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332 voters

The Best Surfers of All Time

Updated August 17, 2019 2.3k votes 332 voters 6.5k views38 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • Kelly Slater1
    181
    27

    BirthplaceCocoa Beach, Florida, United States of America

    Robert Kelly Slater (born February 11, 1972) is an American professional surfer, author,... more on Wikipedia

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  • Andy Irons2
    86
    31

    Andy Irons

    Dec. at 32 (1978-2010)

    BirthplaceOahu, USA, Hawaii

    Philip Andrew Irons (July 24, 1978 – November 2, 2010) was an American professional surfer. ... more on Wikipedia
  • Tom Curren3
    74
    22

    Tom Curren

    Age: 56

    BirthplaceSanta Barbara, California, United States of America

    Tom Curren is an American surfer.
  • Duke Kahanamoku4
    65
    28

    Duke Kahanamoku

    Dec. at 78 (1890-1968)

    BirthplaceWaikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) was a Native... more on Wikipedia

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  • Mick Fanning5
    67
    32

    BirthplacePenrith, Australia

    Michael Eugene Fanning , nicknamed "White Lightning" (born June 13, 1981) is a former... more on Wikipedia
  • Laird Hamilton6
    68
    35

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    Laird John Hamilton (born March 2, 1964) is an American big-wave surfer, co-inventor of tow-in... more on Wikipedia

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    #38 of 38 Famous People Who Were Raised By Single Mothers#6 of 22 The Most Influential Surfers of All Time

  • John John Florence7

    BirthplaceHonolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    John "John" Alexander Florence (born October 18, 1992) is an American professional surfer. He... more on Wikipedia
  • Mark Richards8
    40
    13

    Mark Richards

    Age: 63

    BirthplaceNewcastle, Australia

    Mark Richards (born 7 March 1957), known as MR, is an Australian surfer, four time world... more on Wikipedia
  • Gerry Lopez9
    46
    20

    BirthplaceHonolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

    Gerry Lopez (born November 7, 1948), aka Mr. Pipeline, is an American surfer, shaper,... more on Wikipedia
  • Rob Machado10
    68
    45

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    Robert Edward Machado (born October 16, 1973, Sydney, Australia) is an American professional... more on Wikipedia
  • Mark Occhilupo11
    42
    23

    BirthplaceKurnell, Australia

    Marco Jay Luciano "Mark" Occhilupo (born 12 February 1966) is an Australian surfer and winner... more on Wikipedia
  • Eddie Aikau12
    37
    20

    Eddie Aikau

    Dec. at 32 (1946-1978)

    BirthplaceKahului, Hawaii

    Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau (Kahului, Hawaii, May 4, 1946 – March 17, 1978) was a Hawaiian... more on Wikipedia
  • Dane Reynolds13
    44
    28

    BirthplaceLong Beach, California, United States of America

    Dane Reynolds (born September 7, 1985 in Long Beach, California) is an American professional... more on Wikipedia
  • Stephanie Gilmore14

    BirthplaceMurwillumbah, Australia

    Stephanie Louise Gilmore is an Australian professional surfer and seven-time world champion on... more on Wikipedia
  • Gabriel Medina15
    27
    12

    Gabriel Medina

    Age: 26

    BirthplaceMaresias

    Gabriel Medina is a professional surfer.
  • Taj Burrow16
    30
    17

    Taj Burrow

    Age: 42

    BirthplaceBusselton, Australia

    Taj Burrow (born 2 June 1978) is an Australian retired professional surfer. Taj retired from... more on Wikipedia
  • Sunny Garcia17
    32
    22

    BirthplaceUSA, Maili, Hawaii

    Sunny Garcia (born Vincent Sennen Garcia on January 14, 1970 in Mā'ili, on the Westside of... more on Wikipedia
  • Shane Dorian18
    35
    26

    Shane Dorian

    Age: 48

    BirthplaceKailua, Hawaii, United States of America

    Patrick Shane Dorian (born July 19, 1972), or "Shane", is an American surfer from Kailua-Kona,... more on Wikipedia
  • Shaun Tomson19
    31
    21

    BirthplaceDurban, South Africa

    Shaun Tomson (born 21 August 1955) is a South African professional surfer and former world... more on Wikipedia
  • Joel Parkinson20
    26
    18

    BirthplaceNambour, Australia

    Joel Parkinson (born 10 April 1981) is an Australian surfer who competes on the ASP... more on Wikipedia
  • Jordy Smith21
    32
    30

    Jordy Smith

    Age: 33

    BirthplaceDurban, South Africa

    Jordan Michael "Jordy" Smith (born 11 February 1988) is a South African professional surfer,... more on Wikipedia
  • Greg Noll22
    24
    19

    Greg Noll

    Age: 83

    BirthplaceSan Diego, California, United States of America

    Greg Noll (born February 11, 1937), nicknamed "Da Bull" by Phil Edwards in reference to his... more on Wikipedia
  • Derek Ho23
    21
    16

    Derek Ho

    Age: 56

    BirthplaceKailua, Hawaii, United States of America

    Derek Ho (born September 26, 1964) is a Chinese American surfer who won the world surfing... more on Wikipedia
  • Lisa Andersen24
    21
    17

    Lisa Andersen

    Age: 51

    BirthplaceOrmond Beach, Florida

    Lisa Andersen (born March 8, 1969, in Ormond Beach, Florida) is a four-time world surfing... more on Wikipedia
  • Simon Anderson25
    18
    15

    Simon Anderson

    Age: 66

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    Simon Anderson (born 7 July 1954) is an Australian competitive surfer, surfboard shaper, and... more on Wikipedia