. he was clean, good looking, intelligent and extremely passionate about the sport of surfing, surfing and coaching surfers daily in an attempt to be the best in the world.

    shaun honed a skill to ride deep into the tube by pumping with a wide stance while in the tube, often coming out of waves that seemed impossible to do. Shaun pursued a career in acting (in God’s hands), writing, film production, and motivational speaking, and today he enjoys popularity with all of his efforts.

    read shaun tomson surfer’s full profile.

    find out more about shaun tomson:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • website
    • shaun interviews tomson
    • the surfer code
    • ‘bustin’ down the door’

    kelly slater

    there’s very little to say about king kelly that hasn’t already been said, but the history books might start to fade a bit on his significant contribution to the sport by winning 11 world titles, and focus more on the legacy he has . created with the kelly slater surf ranch, the most perfect, longest and most intense artificial wave in the world.

    slater has branched out in many different directions besides the surf ranch, including food and beverage, furniture and clothing, and is the one person who fully embodies all the elements of our sport.

    next year will be the last of his tour, but it won’t be the end of slater as he will remain one of the most important people in surfing for decades to come.

    find out more about kelly slater:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • surf ranch
    • slater designs
    • outerknown
    • kelly slater on cloudbreak
    • moments with kelly

    richards brand

    mr is one of the most dominant competitive surfers in history, setting a new precedent when he won his fourth consecutive world title (1979-1982).

    richards is heralded as the pioneer of the twin fin surfboard, a design that allowed him to progress his surfing to levels of performance never seen before. his “wounded seagull” stance, knee strike was, and still is, one of the most recognizable surf styles we’ve seen.

    mark richards, one of the most complete professional surfers, won small wave events in australia and excelled in the powerful conditions of hawaii.

    Now in his 60s, mr continues to shape beautiful surfboards, often finished with his iconic twin fin configuration and retro spray jobs.

    more about mark richards:
    • world surf league profile
    • instagram
    • website
    • richards brand clothing

    layne beachley

    mick fanning

    Multiple world champion mick fanning has had a great run on the championship tour and is still just as relevant today after retiring earlier this year from the world tour.

    mick is best known for his encounter with a great white shark in jbay while surfing the jbay corona open final, with the entire incident caught on live stream. he also invented a shoe that opens bottle caps, currently surfs rip curl the search trips and works at the balter brewery he recently opened with some of his friends.

    find out more about mick fanning:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • fighthmnd
    • mick fanning’s softboards
    • ‘surf for your life’ by mick fanning

    tom carroll

    Two-time world champion and also the smallest world champion, the diminutive goofy-footer was one of the most popular power surfers of his generation, choosing power surfing over all else.

    Tom was fearless and made a name for himself charging pipes, scrambling into huge barrels, and carving a crazy snap under the edge of a massive pipe during a particularly gnarly event.

    carroll was also part of the boycott of south africa during the 1985 world title and did not win the title that year as a direct result. Missing the entire South African leg (there were four events), he was outranked and lost his bid for the world title.

    find out more about tom carroll:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram
    • tom carroll paddle surf

    gerry lopez

    also known as mr pipeline, gerry lopez is widely regarded as one of the most stylish surfers to ever grace our sport. His casual approach to surfing bone-crushing waves, on his beautiful “lightning bolt” shaped surfboards, created the iconic images that remain stunning to this day.

    Modern surfers use Lopez’s positioning and grace under pressure as a measure of performance some forty years later.

    gerry, a two-time pipe masters winner, is one of the most recognizable surfers in history despite never really committing to the pro tour. However, his foray into acting in the 1980s (Big Wednesday, Conan the Barbarian, North Shore) certainly boosted his public profile.

    find out more about gerry lopez:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram
    • website

    john john florence

    the little boy from hawaii who came in handy, john john florence is widely recognized as the best surfer in the world right now, when he’s not injured, of course.

    jjf has a grom’s propensity to do dumb things sometimes, like dropping down a half pipe on his skateboard the day before a big event, paddling to the lock and slightly shoreline of waimea bay, or try the craziest wind-assisted airs that look like they’re going to pop your ankles.

    See also: What is the time difference between new york and germany

    With two world titles under his belt, the Hawaiian boy who grew up in the shade of the pipe trees has a long and illustrious career ahead of him.

    read john john florence surfer’s full profile.

    find out more about john john florence:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • vimeo

    view from a blue moon

    current tom

    the legend of curren has grown over the years. A two-time world champion, when Curren decided that he wanted to compete again, the only way to get back on the main circuit was through the test events, which preceded each main event. he aced the tests in his comeback year to his third world title, a feat that will likely never be repeated.

    curren is mysterious, enigmatic and elegant. watching him surf, even in his fifties, is always easy on the eyes. When he rowed for his heritage heat at JBay in 2014, he started it off with a perfect 10-point ride.

    read tom curren surfer’s full profile.

    learn more about tom curren:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram

    gabriel medina

    The first Brazilian world champion, the dynamic goofy footer was always destined for a world title, from the early days of the king of the groms, when he won the event at the fun beach break hossegor surfer with a series perfect 20 point score.

    medina wears her heart on her sleeve, competes fiercely and always loves it when the waves get big and serious and go away, with solid pipes and chopes that make her smile.

    He has the classic combination of big wave bravado and small wave flair, and he finds an overhead double barrel of teahupo’o as easily as a massive forehand spin. medina is bound to get a second world title.

    find out more about gabriel medina:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram

    filipe toledo

    Brazilian’s next best surfer after Medina, Toledo has an incredible talent for air surfing at full speed, coupled with inordinate confidence.

    Filipe’s performance at jbay over the past two years has completely redefined how that perfect point break should be surfed, dwarfing even jordy smith’s previous performances.

    toledo has a small weakness in his big wave experience, but this comes with time and before you know it he’ll be charging with the best.

    read the complete profile of filipe toledo surfer.

    find out more about filipe toledo:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • youtube

    adriano de souza

    A stubborn and determined workhorse, de Souza was the second Brazilian surfer to win a world title, leading the Brazilian storm along with Medina.

    adriano comes from a poor background, escaping the favelas in his youth to find redemption in surfing, and his route to a world title is a well-documented rags-to-riches story of achievement.

    In the year of his world title, de souza made some changes to his approach, and by finishing his waves solidly and without crashing, he managed to beat his points a little higher than usual, resulting in a cumulative points total which saw him win the world title.

    find out more about adriano de souza:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram

    jordy smith

    Kelly Slater described him as the surfer who is going to win multiple world titles, but Jordy has yet to step onto that podium, despite winning numerous events and constantly redefining performance surfing.

    jordy is a happy-go-lucky guy who seems content with winning a weird event, placing at the top of the jeep leaderboard every year, and making some ridiculous video clips, but underneath it all, he’s a fierce competitor who takes losses hard and wants a world title so badly it literally defines him.

    the world expects a title from the big man soon.

    find out more about jordy smith:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram

    cheyne horan

    being runner-up to mark richards, and a world title, four times must have been daunting for horan de bondi, but he managed to overcome all kinds of turmoil in his life and come out the other side full of spirit and good humor .

    cheyne reinvented himself as a big wave surfer, started a surf school and has been involved in various other aspects of the sport over the years, resurfacing as situations dictated.

    An ever-present at the World Surf League Gold Coast event, Horan remains a legend of the sport.

    learn more about cheyne horan:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram
    • website

    bartholomew rabbit

    Stylish surfer wayne ‘rabbit’ bartholomew is credited with much more than his world title. he was the surfer who boldly claimed australian influence in hawaii, or as he put it in surfer magazine, he was ‘breaking down the door’, a statement that saw him hide and lose his front teeth in an altercation.

    rabbit was at the forefront of explosive surfing for many years, always winning events with graceful and controlled performances. he went on to lead the asp with his ‘dream tour’ idea of ​​a world tour that only takes place in perfect waves in the best places in the world, and his ideology was the foundation on which it is based now the tour.

    find out more about bartholomew rabbit:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram

    christian fletcher

    fletcher began surfing competitively at the age of five. he dropped out of school at fifteen to pursue a competitive career.

    Despite winning the 1989 body glove surf fight on the lower trestles and earning $30,000, this was not the route fletcher ultimately took.

    Son of icon Herbie Fletcher and grandson of legendary waterman Walter Hoffman, Christian Fletcher had surfing running through his veins, his natural ability and punk-oriented approach soon led him to skate moves on the waves.

    This pioneering high-performance aerial approach to surfing paved the way for modern high-performance surfers. christian invented many of the moves we see today.

    find out more about christian fletcher:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram

    ross clarke jones

    The Aussie shaker has been in the game for over 30 years and has shown no signs of slowing down. From his and Mad Wax’s early days, to his win on Eddie, his TV show with Tom Carroll, and his recent exploits on Nazaré, Ross continues to go at breakneck speed.

    clarke-jones came close to winning the last installment of eddie before it was shut down, earning a second place finish for john john florence, but there were plenty of people who thought he should have won it.

    let’s see how much longer you can keep it going.

    find out more about ross clarke-jones:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram
    • storm surfers documentary, with tom carroll and ross clarke-jones

    lisa andersen

    She was the world’s most stylish and most imitated female surfer when she emerged alongside her roxy swimsuits and proceeded to dominate the world with her fast and dynamic surf performances.

    it was inevitable that andersen would win multiple world titles; but more than that, she can actually be named as the person who changed women’s surf fashion forever, generating huge dividends for the big surf wear companies of the time, and she was cute as a button all along. .

    for one era in the mid-nineties, it was slater and andersen’s show on the world championship tour, while everyone else faded into obscurity.

    read lisa andersen’s full surfer profile.

    find out more about lisa andersen:
    • world surf league profile
    • twitter
    • instagram

    stephanie gilmore

    Steph is recognized as one of the world’s most stylish surfers, and her performances everywhere from supertubes at jbay to kelly slater’s surf ranch are testament to her style claims.

    See also: The 20 most iconic uniforms in sports | List Wire

    gilmore is a joy to watch and is one of the most popular and respected female surfers of her time.

    His multiple world titles are testament to this, and he continues to define high-speed racing and the smoothest of arcs.

    read stephanie gilmore surfer’s full profile.

    find out more about stephanie gilmore:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • website

    daniel reynolds

    For years, Dane has been known as the best free surfer in the world, and it’s a shame he’s less in the spotlight than before.

    his radicalism didn’t really suit a competition vest, and his discomfort with crowds and interview situations didn’t really help his career as a competitive surfer.

    Dane is now a father, still sponsored, and still tearing up harder than anyone else in the world. his free surfing performances are incredible to watch in real life: each wave is a huge open canvas for the high-flying fanatic.

    find out more about dane reynolds:
    • world surf league profile
    • instagram
    • twitter

    taj hole

    another surfer who had an incredible and illustrious career without a world title, taj has always been one of the most popular surfers in the world.

    His decision not to participate in the championship tour for a year, even after qualifying, is a prime example of someone doing things differently, and his penchant for producing amazing videos rather than winning events on his best moment shows how he felt about professional surfing from the very beginning.

    The lack of a world title was never going to be a problem for the boy.

    find out more about taj burrow:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • youtube
    • website

    julian wilson

    Always being kind and sweet, Julian has had to find the “eye of the tiger” lately in his bid for an inaugural world title.

    He has shown hunger and desperation before, but it never seems to persist long enough to turn it into raw rage and subsequent victories.

    julian, a popular surfer in australia for just hanging his head and doing the tough yards, deserves some kind of break and this year could be his year.

    learn more about julian wilson:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram

    martin potter

    In 1989, after a story written by Derek Hynd for Surfer magazine gave Potter no chance of winning a world title, he went on the longest winning streak in our sport.

    When he won the title that year, he did so by the largest margin ever seen, and yet to be repeated. he is the surfer credited with starting the current air surfing approach, and currently works for the wsl as an online commentator for championship tour events, where he comes across as knowledgeable and humble.

    Originally from Newcastle in the UK, Pottz learned to surf in Durban before traveling to Australia to launch an extravagant professional career.

    find out more about martin potter:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram
    • pottz

    miguel peterson

    record pm.

    michael peterson burned twice as bright for half the time.

    His iconic and revolutionary surfing style set the competitive world on fire during the 1970s. Peterson was famous for his era that defined barrel surfing in Kirra, while his carvings wrote the blueprint for power surfing.

    >

    mp was a competitive animal who dominated Australian competition for years.

    Unfortunately, undiagnosed schizophrenia and drug abuse meant Michael stopped displaying his surfing talents due to self-imposed exile, until his death in 2012 at age 59.

    find out more about michael peterson:
    • the enigmatic michael peterson
    • mp: the life of michael peterson

    bethany hamilton

    After being savagely attacked by a shark in 2003, when she was just 14 years old, Hamilton continues to surf with one arm, redefining what can be done with a surfboard, despite its physical challenge.

    bethany competes, rides serious waves and continues her life with passion and enthusiasm. She is a mother, she was in the television series ‘The Incredible Race’ and a movie was even made based on her incredible story.

    find out more about bethany hamilton:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • instagram
    • youtube
    • website

    shane dorian

    hawaiian charger dorian was one of the best surfers of his time, part of the ‘momentum generation’ and a surfer who has achieved greatness in other fields of surfing and life.

    Shane starred in the movie ‘In God’s Hands’ and reinvented himself as a big wave rider who became one of the best big wave surfers of all time in jaws and mavericks to name just some places.

    however, dorian is not a fan of cold water and prefers to ride waves closer to home at all times.

    find out more about shane dorian:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram

    occhilupo brand

    ‘the man who fell off the couch’ was an excellent written story about the rise and fall of Australian legend mark occhilupo.

    Occy, one of the world’s most promising goofy-footers, rose to fame in 1984 when he came from nowhere and won the country feeling classic on jbay in prime condition, redefining backhand surfing on that iconic pointbreak.

    It was said that the waves seemed to slow down when occ was riding supertubes, but all this was happening while surfing so superhumanly fast that the perspective changed.

    occy suffered a subsequent mental and emotional breakdown and disappeared for a few years before launching a comeback that saw him win a world title in 1999.

    read full profile of surfer mark occhilupo.

    more information about mark occhilupo:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • occy: the rise, fall and rise of mark occhilupo

    long greg

    Long, one of the hardest charging surfers in the world, is a smart kid with a focused approach to his surfing and a wild streak that sees him paddle some of the biggest waves on the planet.

    He’s had his fair share of horrible falls for a long time, including a very near-death experience at cortez bank, but he’s always around for the big sessions, whether it’s as a surfer or providing security.

    He is also one of the most respected big wave surfers, his articulate approach and humility make him stand out from the rest.

    learn more about greg long:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook
    • instagram

    baker’s award

    twiggy is a two-time big wave world champion and has been surfing the biggest waves on the planet for nearly two decades.

    He is also an inveterate traveler and does it both alone and with his small family. twiggy likes to embark on intrepid quests on the west coast of south africa and beyond, being one of the first to surf donkey bay in namibia.

    twig has never been one to shy away from controversy, but also one to heap praise when someone deserves it. One of the most reassuring guys to surf when he grows up, twig has a watchful eye on everyone in the water with him, and his place in the record books is already set in stone.

    more information about grant baker:
    • world surf league profile
    • facebook

    Who else should be on this list of the best surfers? Make your suggestions in the comments below.

    See also: Poland storm to inaugural mixed Olympic 4x400m title in Tokyo | European Athletics

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