The Best Surfers of All Time

Voting 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.

Ranked by
  • Kelly Slater
    218 votes
    • Birthplace: Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States of America
    Robert Kelly Slater (born February 11, 1972) is an American professional surfer, author, actor, model, environmental activist, businessman, and innovator, best known for his unprecedented 11 world ...more
  • Andy Irons
    Dec. at 32 (1978-2010)
    122 votes
    • Birthplace: Oahu, USA, Hawaii
    Philip Andrew Irons (July 24, 1978 – November 2, 2010) was an American professional surfer. Irons originally began surfing with his brother Bruce on the shallow and dangerous waves of Kauai, Hawaii, ...more
  • Tom Curren
    Age: 58
    97 votes
    • Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States of America
    Tom Curren is an American surfer.
  • Duke Kahanamoku
    Dec. at 77 (1890-1968)
    99 votes
    • Birthplace: Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
    Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) was a Native Hawaiian competition swimmer who popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing. He was born towards ...more
  • Mick Fanning
    92 votes
    • Birthplace: Penrith, Australia
    Michael Eugene Fanning , nicknamed "White Lightning" (born June 13, 1981) is a former Australian professional surfer. Fanning won the 2007, 2009 and 2013 ASP World Tour. In 2015 he survived an ...more
  • Laird Hamilton
    112 votes
    • Birthplace: USA, California, San Francisco
    Laird John Hamilton (born March 2, 1964) 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 ...more