Famous American Surfers

Friends of Boa Onda Guesthouse Peniche today we will discover who are the most famous American surfers in recent surfing history. We are going to discover the men and women who have written pages in the history of this sport over time and who have managed to establish themselves worldwide. Amongst the names on the list you will find surfers participating in the WSL of the moment such as the legendary Kelly Slater or the professional competitions of a few years ago when the technological impact on surfing was quite different.

Furthermore, like the previous article dedicated to discovering famous Brazilian surfers, we will try to give you a general overview of the leading figures in American surfing before moving on to the usual definitive selection. Enjoy your reading.


Who are the famous American surfers

Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater is the greatest competitive surfer of all time. He holds an enviable position on almost every major record in the sport, including 11 world titles, 55 career wins and being the youngest and oldest world champion in the history of men’s surfing. He ushered in a new era of high-performance surfing when he arrived on the scene in 1990, incorporating deliberate fin release and a mix of aerial movements. He won his first world title in 1992, at the age of 20, and his last in 2011, at the age of 39.

His most dominant days were during the mid-1990s, when he won five consecutive titles between 1993 and 1998, surfing light years ahead of his peers. After surpassing Mark Richard’s previous record of four consecutive titles, Slater tried to retire in 1999, but failed. He won his fifth Pipe Masters crown and the CT event in Tahiti during the days when he only dabbled in racing, while remaining committed to film, music and commercial projects.

But after Andy Irons, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson emerged as a new generation of excellent surfers on the World Tour, Slater’s hyper-competitive thorn was rekindled.



In 2002, he returned full-time to the Tour and over the next five years faced his toughest rival, Andy Irons of Hawaii, who got the better of him for three consecutive years. Their heated battles defined the most compelling rivalry in the history of the sport, taking it to new heights. Slater finally won the title in 2005 and 2006, ending the Irons era.

In subsequent years, Slater traded titles with Mick Fanning. His last world title, his 11th, came in 2011, and in 2016 he claimed his 55th victory in Tahiti. In 2019, at the age of 47, he was ranked number eight in the world and won his third Vans Triple Crown title. Although he narrowly missed out on a chance to compete in the 2020 Olympics, Slater was not yet ready to hang up his jersey and finished the 2021 season as world number 14, despite missing four of seven events. This meant he would face the 2022 Championship Tour in the year he would turn 50, perhaps the most surprising of all his incredible statistics.

While his racing legacy will never be touched, Slater will also be remembered for the wave pool technology he and his team of engineers at Kelly Slater Wave Co. brought to light in 2015. This technology has the potential to reshape the surfing landscape for generations, just as his surfing had done in the previous three decades.

Instagram: @kellyslater

World-famous American surfers

The following is a list of the most popular American surfers known to the general surfing public. The selection as usual cannot be considered definitive as we will endeavour to constantly update it over time. Should you have any useful suggestions, please contact us to further elaborate and improve the post.


  • Megan Abubo
  • Eddie Aikau
  • Kala Alexander
  • Lisa Andersen
  • Kolohe Andino
  • Bill Andrews (photographer)
  • Anastasia Ashley
  • Keanu Asing
  • Robert August
  • Rolf Aurness


  • Christiaan Bailey
  • Rochelle Ballard
  • Shane Beschen
  • Jesse Billauer
  • Tom Blake (surfer)
  • Alana Blanchard
  • Tia Blanco
  • Jimmy Blears
  • Lord James Blears
  • Lynne Boyer
  • Ken Bradshaw
  • Bruce Brown (director)
  • Dana Brown
  • Woody Brown (surfer)
  • Bob Burnside


  • Pete Cabrinha
  • Marge Calhoun
  • Corky Carroll
  • Jake Caster
  • Owl Chapman
  • Laura Lee Ching
  • Greg Cipes
  • Jeff Clark (surfer)
  • Griffin Colapinto
  • Jason Collins (surfer)
  • Richie Collins (surfer)
  • Sean Collins (surf forecaster)
  • Courtney Conlogue
  • Timmy Curran
  • Tom Curren


  • Quincy Davis (surfer)
  • Duane DeSoto
  • Darrick Doerner
  • Lani Doherty
  • Miki Dora
  • Shane Dorian
  • George Downing (surfer)


  • Sage Erickson


  • John John Florence
  • Mark Foo
  • Donavon Frankenreiter
  • George Freeth
  • Skip Frye
  • Danny Fuller (surfer)


  • Nick Gabaldón
  • Sunny Garcia
  • Eric Geiselman
  • Evan Geiselman
  • LeRoy Grannis
  • George Greenough
  • Patrick Gudauskas


  • Esther Hahn
  • Jeff Hakman
  • Bethany Hamilton
  • Laird Hamilton
  • Whitey Harrison
  • Chris Hawk
  • Mary Ann Hawkins
  • Fred Hemmings
  • Coco Ho
  • Derek Ho
  • Mason Ho
  • Michael Ho (surfer)
  • C. J. Hobgood
  • Damien Hobgood
  • Joyce Hoffman
  • Philip Hoffman (surfing)
  • Allen Holder
  • John Holeman
  • Lemon Wond Holt
  • Jeff Hubbard


  • Kanoa Igarashi
  • Andy Irons
  • Bruce Irons (surfer)


  • Donald James (surfer)
  • Taylor Jensen
  • Jack Johnson (musician)
  • Malia Jones


  • Duke Kahanamoku
  • Dave Kalama
  • Montgomery Kaluhiokalani
  • Cliff Kapono
  • Veronica Kay
  • Brian Keaulana
  • Rusty Keaulana
  • Rabbit Kekai
  • Keala Kennelly
  • Buzzy Kerbox
  • Don King (photographer)
  • Taylor Knox
  • Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman


  • Randy Laine
  • Sanoe Lake
  • Nic Lamb
  • Bernie Leadon
  • Jimmy Lewis (surfer)
  • Antony Garrett Lisi
  • Greg Long (surfer)
  • Rusty Long
  • Cory Lopez
  • Gerry Lopez
  • James Lovett
  • Andrew Luster


  • Rob Machado
  • Jack Macpherson
  • Mahina Maeda
  • Cheyne Magnusson
  • Barron Mamiya
  • Malia Manuel
  • Caroline Marks
  • Bobby Martinez
  • Clay Marzo
  • Mark Massara
  • Sean Mattison
  • Dax McGill
  • Finn McGill
  • Ted McGinley
  • Lokelani McMichael
  • Garrett McNamara
  • Colin McPhillips
  • Peter Mel
  • Andrea Moller
  • Carissa Moore
  • Tom Morey
  • Jay Moriarity
  • Mickey Munoz
  • Jack Roland Murphy


  • Greg Noll
  • David Nuuhiwa


  • Margo Oberg
  • Jamie O’Brien (surfer)
  • Pat O’Connell (surfer)
  • Peggy Oki


  • Ty Page
  • Mike Parsons (surfer)
  • Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz
  • Frederick Patacchia
  • Bobby Patterson (surfer)
  • Bonga Perkins
  • Lakey Peterson
  • Carol Philips
  • Shayne Pospisil


  • Rick Rasmussen
  • Keani Reiner
  • Tim Reyes
  • Dane Reynolds
  • Makua Rothman


  • Bev Sanders
  • Allen Sarlo
  • Cori Schumacher
  • John Severson
  • Nachum Shifren
  • Bob Simmons (surfer)
  • Brett Simpson
  • Will Skudin
  • Kelly Slater
  • Marcel Soros
  • Yancy Spencer III
  • Bunker Spreckels
  • Balaram Stack
  • Mike Stewart (bodyboarder)
  • Don Stroud
  • Rell Sunn


  • Donald Takayama
  • Kyle Thiermann
  • Buzzy Trent
  • Joel Tudor


  • Butch Van Artsdalen
  • Dale Velzy
  • Peter Viertel
  • Darryl Virostko
  • Lexi VonderLieth


  • Terry Wade
  • Chris Ward (surfer)
  • Matt Warshaw
  • Robert Weaver (surfer)
  • Dewey Weber
  • Sharron Weber
  • Dale Webster
  • Tatiana Weston-Webb
  • Dennis Wilson


  • Frieda Zamba
  • Sebastian Zietz



Hoping to have provided some useful information regarding the selection of famous American surfers in today’s surfing world, we invite you to provide us with useful suggestions to update this list over time. Also, if you would like to come and visit us during the Meo Rip Curl Pro World Championship stage in Peniche, we would be happy to have you as our welcome guests.

You can write to the following email: info@boaondaguesthosuepeniche.com in order to get all the clarifications you need regarding the surf school or the yoga classes offered by our specialised team.

Until next time and have fun in Portugal!

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