Extreme Sports The Best Surfers of All Time  

Ranker Sports
298 votes 54 voters 35 items

List Rules Vote up the best surfers of all time, from early pioneers to today's greatest.

In a sport that involves huge crashing waves, tons of skill, and the potential of shark attacks, the world's best surfers deserve some serious credit—aside from their talent on the board. In all seriousness though, the best surfers in the world not only possess some of the greatest skills of anyone to do it, but many of the famous surfers to follow have had a huge impact on surfing. Whether they're still out there doing it or they've since passed, these are the best to ever do it and they'll go down at the top of their class.

While well-known greats like Duke Kahanamoku and Miki Dora are certainly surf legends, these early pioneers really laid the groundwork for the dudes and chicks to follow. From early chargers like Nat Young and Greg Noll to modern-day rippers Dane Reynolds and Kelly Slater, the world of surfing has seen some true greats. So, who are the best surfers in the world? Better yet, who are the best surfers of all time?

Check out the list of top surfers below and vote up those who you think are truly the best. Feel free to vote surfers down, as well as add others to the list.

list ordered by

1
23 2
Kelly Slater is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 46 Robert Kelly Slater is a Floridian professional surfer known for his competitive prowess and style. He has been crowned ASP World Tour Champion a record 11 times, including 5 consecutive titles ...more

2
10 2
John John Florence is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 25 John John Florence is a Hawaiian surfer. The oldest of three children, Florence grew up in Hale'iwa, in an ocean-side house at Banzai Pipeline. He resides with his mother, Alexandra, and his two ...more

3
10 3
Andy Irons is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Dec. at 32 (1978-2010) Andy Irons (July 24, 1978 – November 2, 2010) was a professional surer. Irons learned to surf on the dangerous and shallow reefs of the North Shore in Kauai, Hawaii, and won three world titles ...more

4
11 4
Rob Machado is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 44 Robert Edward Machado is an Australian-born American professional surfer from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a community in Encinitas, California. Machado attended San Dieguito High School, and is known ...more

5
12 5
Mick Fanning is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 36 Michael Eugene "Mick" Fanning, nicknamed "White Lightning", is an Australian professional surfer and triple world champion. Fanning won the 2007, 2009 and 2013 ASP World

6
9 3
Tom Curren is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 53 Tom Curren is an American surfer. He was born to father Pat and mother Jeanine. His brother Joe is also a professional surfer and popular photographer and he also has a sister named Anna. Curren ...more

7
10 5
Miki Dora is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Dec. at 68 (1934-2002) Miki "Da Cat" Dora, a.k.a. Mickey Dora, a.k.a. "The Black Knight," was an iconic Malibu surfer of the 1950s and 1960s. He had a unique style, in and out of the water, and was ...more

8
8 3
Gerry Lopez is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 69 Gerry Lopez is an actor.

9
9 4
Laird Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 54 Laird Hamilton is an American big-wave surfer, co-inventor of tow-in surfing, and an occasional fashion and action-sports model. He is married to Gabrielle Reece, a professional volleyball ...more

10
8 4
Shaun Tomson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 62 Shaun Tomson is a South African professional surfer and former world champion, environmentalist, actor, author and businessman.

11
5 1
Eddie Aikau is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Eddie Aikau Dec. at 32 (1946-1978) Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau was a well-known Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer. The words Makua Hanai in Eddie Aikau's full name means feeding parent, an adoptive, nurturing, fostering parent, in ...more

12
8 5
Duke Kahanamoku is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Dec. at 78 (1890-1968) Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku was a Hawaiian-American competition swimmer who was also known as an actor, lawman, early beach volleyball player and businessman credited with ...more

13
7 4
Shane Dorian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Shane Dorian age 45 Patrick Shane Dorian is an American surfer from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He spent 11 years touring on the World Championship Tour as a professional surfer. Dorian quit competition surfing in 2003 to ...more

14
6 3
Greg Noll is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 81 Greg Noll, nicknamed "Da Bull" by Phil Edwards in reference to his physique and way of "charging" down the face of a wave, is an American pioneer of big wave surfing and is ...more

15
5 3
Mark Richards is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Mark Richards age 61 Mark Richards, OAM, known as MR, is an Australian surfer, four time world champion, and highly respected by his peers.

16
5 3
Julian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 29 Julian Wilson is an Australian professional surfer who competes on the Association of Surfing Professionals Men's World Tour. He was born and raised in Coolum Beach, Queensland. He is an ...more

17
4 2
Stephanie Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 30 Stephanie Louise Gilmore is an Australian professional surfer and six-time world champion on the Women's ASP World Tour. She was born in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia on 29 January ...more

18
6 5
Jordy Smith is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Jordy Smith age 31 Jordan Michael "Jordy" Smith is a professional surfer from South Africa, competing on the World Championship Tour. In 2007 Smith won surfing's World Qualifying Series, the second-tier ...more

19
5 4
Mark Occhilupo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 51 Marco Jay Luciano "Mark" Occhilupo is an Australian surfer and winner of the 1999 World surfing champion title. Occhilupo, also known as Occy, began his professional career in the ...more

20
4 3
Tom Blake is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Tom Blake Thomas Edward "Tom" Blake was an American athlete, inventor, and writer, widely considered to be one of the most influential surfers in history, and a key figure in transforming ...more

21
4 3
Joel Parkinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 36 Joel Parkinson is an Australian surfer who competes on the ASP World Tour. After twelve years competing at the elite level on the ASP World Championship Tour, a stretch that saw him win eleven ...more

22
3 2
Taj Burrow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 39 Taj Burrow is an Australian retired professional surfer. Burrow was born in Yallingup, Western Australia to American parents and began surfing at age 7. In 1998 he qualified for the ASP World ...more

23
2 1
Lisa Andersen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Lisa Andersen age 49 Lisa Andersen is a four-time world surfing champion from the United States. She won four titles in a row from 1994 to 1997. ASP Rookie of the year in 1987. Named by Sports Illustrated for Women ...more

24
2 1
Martin Potter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Martin Potter age 52 Martin "Pottz" Potter is a former professional surfer. Potter's parents emigrated to Durban, South Africa when he was two years old. He began surfing off the beaches of his hometown ...more

25
6 6
Dane Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 32 Dane Reynolds is a professional surfer from Ventura, California. He is known for his "go for broke" style of surfing that includes many experimental and aerial maneuvers. Reynolds ...more

26
3 3
Nat Young is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 70 Robert Harold "Nat" Young is an Australian surfer and author. Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Young grew up in the small coastal suburb of Collaroy. In 1964, he was runner-up in the ...more

27
2 2
Derek Ho is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 53 Derek Ho is an American surfer who won the world surfing championship in 1993. Ho was born in Kailua, Hawaii. He began surfing at the age of three, and won the world title at age 29. Derek Ho is ...more

28
2 2
Michael Peterson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Michael Peterson Dec. at 60 (1952-2012) Michael "MP" Peterson was a professional Australian surfer. He was considered one of the best surfers in Australia during the early to mid-1970s and was recognised for his deep tube ...more

29
2 2
Sunny Garcia is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 48 Sunny Garcia is a professional surfer. He grew up in Wai'anae and, after leaving school, debuted on the 1986 Gotcha Pro at Sandy Beach, Oahu, beating the 1984 champ Tom Carroll. His top surfing ...more

30
2 2
Ross Clarke-Jones is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 51 Ross Clarke-Jones is an Australian big wave surfer. He originally came from Terrigal in the Central Coast, of New South Wales, Australia where he enjoyed surfing Terrigal Haven, a point break ...more

31
1 1
Wayne Lynch is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Wayne Lynch Wayne Lynch is a surfer.

32
1 2
Simon Anderson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Simon Anderson age 63 Simon Anderson is an Australian competitive surfer, surfboard shaper, and writer. He is credited with the 1980 invention of a three-fin surfboard design, called the "thruster", which ...more

33
1 2
Dave Rastovich is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
Dave Rastovich age 38 Dave Rastovich is a surfer, actor and film producer who appeared in different documentary films.

34
0 1
Joel Tudor is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 41 Joel Tudor is a surfer, primarily known for longboarding, and competitive grappler from San Diego, California.

35
1 3
Layne Beachley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Surfers of All Time
age 45 Layne Collette Beachley AO is a former professional surfer from Manly, New South Wales. She won the World Championship seven times. Currently she is one of the four vice presidents of the ...more