10 Famous UK Surfers: The Best!

It’s always up for debate, "who are the most famous UK surfers"?

We list the current most famous UK surfers, going into detail of their impact on British surf culture and surfing as a whole.

The list of famous UK surfers is forever growing so here is our 10 best!

The Most Famous UK Surfers?

  1. Alan Stokes
  2. Andrew Cotton
  3. Ben Skinner
  4. Laura Crane
  5. Lucy Campbell
  6. Luke Dillon
  7. Mark Harris
  8. Reubyn Ash
  9. Russell Winter
  10. Sophie Hellyer

This list of the most famous UK surfers is forever growing! Let's get into each famous UK surfer's story below in detail.

Want to find more surfers? View our list of the most famous surfers ever!

Alan Stokes

Born: July 9th, 1981.

Origin: Newquay, Cornwall, UK.

Style: Longboarder

Famous UK Surfers Alan Stokes

About: Alan Stokes, the skilled surfer known for his stylish techniques, was born on July 9, 1981. Growing up in Newquay, Cornwall, Stokes developed his surfing prowess on the challenging breaks of Fistral Beach, becoming a prominent figure in the UK surf scene.

Achievements: In 2009, he secured victory at the UK Pro Surf Tour Championships. Renowned as a model for surf apparel in the UK, he proudly carries sponsorship from prominent brands such as Animal Clothing & Wetsuits, Creatures of Leisure Hardware, Quiver Surfboards, Luke Hart Shapes, Future Fins, and Maxi Muscle.

Instagram: @alan_stokes

Tomorrow's Dawn with famous UK surfer Alan Stokes

Andrew Cotton

Born: June 7, 1980.

Origin: North Devon, UK

Style: Big Wave Surfer

Famous UK Surfers Andrew Cotton

About: Andrew Cotton, the fearless British big wave surfer, was born on June 7, 1980, in Braunton, North Devon. Known for his fearless approach to riding massive waves, particularly at Nazaré, Portugal, Cotton has become a global figure in the realm of big wave surfing. His birthplace, nestled along the rugged coastline, played a pivotal role in shaping his deep connection with the ocean.

Achievements: Andrew Cotton is a one of the most famous UK surfers due to his extraordinary features in big wave surfing, particularly at the infamous Nazaré. His achievements include conquering some of the largest and most challenging waves in the world, showcasing his skill, courage, and dedication to pushing the limits of big wave riding.

Instagram: @andrew_cotty

Big-wave surfer Andrew Cotton's Nazaré nightmare

Ben Skinner

Born: January 19, 1983.

Origin: Newquay, Cornwall, UK.

Style: Longboarder

Famous UK Surfers Ben Skinner

About: Ben Skinner, born on January 19, 1983, in Newquay, Cornwall, is a celebrated longboard surfer. His roots in the vibrant surf culture of Newquay have shaped his distinctive style on the waves, making him a prominent figure in the UK surf scene. Skinner's passion for longboarding and his commitment to the sport have earned him recognition both nationally and internationally.

Achievements: Ben Skinner is renowned for his mastery of longboarding and has secured multiple British Longboard titles putting him up there for one of the most famous UK surfers.. His stylish approach and competitive success have solidified his status as one of the premier longboard surfers in the UK, contributing significantly to the country's surfing legacy.

Instagram: @skindoggydog

Ben Skinner Taking on a Notorious UK Beach Break

Laura Crane

Born: January 22, 1995.

Origin: Croyde, North Devon, England.

Style: Versatile

Famous UK Surfers Laura Crane

About: Laura Crane, born on January 22, 1995, in Croyde, North Devon, is a rising star in women's surfing. Growing up in the coastal town of Croyde, Crane developed a deep connection with the ocean, and her surfing journey reflects the influence of the powerful waves along the North Devon coastline. Her impressive performances in various competitions and her dedication to the sport make her a notable figure in the contemporary surf scene.

Achievements: Laura Crane became UK surfing champion at the age of just 14 competing around the world making her one of the most famous UK surfers.

Instagram: @lauraloucrane

Finding waves in Central America - UK Surfer Laura Crane

Lucy Campbell

Born: October 23, 1993.

Origin: Lucy Campbell hails from Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Style: Versatile

Famous UK Surfer Lucy Campbell

About: Lucy Campbell, born on October 23, 1993, in Jersey, Channel Islands, is a successful British surfer making her mark in both national and international competitions. Growing up surrounded by the scenic coastlines of Jersey, Campbell's connection with the ocean began early, shaping her into a skilled and passionate surfer. Her competitive spirit and commitment to pushing the boundaries of her surfing abilities have positioned her as a standout in the contemporary surf scene.

Achievements: Lucy is a 7x National Women's surfing Champion.

Instagram: @lucycsurf

Moroccan Surf Adventure - Lucy Campbell

Luke Dillon

Born: September 20, 1995.

Origin: Newquay, Cornwall, UK.

Style: Versatile

Famous UK Surfers Luke Dillion

About: Luke Dillon, born on September 20, 1995, in Newquay, Cornwall, is a young and promising surfer making his mark in the competitive surfing scene. Growing up along the vibrant surf culture of Newquay, Dillon's coastal upbringing has been integral to shaping his dynamic and creative style on the waves. His dedication to the sport and his natural talent have positioned him as an emerging talent contributing to the vibrancy of UK surfing.

Achievements: Luke Dillon is a professional GB Surfer as well as a GB Surfing Performance Coach with experience competing at the highest level in the WSL (World Surf League). At the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics he was regarded as Britain's number one surfer. He is also a English National Champion hence why he is one of the most famous UK surfers.

Instagram: @lukedillon7

The 2023 English National Surfing Championship! ft Luke Dillon

Mark Harris

Born: December 3, 1975.

Origin: Mark Harris, renowned for his talent and big wave riding, is associated with the UK surf scene.

Style: Versatile

Famous UK Surfers Mark Harris

About: Mark Harris, born on December 3, 1975, is a notable figure in the UK surf scene, celebrated for his talent and big wave riding. Growing up amidst the surf culture of the UK, Harris's coastal journey began, and his experiences have shaped his fearless and dynamic approach to the waves. His enduring impact on the surf culture and his contributions to the sport have made him a respected figure in the UK surfing community.

Achievements: Mark Harris had a British pro tour 2014 UK ranking 3rd in 2014 alongside being a British junior and open member at world surfing games. Moreover in 2013 he finished 3rd in the English national championships and ranked 8th on the British pro tour. He was also heavily involved in the filming of a UK surf documentary 'The Endless Winter' created to promote the history of British surfing. 

Instagram: @egorharris

One Moroccan Drainer with Mark Egor Harris

Reubyn Ash

Born: January 23, 1994.

Origin: Newquay, Cornwall, UK.

Style: Versatile

Famous UK Surfers Reubyn Ash

About: Reubyn Ash, born on January 23, 1994, in Newquay, Cornwall, represents the new generation of surfers. His coastal journey began in the vibrant surf culture of Newquay, shaping his dynamic and creative style on the waves. Reubyn Ash is celebrated for his contributions to pushing the boundaries of modern surfing. He now owns his own surf school in Bude, teaching a generation of future surfers. 

Achievements: Reubyn is a multiple European Champion with 30 years of experience surfing. He is also a fully qualified SLSGB Lifeguard and ISA Surf Coach.

Instagram: @reubynash

Reubyn Ash delivers a surfing master class in firing Cornish waves

Russell Winter

Born: March 11, 1973.

Origin: Newquay, Cornwall, UK.

Style: Versatile

Famous UK Surfers Russel Winter

About: Russell Winter, born on March 11, 1973, in Newquay, Cornwall, is a pioneer of British surfing. His legacy extends beyond competitions, influencing the next generation of surfers and contributing to the development of the sport in the UK.

Achievements: Had a notable three-year stint on the WQS surfing tour making him one of the top famous UK surfers. During this time, he achieved a memorable victory in a first-round heat at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, where he famously bested Kelly Slater. His success continued with a third-place finish in the Nova Schin Event in Santa Catarina, Brazil. Despite facing setbacks such as an ankle injury in Teahupoo, Tahiti, and a broken wrist in Porthleven, Russell's passion for surfing endures. He has secured three victories on the WQS tour, and claimed the invitational Reef Chilli Bowl Classic in Barbados in 2005. Currently, Russell Winter continues to compete on the WQS tour, showcasing his resilience and dedication to the sport.

Instagram: @russell_winter75

Famous UK Surfers: Russ Winter, Having A Slice Of Some Hollow Scotland

Sophie Hellyer

Born: May 15, 1986.

Origin: Devon, UK.

Style: Versatile

Famous UK Surfers Sophoe Hellyer

About: Sophie Hellyer, a surfer, writer, and yoga teacher, splits her time between various coastlines across the UK having grown up in Devon. Beyond her expertise in the waves, she is a dedicated cold water swimmer, environmental advocate, feminist, model, and public speaker. Having once held the title of British champion surfer, Sophie channels her passion into ocean conservation and empowering women.

Achievements: During her teenage years, she clinched British titles and quickly garnered attention from Roxy making her one of many famous UK surfers. Subsequently, she enjoyed a decade as a Roxy ambassador, engaging in modelling, globetrotting, and riding the waves of a dream travel lifestyle. Sophie has contributed to renowned publications like The Independent, GQ Magazine, Glamour, and Surf Girl as well as delivering a TEDx talk. Moreover she is a qualified instructor in surfing, swimming, and yoga, serving as a beach lifeguard for the RNLI and representing brands such as Dry Robe, Allbirds, and Get Out Charity

Instagram: @sophiehellyer

Cold Water Community Sophie Hellyer 

Other Famous UK Surfers

The list could go on and in of other famous UK surfers, so here a few more for you to view!

Famous UK Surfers Surf Spots

Fistral Beach Cornwall

Renowned for its consistent waves and vibrant surf culture, Fistral Beach is a top pick for famous UK surfers, including Alan Stokes.

Thurso East, Scotland

Known for its challenging reef break and rugged beauty, Thurso East is a favourite among famous UK surfers seeking an adventurous experience, often chosen by Lucy Campbell.

Bantham Beach, Devon

A picturesque sandy beach with reliable waves, Bantham is cherished by UK surfers like Ben Skinner for its scenic beauty and consistent surf conditions.

Porthcawl, Wales

Home to various surf breaks catering to different skill levels, Porthcawl is embraced by surfers such as Carwyn Williams for its diverse wave offerings.

St. Agnes, Cornwall

A hidden gem with powerful waves and stunning surroundings, St. Agnes attracts famous UK surfers like Russell Winter seeking a more secluded surf experience.

Croyde Bay, Devon

A classic surf destination with a variety of waves, Croyde Bay is loved by famous UK surfers such as Luke Dillon for its versatility and reliable surf throughout the year.

Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

A stunning beach with consistent waves, Freshwater West is a pick for famous UK surfers like Emily Currie, drawn to its natural beauty and quality surf conditions.

Porthleven, Cornwall

A historic harbour town with a powerful reef break, Porthleven is appreciated by famous UK surfers like Mark Harris for its consistent and challenging surf conditions.

Scarborough, Yorkshire

Scarborough offers diverse surf spots and scenic coastline, making it a favourite for surfers looking to explore the waves of the North Sea.

Godrevy, Cornwall

Known for its long sandy beach and quality waves, Godrevy is a popular choice among surfers such as Laura Crane for its scenic beauty and surf consistency.

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Now you have a vast list of the most famous UK surfers, be sure to check out famous surfers from countries around the world such as Mexico as well as all our female surfers.

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the best UK surfer?

Determining the "best" surfer is subjective, but notable UK surfers include Alan Stokes, Andrew Cotton, and Russell Winter.

Does the UK have good surfing?

Yes, the UK has excellent surfing conditions, with popular surf spots along its coastline, such as Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, and Thurso East in Scotland.

Are there any British surfers?

Yes, there are many British surfers who actively participate in the sport both nationally and internationally.

Who is the most famous female surfer in the UK?

Famous female surfers in the UK include Lucy Campbell, Laura Crane, and Sophie Hellyer.

How many surfers are there in the UK?

The exact number of surfers in the UK is challenging to determine, but it is a popular and growing sport with a significant community.

Is Mark Zuckerberg a surfer?

Yes, there is a video on social media where Mark Zuckerberg wake-boards off the back of a boat.

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