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Who is the greatest surfer

The 4 Best Surfers in History

“Sliding on waves”, or He’e Nalu in Hawaiian, is a gift that has been passed on to us by our Polynesian ancestors, with a history of over 4,000 years. Over the last decade, surfing has gained more popularity than ever, and will make its debut at the 2020 Olympics.

But surfing is more than just a sport. It is a form of art, a means of self-expression, and a way of life. However, riding a wave before it breaks is not easy. Learning to surf waves takes a lot of time, patience, and commitment. It takes many failed attempts to gain the experienced required to read waves and ride them in style.

While most of us struggle to amp up our skills, it seems as though some people were born to surf. The latter began as humble beach boys, exploring the oceans and pushing their limits. Their fame, world records, and different surfing styles went down into history and continue to inspire both novice and advanced surfers all around the world.

Let’s take a peek into the lives of history’s most legendary surfers inside and outside the curl:

1. Duke Kahanamoku

Dubbed ‘The Father of Modern Surfing,’ The Duke was a native Hawaiian swimmer. Growing up, the ocean became Duke’s playground, and here are some of his most notable achievements:

In 1911, Duke beat the existing world record by 4.6 seconds for the 100 yards (91 meters) freestyle in Honolulu Harbor.

At 21 years old, he grabbed his first Olympic gold medal for the 100-meter freestyle; he remained the United States’ representative at the Olympics for the next 20 years.

In 1914, he introduced surfing to Australia and New Zealand. Duke was loved by many; not just as a superb surfer and swimmer but also for his sportsmanship and heart for his craft.

In 1918, he raised funds for the war efforts by swimming in exhibitions in 30 mainland cities.

In 1968, Duke passed away aged 77. In remembrance for his exemplary performance as a surfer, the United States Postal Service released a limited-edition commemorative stamp depicting a young Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki.


 

2. Laird Hamilton

Hailed as one of the world’s best big wave surfers, Laird Hamilton became particularly famous for his ride on the “Millennium Wave” at Teahupo’o in the year 2000, which was considered the biggest wave ever at the time. Aside from being a frontrunner in surfing and popularizing paddle boarding and SUP surfing, Hamilton is also famous for being a multi-disciplinary athlete.

Here are some interesting facts about this famous surfer:

He is a highly revered model, producer, TV host, fitness and nutrition expert, stuntman, and author.

Hamilton coined tow-in surfing, which entails the use of a personal watercraft (PWC) in towing a surfer into large waves. As a pioneer of this technique, Hamilton described it as “just going as fast as you’ve ever been. Really, it’s just the sensation of speed.”

As a surfing aficionado, Hamilton believes that surfing is a creative process that is intrinsically motivated rather than a sport driven by external rewards.

3. Kelly Slater

 

Born Robert Kelly Slater in 1972 and acclaimed as ‘The Greatest Surfer of All Time,’ Kelly Slater’s career in surfing began at the tender age of six. His career skyrocketed when he began winning successive surfing championship titles at the young age of 11.

Here’s a snapshot of his awe-inspiring success in the world of surfing:

As he transitioned to professional surfing at 18, Slater became invincible. In the year 1991, Slater won the Rookie of the Year award, followed by a whopping string of World Title victories in the years 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1999.

Slater became a television household name after landing a role in the famous series Baywatch as Jimmy Slade.

After a brief hiatus in the year 1998, Slater began whipping the waves again in 2002, where he broke every professional surfing record up until the year 2011.

In 2015, he unveiled his greatest entrepreneurial achievement yet, the Slater Wave Pool, which creates the perfect canvas for surfers. Located in the middle of the California desert, the pool can create 50 different types of waves at the push of a button, and took a decade for Slater’s team to create. It is described as a combination of cutting-edge engineering and science designed to create the longest, rideable man-made wave in the world.

In September 2017, it was reported that the World Surf League will hold its first public event at Slater’s Surf Ranch in May 2018.

4. Miki Dora

 

Labeled by the London Times as the ‘siren voice of a nonconformist surfing lifestyle,’ Miklos ‘Da Cat’ Dora was known as an unmatched rebellious surfer. Here’s a look into the unorthodox life of one of the world’s best and out-of-the-box surfers:

The Hungarian surfer is known for popularizing longboard surfing. His light stance on the board and ‘ultra-nimble’ footwork earned him the nickname of ‘Da Cat.’

After his parents divorced at the age of six, his drunkard stepfather, Gard Chapin, California’s best surfer in the late 1930s and early ‘40s, introduced him to the surfing realm. Influenced by his stepfather’s aggressive and ill-tempered personality, Miki demonstrated a somewhat lonely and aggressive surfer personality, even protesting against the commercialization of surfing.

As a mysterious and gifted surfer, Miki was hailed as the first superstar of the surfing world.

Living a thug life, Miki spent time behind bars for fraud and grand robbery in 1973. He died in 2002 after succumbing to pancreatic cancer.



best gifts for surfers

Best Gifts for Surfers: Our Top Picks

You may be wondering what to get the surfer on your holiday shopping list. To help you out, we’ve listed down ten gift ideas for surfers—including top-selling items that may not be considered bare necessities but would still make great presents that you can surprise them with.

Gift Choices for Surfers

O’Neill Reactor II 3/2mm Men’s Full Suit

If you have the budget for it, why not surprise your surfer buddy or loved one with a new wetsuit? Chances are they already have one, but who wouldn’t love another one for free?

And if you truly want to impress them, get the O’Neill Reactor II, which is specifically designed for both divers and surfers. It’s as comfortable as surfers would want a full wetsuit to be, warm enough for long surfing sessions without being uncomfortable in warm waters, and made to be extra stretchy and thick in all the right places.

There’s even an O’Neill Reactor II 3/2mm Full Suit for Women to match!

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Feels super stretchy and comfortable
  • Provides warmth while remaining comfortable during the summer
  • Easy to wear and remove
  • Allows a full range of motion without chafing the skin
  • Features ergonomic knee pads for comfortable knee boarding

O’Neill Explore 3/2 mm Women’s Spring Dive Suit

Living in the tropics? A shorty wetsuit may be the more suitable option. We recommend the
O’Neill Explore 3/2 mm Women’s Spring Dive Suit, which is 3mm thick around the torso for extra warmth and made of carefully constructed Nylon 2 Neoprene Rubber for optimum water resistance, flexibility, and comfort.

Surfers would love its strategic ultra-flex DS zones for unrestricted mobility minus the chafing, the firewall chest for that much-needed heat insulation, and GlideSkin O-ring seals that work efficiently in minimizing water entry. The seams are flat-lock stitched for optimum strength and durability, and the #10-blackout back zipper comes with a pull tab leash that can be easily accessed by the wearer.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Allows more freedom of movement
  • Provides lasting thermal insulation
  • Made of high-quality neoprene blend
  • Easy to wear and remove
  • Made by a well-known brand of wetsuits

JBL Hydro Seal Aqua Plugs

One—actually, two—important surf accessories that surfers will always need are ear plugs, and we don’t mean just any pair. They need them to prevent wind and water from entering their ears, as these can cause infections or abnormal bone growths in the inner ear that can affect hearing.

Your recipient probably already has a pair, but it’s quite normal for surfers to lose a piece (or both) while catching waves. These doctor-recommended JBL Hydro Seal Aqua Plugs stay on comfortably for a watertight fit while providing just enough space for hearing and pressure clearing.

They’re so comfortable that your recipient will be able to put them on and just forget that they’re there.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Doctor recommended to reduce chances of getting “surfer’s ear”
  • Made of hypoallergenic polymer
  • Preformed for a custom and comfortable fit
  • Effectively seals the ear while also allowing pressure clearing
  • Available in three sizes to fit most ears

Henderson 3mm Thermoprene Gloves

 

Neoprene is great not only for wetsuits but also for gloves. But instead of using standard neoprene, Henderson uses thermoprene for added flexibility, stretchability, and comfort. Its 3mm thickness effectively keeps out the cold without restricting movement or making the hands feel numb.

Even more useful for surfing are its gripped palms, which enhances the grasp on surfboards and stand-up paddles. It provides an anatomical fit and is incredibly versatile, so it can be used for other watersports.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • It’s one of the most flexible and stretchable wet gloves on the market
  • Features characteristics of more expensive gloves
  • Enhances grip on surfboards and paddles
  • Easy to wear and remove
  • Available in multiple sizes to fit most hands

Hyperflex 5mm AMP Split Toe Surf Boots

Keeping in mind that surfers usually purchase only what they need for their hobby, it’s likely that they haven’t purchased any cold water surfing gear. That’s where these cool Hyperflex 5mm AMP Split Toe Surf Boots come in.

What makes them stand out is the unique, split-toe design that enhances control over the surfboard—making the user feel as if they were barefoot. The 5mm thickness adds warmth without numbing the feet and the diamond-skin provides a better grip when standing on the surfboard.

It’s definitely a must-have for any surfer who’s planning a prolonged surf trip in areas with colder climates.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Made of warm, durable, and flexible wet shoe materials
  • Provides excellent traction and protection
  • Super water-resistant
  • Great cold water use without numbing feet
  • Easy to wear and remove

Freestyle Shark Classic Tide Watch

A tide watch is one of the best accessories that a surfer can have. The Freestyle Shark Classic Tide Watch is built with a dedicated system that accesses tide data (present and future tide heights) and sunrise/sunset times from over 250 beaches worldwide.

Its added features include a chronograph, countdown timer, heat timer, and an alarm. The case and silicone wristband are durable and comfortable to wear, plus it looks stylish as an everyday watch, making it the ultimate surf accessory for people who ride waves day in and day out.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Very ideal for traveling surfers
  • Provides accurate tide data and sunset/sunrise times
  • Water resistant up to 330 ft. (100 m.)
  • Readable even at night
  • Durable, flexible, and fade-resistant

TYR Swim Shades Mirrored Goggle

 

At first glance, these look like a cool pair of mirrored, frameless sunglasses—until you see its goggle straps. Not too many own protective eyewear while participating in active watersports due to the risk of them getting lost or feeling uncomfortable while riding the waves.

However, the TYR Swim Shades Mirrored Goggles are specifically designed to provide a comfortable, watertight seal on the eyes like premium goggles do, while looking like stylish sunglasses on the outside. Its split strap is super easy to adjust for the perfect fit and it provides broad-spectrum protection against UV rays.

Your favorite surfer—and their eyes—will surely thank you for this thoughtful and useful gift.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Makes wearing goggles look super stylish
  • Provides full UVA/UVB protection
  • Long-wearing and comfortable around the eyes
  • Easy to adjust for the perfect fit
  • Comes in multiple colored variants

Intova Surf Board Mount

Does your recipient love sharing their gnarly rides on social media? Then a surfboard mount may be the perfect gift! Support their love for surfing by helping them document their surf adventures with this versatile action camera mount. Instead of getting a camera that you’re not sure they’ll want, go for a small but very useful accessory that will make it easy for them to attach an action camera right on their surfboard.

The Intova Surf Board Mount comes with a sturdy adhesive mount and a standard screw mount to match those found on a wide variety of compact action cameras. It’s also made of strong plastic and stainless steel, so it’s a perfectly safe companion for a camera.

And heck, if your surfer friend doesn’t have an action camera yet… and you have the budget for it… you may as well throw in a GoPro camera, too!

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Offers unique filming perspective while surfing down waves
  • Offers adjustable view angles
  • Made of durable and impact-resistant materials
  • Easy to secure on a surfboard
  • Compatible with most cameras

Airhead Heavy Duty Leash

Show that you care about their gear and safety by giving them the Airhead Heavy Duty Leash. Unlike other leashes, Airhead’s is coiled and comes with two in-line swivels to prevent tangling. It extends to 11 feet (3.35 meters) long so the board can move away during a fall (so it won’t likely hit the surfer) without getting lost in the water.

The calf strap is also comfortable and comes with a hook and loop touch fastener so it stays on until it is purposely removed by the wearer.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Eliminates the risk of a runaway board
  • Affordable but essential for surfer’s safety
  • Allows full freedom of motion
  • Calf strap is wide and padded for comfort
  • Highly recommended for surf and lake use

Sun Bum SPF 70 Continuous Spray Sunscreen

Since surfing usually entails being under the sun for a prolonged period of time, sun protectant should always be in every surfer’s travel bag. The Sun Bum SPF 70 Continuous Spray Sunscreen allows the user to quickly apply a long-lasting a UVA/UVB-protective shield so they can enjoy hours of wave riding without having to worry about painful sunburns.

Aside from the strong protection, what makes this product special is that it doesn’t feel heavy or gooey on the skin even when you stay out of the water, thanks to its non-greasy and ultra sweatproof/waterproof formulation. It’s also hypoallergenic, Vitamin E-enriched, 100% vegan, and free from gluten, PABA, oil, and harmful parabens.

What Makes It a Great Gift:

  • Provides broad-spectrum UV protection
  • Approve by the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF)
  • Sprays on for quick & easy application
  • Formula is smooth, light, and non-greasy
  • Ultra sweatproof & waterproof



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