30 Most Famous Surfers: Best Ever!

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

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

The list of most famous surfers is forever growing so here is our 30 best!

Who Are The Most Famous Surfers?

Famous surfers include Kelly Slater, Duke Kahanamoku, Bethany Hamilton, Tom Curren and Carissa Moore to name a few.

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

Andy Irons

Born: July 24, 1978 - November 2, 2010

Origin: Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii

Style: Professional surfer

Famous Surfers

About: Philip Andrew Irons, widely known as Andy Irons, was an American professional surfer born on July 24, 1978, in Lihue, Hawaii. Growing up surfing the challenging waves of Kauai alongside his brother Bruce, Irons quickly gained recognition for his exceptional skills. Over his illustrious 10-year career, he became a three-time world champion (2002, 2003, 2004) and a four-time Triple Crown of Surfing champion (2002, 2003, 2006, 2005). He achieved a total of 20 elite-tour victories and left an indelible mark on the surfing world. Irons' dominance spanned globally, winning prestigious titles and becoming the only surfer to claim victory at every venue on the ASP calendar.

Achievements: Andy Irons left an indelible mark on the world of professional surfing with an impressive list of accomplishments, including three consecutive World Championships in 2002, 2003, and 2004. His dominance extended to the prestigious Triple Crown of Surfing, where he claimed victory four times in 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2005. Irons showcased his exceptional talent early on by becoming the Junior World Surfing Champion in 1998. Additionally, he secured victories in the US Open of Surfing twice, in 1998 and 2005. With a total of 20 wins on the WSL Championship Tour, Andy Irons' legacy was further solidified, earning him a well-deserved place as an inductee into the Surfers' Hall of Fame.

Instagram: @andyironsforever (Well Known Account Celebrating Andy’s Life)

Famous Surfers - Andy Irons Life

Bethany Hamilton

Born: February 8, 1990,

Origin: Kauai, Hawaii

Style: Professional surfer, writer

Famous Surfers

About: Bethany Meilani Hamilton, born on February 8, 1990, in Lihue, Hawaii, is an American professional surfer and accomplished writer. Her inspirational journey gained international attention when she survived a shark attack in 2003, resulting in the loss of her left arm. Overcoming adversity, she not only returned to professional surfing but also shared her remarkable story in the 2004 autobiography, “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board,” later adapted into the 2011 feature film “Soul Surfer.” In 2018, the documentary “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable” explored her life, marriage to Adam Dirks, and the impact of motherhood on her surfing career.

Achievements: Bethany Hamilton has achieved remarkable milestones throughout her surfing career, earning recognition and accolades for her resilience and skill. In 2004, she received the prestigious ESPY Award, a testament to her outstanding contributions to the world of surfing. The following year, in 2005, she secured the NSSA National Helping Kids Champion title, showcasing not only her prowess on the waves but also her commitment to making a positive impact. Additionally, Hamilton demonstrated her competitive spirit by claiming 2nd place in the ASP World Junior Championships in 2008, further solidifying her status as a formidable force in the surfing community.

Instagram: @bethanyhamilton

Famous Surfers - Bethany Hamilton

Bruce Irons

Born: November 16, 1979

Origin: Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii

Style: Bruce Irons, often known by his nickname "BI," is an accomplished regular foot professional surfer hailing from Hanalei, Kauai. His surfing style is characterised by a dynamic and powerful approach, reflecting his deep connection with the waves of the North Shore.

Famous Surfers

About: Born and raised in Hanalei, Kauai, Bruce Irons embarked on his surfing journey at the young age of seven. His natural talent quickly propelled him through the ranks, marked by numerous victories in the United States Surfing Championships. Transitioning to the professional scene after high school, Irons solidified his reputation as a skilled and competitive surfer.

Achievements: Bruce Irons boasts a remarkable list of achievements, notably securing victories in prestigious events such as the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Search and the 2004 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. His notable win against Kelly Slater at the 2001 Billabong Pipeline Masters showcased his prowess. Irons' success continued with a perfect score of 100 at the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau in 2004, held in waves exceeding 40 feet.

Instagram: @bruceirons

Famous Surfers - Bruce Irons Surfing

Carissa Moore

Born: August 27, 1992

Origin: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Style: Carissa Moore is renowned for her dynamic and powerful style in shortboard surfing.

Famous Surfers

About: Carissa Moore began her surfing journey at the age of five with her father off the beaches of Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her early passion for the sport and her competitive spirit led her to numerous victories, including 11 NSSA amateur titles by the age of 16. Despite her parents’ divorce, Moore’s connection with her father and the ocean remained strong, motivating her to pursue her surfing dreams.

Achievements: Carissa Moore has achieved remarkable success throughout her career, earning five World Surf League (WSL) Women’s World Tour Championships in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2019, and 2021. She is a three-time Triple Crown of Surfing Champion (2020, 2021, 2023), with a total of 29 WSL Championship Tour event wins. In 2020, Moore made history as the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in surfing at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Instagram: @rissmoore10

Famous Surfers - Best of Carissa Moore

Dane Reynolds

Born: September 7, 1985

Origin: Long Beach, California, U.S.

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Dane Reynolds, born on September 7, 1985, in the surf-rich Long Beach, California, is an American pro surfer making waves from Ventura. Renowned for his fearless and experimental style, Dane's surfing journey began at age 10 when he migrated from Bakersfield to Ventura.

Achievements: Dane's surfing prowess emerged early; by age 13, he was already competing, and at 16, he dropped out of school to fully dive into the world of surf. In 2010, he made a splash by tying for fourth in the ASP World Tour. His video, "First Chapter," snagged Best Male Performance and Video of the Year at the 2006 Surfer Poll Awards.

Instagram: @sealtooth

Famous Surfers - Dane Reynolds Surfing

Duke Kahanamoku

Born: August 24, 1890

Origin: Haleʻākala, Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii

Style: Duke Kahanamoku, known as the "Father of Modern Surfing," was a Hawaiian competition swimmer and a pioneering surfer. He popularised surfing internationally and showcased traditional Hawaiian surfing techniques. His legacy includes contributions to swimming, surfing, and water rescue techniques.

Famous Surfers

About: Duke Kahanamoku, born Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku, emerged from a Native Hawaiian family with strong ties to the ocean. Born in 1890, just before the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, he witnessed Hawaii's transition to a U.S. territory and later statehood. Kahanamoku's family, considered lower-ranking nobles, had a rich heritage of service to Hawaiian royalty. Growing up in Waikiki, he developed exceptional surfing and swimming skills, becoming a powerful swimmer and skilled surfer.

Achievements: One of the most famous surfers ever, Duke Kahanamoku was a five-time Olympic medallist in swimming, winning gold and silver medals in 1912, 1920, and 1924. He broke world records in freestyle swimming, showcasing remarkable speed and skill. Beyond his Olympic success, Kahanamoku played a pivotal role in popularising surfing globally. He conducted surfing exhibitions during international travels, introducing the sport to new audiences. His rescue efforts using a surfboard during a capsized ship incident in Newport Beach in 1925 showcased the value of surfboards in water rescues.

Famous Surfers - Duke Kahanamoku Life

Eddie Aikau

Born: May 5, 1946

Origin: Kahului, Territory of Hawaii, United States

Style: Eddie Aikau, a Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer, was renowned for his courageous and skilled big wave surfing.

Famous Surfers

About: Descendant of Hawaiian nobility and deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture, he learned to surf on the shores of Kahului Harbor. In 1959, he moved to Oʻahu and began working at the Dole pineapple cannery, using his earnings to purchase his first surfboard. Aikau made history as the first lifeguard on the North Shore, stationed at Waimea Bay, where he saved over 500 lives without a single loss. He became Lifeguard of the Year in 1971 and won the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship in 1977 making him one of the most famous surfers.

Achievements: Eddie Aikau's legacy extends beyond his surfing prowess. He participated as a crew member on the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa. Tragically, in 1978, during a Hōkūleʻa voyage, the canoe capsized, and Eddie Aikau paddled toward Lānaʻi on his surfboard to seek help. His life jacket was hindering him, so he removed it, and he was never found. In honour of Eddie Aikau, the big wave surfing event "The Eddie" (Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational) was established, featuring massive waves at Waimea Bay. The event has strict criteria, held only when open-ocean swells reach a minimum of 20 feet.

Famous Surfers - The Legend of Eddie Aikau

Filipe Toledo

Born: April 16, 1995

Origin: Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil

Style: Filipe Toledo is renowned for his progressive and high-performance surfing style. He is known for pushing the boundaries of aerial manoeuvres and technical tricks, bringing innovation to the world of competitive surfing.

About: Born on April 16, 1995, in Ubatuba, Brazil, Filipe Toledo is a talented professional surfer. From a young age, he showed an innate connection to the ocean and quickly became a standout in the competitive surfing scene. Filipe is not only recognized for his incredible skills on the waves but also for his positive and enthusiastic approach to the sport.

Achievements: Filipe Toledo has had a stellar career on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour, consistently ranking among the top surfers globally. He is a multiple event winner, showcasing his versatility in a range of conditions. Filipe's ability to land groundbreaking aerial manoeuvres has earned him acclaim as one of the most progressive surfers in the world.

Instagram: @filipetoledo

Famous Surfers - Best of Filipe Toledo

Gabriel Medina

Born: December 22, 1993

Origin: São Sebastião, São Paulo, Brazil

Style: Gabriel Medina is renowned for his explosive and innovative surfing style. He is a progressive surfer who excels in powerful manoeuvres and aerial acrobatics, consistently pushing the boundaries of what's possible in competitive surfing.

About: Born on December 22, 1993, in São Sebastião, Brazil, Gabriel Medina is a groundbreaking professional surfer who has had a profound impact on the sport. He burst onto the international scene at a young age and quickly became one of the most dominant figures in competitive surfing. Medina's dedication, work ethic, and fearless approach to challenging waves have solidified his status as a surfing icon.

Achievements: Gabriel Medina has achieved remarkable success on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour, becoming the first Brazilian male surfer to win the WSL World Title in 2014. He secured additional World Titles in 2018 and continues to be a dominant force in the world of competitive surfing. Medina's list of achievements includes multiple event wins and groundbreaking performances, establishing him as one of the greatest surfers of his generation.

Instagram: @gabrielmedina

Famous Surfers - Best of Gabriel Medina

Gerry Lopez

Born: November 7, 1948

Origin: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Style: Gerry Lopez, known as Mr. Pipeline is celebrated for his sleek and precise surfing style.

Famous Surfers

About: Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Gerry Lopez grew up in East Honolulu, Oahu, attending Punahou School. He quickly rose to prominence in the surfing world, becoming the Hawaii State Champ at the age of 14. Lopez honed his skills at the semi-secret reefs in Aina Haina and iconic surf spots in Metro-Honolulu. His early inspiration came from surfer Paul Strauch, known for his graceful style. Lopez, along with friend Reno Abellira, began surfing Ala Moana Bowls, refining his casual style and tube riding abilities.

Achievements: One of the most famous surfers ever, Gerry Lopez's impact on surfing history is particularly tied to his achievements at the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore. He became widely recognised as the best tuberider globally, winning the Pipeline Masters competition in 1972 and 1973. Lopez played a pivotal role in commercial surfboard manufacturing, co-founding the Lightning Bolt Surfboards brand. He created the iconic Lightning Bolt jag, popularising the brand in the 1970s. As an actor, Lopez appeared in films like "Conan the Barbarian" and "Big Wednesday," often collaborating with fellow ex-surfer John Milius. He is also featured in various surfing documentaries.

Instagram: @gerrylopezsurfboards

Famous Surfers - Gerry Lopez Surfing

Jamie O'Brien

Born: June 9, 1983

Origin: Kahuku, Hawaii

Style: Jamie O'Brien, commonly known as JOB, is a professional surfer with a regular stance.

Famous Surfers

About: James Duncan O'Brien, born and raised near the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore, developed a passion for surfing at a young age. Competing in local surf contests since the age of six, Jamie's early exposure to the renowned Banzai Pipeline contributed to his remarkable surfing career. His father, Australian lifeguard Mick O'Brien, played a role in sparking Jamie's interest in surfing. Despite facing challenges like a groin injury, Jamie achieved significant milestones, including a 1st place at Hansen's Pipeline Pro in 2003, victory at the 2004 Fosters Expression Trestles and Rip Curl Pipeline Masters, and triumph at the 2009 Rip Curl Invitational. Jamie also excelled in the WSL qualifying series and the championship tour.

Achievements: Jamie O'Brien's achievements include notable wins at the Pipeline Masters in 2001, the Hansen Pipeline Pro in 2003, the 2004 Fosters Expression Trestles, the Rip Curl Pipeline Masters in 2004, the Rip Curl Invitational in 2009, and the inaugural Volcom Pipe Pro in 2010. Recognised as Surfer Magazine's Boost Breakthrough Performer of the Year in 2005, Jamie has left a lasting impact on the sport making him one of the most famous surfers ever.

Instagram: @whoisjob

Famous Surfers - Jamie O'Brien Surfing Pipeline

Joel Parkinson

Born: April 10, 1981

Origin: Nambour, Queensland, Australia

Style: Joel Parkinson, a surfing legend hailing from Nambour, Queensland, is known for his beautiful and powerful surfing style that has left an indelible mark on the sport.

Famous Surfers

About: Joel Leslie Parkinson is an iconic Australian surfer who made a significant impact during his twelve years on the ASP World Championship Tour. With eleven elite ASP World Title Events, nine additional ASP tour victories, and four runner-up positions in the ASP World Title, Parkinson's legacy is one of unparalleled achievement.

Achievements: Joel Parkinson's list of achievements is impressive, including being a 1x ASP World Champion (2012), 2x World Junior Champion (1999, 2000), achieving a Perfect 20 at Billabong Pipeline Masters (2008), securing 12 ASP World Tour event wins, and claiming the Triple Crown of Surfing three times (2008, 2009, 2010).

Instagram: @joelparko

Famous Surfers - Joel Parkinson Surfing

Joel Tudor

Born: June 11, 1976

Origin: San Diego, California, United States

Style: Longboarding, Competitive Grappling

Famous Surfers

About: Joel Tudor, hailing from San Diego, California, is a renowned surfer, particularly acclaimed for his expertise in longboarding. With a career spanning decades, Tudor has not only made a mark as a surfer but also as a competitive grappler. His passion for surfing and grappling is complemented by significant achievements and a strong presence in the surf community. Joel Tudor's dedication to the sport is evident in his consistent performances and influence.

Achievements: Joel Tudor boasts an impressive list of accomplishments, including being a three-time WSL Longboard World Champion in 1998, 2004, and 2021. Additionally, he has secured the title of eight-time US Open Champion and five-time US Champion, showcasing his dominance in the field. Tudor's success extends to his consistent top rankings on the WSL World Tour in 1998, 2004, and 2021, where he achieved the prestigious 1st position.

Instagram: @joeljitsu

Famous Surfers - Joel Tudor Surfing

John John Florence

Born: October 18, 1992

Origin: Honolulu, Hawaii

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: John "John John" Alexander Florence, hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii, is an esteemed professional surfer celebrated for his exceptional skills, particularly at Banzai Pipeline. Introduced to surfing by his mother at an early age, Florence quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the first Hawaii-born surfer to secure back-to-back world titles on the 2016 and 2017 World Surf League Men's Championship Tour. Despite facing challenges, including a broken back, Florence has earned a reputation as one of the most dominant pipe surfers of his era.

Achievements: Florence boasts an impressive surfing resume, including two WSL World Championships (2016, 2017), five Triple Crown of Surfing victories (2011, 2013, 2016, 2020, 2021), and notable wins at prestigious events like "The Eddie" Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational (2016), Billabong Pipeline Masters (2020), Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Haleiwa Challenger (2021), and the Triple Crown of Surfing (2022). His triumphs showcase not only his technical mastery but also his resilience in overcoming injuries to consistently deliver outstanding performances on the global surfing stage making him one of the most famous surfers ever.

Instagram: @john_john_florence

Famous Surfers - Best of John John Florence

Kelly Slater

Born: February 11, 1972

Origin: Cocoa Beach, Florida, U.S.

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Enter the legend, Kelly Slater, born on February 11, 1972, in the surfing haven of Cocoa Beach, Florida. Regarded as one of the greatest surfers of all time, Kelly has carved his name into the history of the sport.

Achievements: Kelly's surfing saga began early, turning pro at just 18. He's a record-shattering 11-time World Surf League (WSL) World Champion, an accomplishment that showcases his unparalleled skill and dedication. In 1992, he became the youngest world champion ever at age 20. His mastery extends to iconic breaks like Pipeline and Teahupo'o.

Beyond competitions, Kelly is a pioneer. He popularised the use of the shortboard "thruster" design, forever altering the surfing landscape. His competitive spirit is matched only by his environmental advocacy, with a commitment to sustainable practices in the surfing world. He recently led a project to create a new ave pool in Abu Dhabi

Instagram: @kellyslater
Famous Surfers - Kelly Slater Surfing

Laird Hamilton

Born: March 2, 1964

Origin: San Francisco, California (moved to Hawaii as an infant)

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Raised in Hawaii, he encountered legendary surfer Bill Hamilton, who later became his adoptive father. Laird’s early life was marked by a passion for surfing and a tough, outsider mentality. Hamilton’s surfing career is intertwined with groundbreaking achievements, notably co-inventing tow-in surfing and successfully riding the heaviest wave ever recorded at Teahupo’o on August 17, 2000. His preferred waves include Teahupo’o, Pipeline, and Jaws. Beyond the waves, Laird Hamilton delved into modelling, gaining recognition in the fashion world. His modelling career began at 17 when he was discovered on a beach in Kauaʻi, eventually leading to contracts with prestigious publications and brands.

Achievements: He co-invented tow-in surfing, revolutionising the approach to riding colossal waves. His unparalleled courage and skill were showcased on August 17, 2000, when he successfully navigated the heaviest wave ever ridden at Teahupo’o, a testament to his mastery of the most challenging surf conditions. These accomplishments underscore Hamilton’s profound impact on the evolution of surfing, solidifying his status as a legend in the surfing community.

Instagram: @lairdhamilton

Famous Surfers - Laird Hamilton Surfing

Layne Collette Beachley

Born: May 24, 1972

Origin: Manly, New South Wales, Australia

Style: Layne Beachley, the Australian former professional surfer from Manly, New South Wales, is renowned for her exceptional skills and achievements in the world of surfing.

Famous Surfers

About: Born Layne Collette Beachley on May 24, 1972, in Manly, New South Wales, she emerged as a surfing prodigy, eventually becoming a dominant force in the sport. Standing at 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in), Beachley not only conquered the waves but also made history with her remarkable achievements.

Achievements: Layne Beachley's legacy is marked by an extraordinary seven World Championship victories in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006. Beyond her championships, she received accolades such as the 2005 Laureus World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year Award, the 2003 Teen Choice Awards Extreme Female Athlete of the Year, and induction into prestigious halls of fame including the Surfers' Hall of Fame (2006) and the Australian Sports Hall of Fame (2011). In 2015, she was honoured with the Officer of the Order of Australia.

Instagram: @laynebeachley

Famous Surfers - Layne Beachley Surfing

Lisa Andersen

Born: March 8, 1969

Origin: Amityville, New York, U.S.

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Lisa Andersen, born on March 8, 1969, in Amityville, New York, is an esteemed American surfer renowned for her outstanding achievements. A four-time world surfing champion, she secured successive world titles from 1994 to 1997. Recognized as ASP's Rookie of the Year in 1987, Andersen has left an indelible mark on the sport. Her accolades include being named the "1998 Female Athlete of the Year" by Conde Nast Sports for Women magazine and earning a spot in the Surfer's Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004, she was honoured as the Woman of the Year on the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, California.

Achievements: Lisa Andersen's illustrious career includes four consecutive world titles from 1994 to 1997, earning her a revered place in the surfing community. She was named ASP's Rookie of the Year in 1987 and received the "1998 Female Athlete of the Year" title from Conde Nast Sports for Women magazine. Andersen's contributions to the sport were further acknowledged with her induction into the Surfer's Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Surfing Walk of Fame in 2004.

Instagram: @andersenlisa

Famous Surfers - Lisa Andersen Surfing

Mark Richards

Born: March 7, 1957

Origin: Newcastle, Australia

Style: Freestyle

Famous Surfers

About: Mark Richards OAM, also known as MR, is an iconic Australian surfer renowned for his remarkable achievements in the sport. Born in Newcastle, Australia, Richards made history as a four-time world champion, dominating the International Professional Surfers (IPS) World Championship consecutively from 1979 to 1982. His significant contributions to surfing extend beyond his competitive success, as Richards later transitioned to a career primarily focused on shaping surfboards. In 2001, he further solidified his legacy by clinching the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grandmasters World Champion title.

Achievements: Mark Richards boasts an extraordinary competitive record, securing the IPS World Champion title for four consecutive years from 1979 to 1982. In 2001, he added to his accolades by becoming the ASP Grandmasters World Champion.

Instagram: @markrichardssurfboards

Famous Surfers - Mark Richards Surfing

Michael Peterson

Born: September 24, 1952 - 2012

Origin: Queensland, Australia

Style: Surfing Pioneer

Famous Surfers

About: Michael "MP" Peterson, born on September 24, 1952, in Queensland, Australia, was a prominent professional surfer renowned for his exceptional skills, particularly in deep tube riding. He gained recognition as one of Australia's best surfers during the early to mid-1970s, leaving an indelible mark with his performances, notably at Kirra on the Gold Coast, Australia. Peterson achieved the title of Australian champion in 1972 and 1974, showcasing his prowess in major surfing competitions. Despite his remarkable career, he faced personal challenges and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. His legacy endures as he continues to be remembered for his contributions to the sport.

Achievements: Australian champion in 1972 and 1974, winner of numerous major surfing competitions.

Famous Surfers - Michael Peterson Surfing

Mick Fanning

Born: June 13, 1981

Origin: Penrith, New South Wales, Australia

Style: Natural

Famous Surfers

About: Michael Eugene Fanning AO, known as "White Lightning," is an Australian professional surfer born on June 13, 1981. Growing up in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, Fanning learned to surf at a young age and later honed his skills in Tweed Heads. Alongside Joel Parkinson, he attended Palm Beach Currumbin State High School. Fanning became a dominant force in the surfing world, crowned World Champion three times (2007, 2009, 2013) and earning multiple accolades, including 6x Australian Male Surfer of the Year.

Achievements: Fanning's remarkable career includes 3 World Championships, 22 ASP/WSL Championship Tour event wins, and induction into the Surfers' Hall of Fame. Notably, he survived a shark attack during the J-Bay Open finals in Jeffreys Bay in 2015.

Instagram: @mfanno

Famous Surfers - Mick Fanning Surfing

Rob Machado

Born: October 16, 1973

Origin: Sydney, Australia

Style: Free Surfer

Famous Surfers

About: Robert Edward Machado, widely known as Rob Machado, is an American professional surfer born on October 16, 1973, in Sydney, Australia. He made a significant impact on the surfing world by competing on the World Surf League Championship Tour from 1993 to 2001. Transitioning into the realm of professional free surfing, Machado has continued to influence the surfing community. Beyond his competitive career, he is recognized for hosting the annual Rob Machado Surf Classic and Beach Fair, an amateur competition for locals of all ages, featuring demo sessions with Machado and other pros.

Achievements: Inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame in Huntington Beach, California, in the surf champion category in 2011.

Instagram: @rob_machado

Famous Surfers - Rob Machado Surfing

Steph Gilmore

Born: January 29, 1988

Origin: Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Stephanie Louise Gilmore, born into the waves of Murwillumbah, is an Australian professional surfer whose journey began at the early age of 9. With a natural foot stance, she became a dominant force on the Women's WSL World Tour, clinching the World Champion title eight times (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2022). Her exceptional career includes victories at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and the Havaianas Beachley Classic. Gilmore's influence extends beyond the surf, earning her a place in the Surfers' Hall of Fame (2010) and the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year award. Her indomitable spirit at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics further solidified her legacy.

Achievements: A remarkable eight-time World Champion, she claimed the coveted title in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, and 2022. Her dominance extends to the WSL Championship Tour, where she has triumphed in 34 prestigious events. Such accomplishments have rightfully earned her a place among surfing legends, as she has been inducted into the esteemed Surfers' Hall of Fame.

Instagram: @stephaniegilmore

Famous Surfers - Stephanie Gilmore Surfing

Sunny Garcia

Born: January 14, 1970

Origin: Wahiawā, Oahu, Hawaii

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Sunny Garcia, born Vincent Sennen Garcia on January 14, 1970, in Wahiawā, Oahu, Hawaii, is a legendary Hawaiian surfer and former professional surfer. He gained widespread recognition for his powerful and aggressive style of surfing. Sunny has had a significant impact on the sport, particularly in the realm of competitive surfing, where he enjoyed a successful career.

Achievements: Sunny Garcia's achievements include being crowned the ASP World Champion in 2000. Throughout his career, he secured numerous victories in various competitions, showcasing his dominance in both powerful reef breaks and beach breaks. Garcia's competitive prowess and contributions to the sport have solidified his status as one of Hawaii's surfing icons.

Instagram: @sunnygarcia

Famous Surfers - Sunny Garcia Best Moments

Titus Kinimaka

Born: February 1, 1963

Origin: Kauai, Hawaii

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Titus Kinimaka is a highly respected figure in the world of surfing. He is renowned for his expertise in big-wave surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Kinimaka has played a crucial role in the development and popularisation of tow-in surfing, particularly at the infamous big-wave spot, Peahi (Jaws), on the island of Maui.

Achievements: Titus Kinimaka is celebrated for his pioneering contributions to tow-in surfing, co-innovating the use of personal watercraft to access and ride massive waves. His fearlessness in the face of giant surf has earned him admiration and respect within the surfing community. Kinimaka's legacy extends beyond competitions, as he has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of big-wave riding.

Instagram: @kinimakasurfing

Famous Surfers - Titus Kinimaka Surfing

Tom Carroll

Born: November 26, 1961

Origin: Newport, New South Wales, Australia

Style: Goofy

Famous Surfers

About: Thomas Victor Carroll, born in Newport, New South Wales, Australia, is an Australian former professional surfer celebrated for his remarkable achievements in the surfing world. Carroll's illustrious career includes victories such as the Australian Junior Title in 1978, Pro Juniors in 1977 and 1980, the 1983 and 1984 ASP World Tour, and the 1987 Pipe Masters. Notably, he made history by becoming the first surfing millionaire after signing a groundbreaking contract with Quiksilver in 1989.

Achievements: Tom Carroll made history with his outstanding performance on the surfing tour. He claimed the Australian Junior Title in 1978, dominated in Pro Juniors during 1977 and 1980, secured the ASP World Tour in 1983 and 1984, and triumphed at the 1987 Pipe Masters. Carroll's contributions to surfing go beyond his victories; he was the first to sign a million-dollar contract with Quiksilver in 1989, shaping the landscape of professional surfing. His legacy includes 26 career world tour wins, three Pipe Masters victories (1987, 1990, and 1991), and two world titles. Carroll's achievements are etched in the history of surfing, earning him a well-deserved place among the greatest surfers of all time.

Instagram: @thomasvictorcarroll

Tom Curren

Born: July 3, 1964

Origin: Newport Beach, California, U.S.

Famous Surfers

About: Meet Thomas Roland Curren, an iconic figure in American surfing born on July 3, 1964, in Newport Beach, California. Renowned as a former professional surfer and musician, Curren holds a significant place in surfing history. He achieved a groundbreaking feat by becoming the first American surfer to clinch the World Surf League World Title, securing this honour three times in 1985, 1986, and 1990.

Achievements: Tom Curren's impact on professional surfing is indelible. Joining the ASP World Tour in 1983, he competed against legends like Rabbit Bartholomew, Shaun Tomson, and Cheyne Horan. His competitive drive and distinctive surfing style led to three world championships and 33 event wins, a record surpassed only by Kelly Slater. In 1990, Curren accomplished a legendary 1200-foot wave ride at Margaret River, an unparalleled feat in surfing history. Despite retiring from competitive surfing in the mid-1990s, Curren continues to participate in contests, showcasing his enduring passion for the sport. He remains a wildcard in World Championship Tour (WCT) trials and contests, demonstrating his timeless influence on the surfing community.

Instagram: @tomcurrenofficial

Famous Surfers - Tom Curren Surfing

Tyler Wright

Born: 31 March 1994 (age 29)

Origin: Culburra Beach, New South Wales, Australia

Style: Regular

Famous Surfers

About: Tyler Wright, a standout Australian professional surfer, emerged from the tight-knit surfing community of Culburra Beach. In 2008, at just 14, she made history as the youngest-ever winner of a Championship Tour event, Layne Beachley's Beachley Classic. Overcoming champions twice her age, Wright joined the World Surf League Women's Championship Tour in 2011. Known for her exceptional talent and competitive prowess, she secured back-to-back World Titles in 2016 and 2017. Tyler, who identifies as bisexual, is sponsored by Rip Curl, Monster Energy Drink, Oakley, Ocean & Earth, and Power Base Fins.

Achievements: Tyler Wright boasts an impressive surfing resume, including two World Championships (2016, 2017) and a total of 16 victories on the WSL Championship Tour. Her remarkable achievements have solidified her status as a surfing icon.

Instagram: @tylerwright

Famous Surfers - Tyler Wright Surfing

Wayne Bartholomew

Born: 30 November 1954.

Origin: Murwillumbah, New South Wales

Style: With a natural stance and a penchant for tube riding, Bartholomew's style on the waves reflects his passion for the sport.

Famous Surfers

About: Wayne Bartholomew has had a profound impact on surfing, not only as a skilled surfer but also as a leader. His contributions go beyond the waves, making him an iconic figure in the surfing community.

Achievements: In 1978, Bartholomew achieved the pinnacle by securing the ASP World Surfing Champion title. His remarkable journey continued in 1999 when he claimed the ASP Masters World Surfing Champion title in France. In 2003, he added to his accolades by winning the ASP Grand Masters World Surfing Champion title, solidifying his status as a three-time world surfing champion.

Instagram: @rabbitbartholomew

Famous Surfers - Wayne Bartholomew Surfing

Wendy Botha

Born: August 22, 1965

Origin: East London, South Africa

Style: With a distinctive style and a competitive spirit, Wendy Botha made waves in the surfing scene, showcasing her prowess on the board.

Famous Surfers

About: Wendy Botha's surfing journey is marked by remarkable achievements and a transition of citizenship. After winning her first world title as a South African citizen in 1987, she later became an Australian citizen. Beyond her accomplishments in surfing, Botha made headlines by posing nude for Australian Playboy in the September 1992 issue.

Achievements: Botha's legacy in surfing is etched in her four world surfing championships. Her initial triumph in 1987 as a South African was followed by three more titles in 1989, 1991, and 1992 as an Australian citizen.

Instagram: @wendy_botha

Famous Surfers - Wendy Botha Surfing

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Now you have a vast list of the most famous surfers, be sure to check out famous surfers from countries around the world such as Hawaii!

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 are the best surfers in history?

Determining the best surfers in history is subjective, but some widely recognised names include Kelly Slater, Eddie Aikau, Laird Hamilton, Mark Richards, and Duke Kahanamoku.

Who is the most famous girl surfer?

Bethany Hamilton gained widespread fame. Known for her resilience after a shark attack resulted in the loss of her arm, she continued to surf competitively and inspire many.

Who is the king of surfing?

The title "King of Surfing" is often associated with Duke Kahanamoku. A Hawaiian native, Kahanamoku is considered a pioneer in popularising modern surfing around the world.

Who is the best male surfer?

Kelly Slater is often regarded as one of the best male surfers in history. With 11 World Surf League championships, he has had a significant impact on the sport.

Who is the oldest surfer still surfing?

As of the latest information, Gary "Kong" Elkerton is known as one of the oldest active surfers. Born in 1964, he continues to ride waves and remains a respected figure in the surfing community.

Which country has the best surfers?

Australia & Hawaii are often considered to have some of the best surfers globally. These countries have produced numerous world champions and are renowned for diverse and world-class surf breaks.

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