The 100 (or thereabouts) most impactful postmodern wave riders, as ranked by surfing’s preeminent arbiter.

Light / Dark


When Derek Hynd approached us with this installation, we minced no words: “Yes” was a mere formality. We’ve been with him all along. As readers, we reveled in his 1982 North Shore dispatch in Surfing World: “I’m Spartacus.” That vigorous report from a lager-sopped Kuilima condo showed US surfers that the Aussies threw down just like us. Well, the best of us, anyway. 

Hynd’s relays were not merely embedded. They came wearing non-com olive drab. Soon enough, this rare university-educated touring pro was issuing the most insider, style-drenched reportage on the rack. While his profile and travel work achieved privileged beachheads, he’s more popularly remembered for his Top 30 roundups in late-’80s Surfer magazine. Wicked smart, and sometimes just wicked, Hynd handicapped the ASP field like the stock-picking econ grad that he was—if econ grads were culturally literate tone poets given to solo trips on the Trans-Siberian Express. 

As a competitive surfer, Hynd was a Machiavellian tactician in the glory days of priority-free, man-on-man blood sport. At 140 pounds, and a lover, not a fighter, there were much more imposing surfers on the leaderboard. But he was a diabolical filero, cutting rivals to ribbons before they felt the first trickle. He ascended to seventh in the world. Almost immediately, he shifted to coaching and marketing, tutoring Occy, among others, and devising Rip Curl’s “The Search” campaign. 

As an artist, as a dancer, he exists on an astral plane. Most any board, most any wave. That includes self-imagined vehicles and spots few, if any, have ridden. Viewing a clip of Hynd’s finless work at J-Bay some years ago, our founding publisher—a man not given to haphazard pronunciamientos—called him the best surfer in the world. Hynd was in his fifties during filming. Think about that. Conjure the surfers Steve Pezman dismissed between the time of his personal heroes  (Phil Edwards and Reynolds Yater) and the advent of Hynd, wraithlike, skidding as if on Swiss ball bearings, communing with his chosen deity at Supertubes. 

As a gadfly, a fan, a provocateur, Hynd has always had a stick in the paint can, checking for bubbles and critiquing the color. In 1999, for instance, he invited TSJ to El Mariachi, his favorite Mexican restaurant in San Clemente, for a tight-lipped gathering of 20 progressive pros keen on fomenting a “rebel tour.” We sat with Andy and Bruce, both sharp-eyed and gentlemanly. Assembling the world’s best to meet in peace, break bread, and hash out a new vision? Vintage Hynd. The effort blew apart, but a point was made: Sanitized surfing must not fly. 

To this day, Hynd follows the modern scene with an ex-pro’s knowledge and a punter’s willingness to pick dark horses. Yet his interest has always been too broad for the jejune world of organized surfing. His contact list of international local legends alone could fill the profile category of this book’s pages for five years. 

Thereby: Evolver. Derek Hynd’s—not ours, not yours—arch-informed breakdown of the present’s most engrossing wave riders. You’ll polo clap, you’ll second-guess, you’ll scream, “What about my Johnny?” But that’s the point. Those who can read between the lines will note a preponderance of Hynd’s own wingmen and running mates—and that’s how it should be. When you come in with the power of achievement, reputation, and longevity, you come in with leverage. 

Such exercises are, by nature, fraught and riddled with blind spots. But on these pages, the one-eyed man is king. 

Scott Hulet


I am an asshole, which is about to come as no surprise. You, reader, and with the greatest respect, are an asshole too. 

Evolver is a reckoning for every surfer, let alone the ones listed. It deals in aesthetics, delivery of art in surfing, weight of environmental footprint in the entire process. Ecologically, we’re all in this, a clusterfuck of toxic guilt. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of us are implicated through fiberglass, resins, vacuum bagging, PU/EPS/sandwich foams, sanding dust, and end-of-the-line landfill—80 years of mass plastics materialism locked onto one feedback loop. From the point of the first new board, every surfer is tattooed by environmental assholism—or footprint. The scales of footprint, along with art form and lifestyle, reach from the grave courtesy of Miki Dora’s righteous assholism index. Dora should rise for  the commentary. 

In Dora’s decades at Jeffreys Bay, postwar Americana was in a special bin. He talked about it, waxed lyrical over it. As a teenager in the late ’40s, he’d felt the GI Bill and its multiplier effect stamp the LA of Fante’s prewar Bunker Hill to dust. Habitat, his habitat, wrecked. In its place came a social and physically imposing morass. And, as he was directed by family to believe, catastrophically immoral. Let your mind waft back to Dora’s stepfather, Gard Chapin, yelling “OUTTA MY ROAD” as the fastest surfer by miles on the California coast, coupled with young Dora hearing it from the beach as traditionalists, beginners, and associated flotsam were left horrified by the cut of a conquistador. From Chapin to Dora came revolution, industry, and the boom nightmare of self-implication: the horde. Through the 1960s, his middle finger went straight up. He reserved the greatest deliverance for the surfing industry. The problem? The specifics were never made plain. He left those hanging, as was his grifter’s wont. 

Evolver rates who and what really matters, or should matter, to my mind. With the future telling us “STOP,” minimalism is the only signpost. Innocuously sitting No. 100 is a surfer with one waist-high wave to her credit, but one that forced elemental evolution: minimalism, purity on a 12-foot glider by a shortboard addict. The surfers ranked No. 14, brothers, one of several familial groupings featured here, rate mega aesthetics against major footprint in pursuit of stunning dual careers geared to evolutions and deliveries. Just not stark minimalism. Their relatively peculiar signpost paints an American Dream at odds with itself.

From internationally promoted surfers to underground unknowns, Evolver tries to balance spectrum footprint and aesthetics. Cue Kelly Slater with comparative advantage/ disadvantage after 35 years and counting of all-facet domination—a mega economic and environmental footprint offset by reign of enlightened performance. (He does make the list.) 

However, competitive surfers, of any ilk, are short on Evolver presence. In all factors I considered, the competitor fares worst due to their massive quivers, land/air/sea travel, lineup aggression, et cetera. Worse, unfortunately, competitors are up against it as accessories of, if not architects to, style dismemberment. Their administrations have axed the validities of Gerry, Larry, Fitzy, Reno, Rell, and Lynne, et al, and Curren further on, and left themselves exposed to a form of betrayal. Whilst I’m not calling this assholism, regressive art-form behaviorism will do. 

No matter the level, age, or method, the surfer is up there with the worst relative global individual footprint. Social, moral, and physical behaviorism thereafter set individual scale. Generic surfer footprints manifest via the physical (lineup attitude/thuggery), the social (lineup noise/drug use/third-party influence), the industrial (year in, year out, from local to global production), the metabolic (eating meat/milk, thus farming methane), the chemical (toxins/waste), and the carbon emissions (travel/freight/household). Good footprint is moral, restorative, seeing and treating things minimally, a semblance of Zen, or just  doing better. 

As for me? I had a house fire. Boards and sundry blown into the atmosphere. Out of toxic guilt, I haven’t traveled since. I have no passport. I stay local. I live in a tent, use solar power, and have a gravity-fed veggie patch. I compost and don’t burn off. I rarely use wax, and my go-to board has been recycled five times in 25 years. I got rid of a fin 20 years ago trying to run things back to before Dora’s out-of-control zeitgeist, before Chapin’s bad manners, before flagrant footprint, to Freeth and Duke. Yet I run a petrol car 20 miles a day to get to the surf, and build cottage boards from a stack of blanks. 

The God to my transmission remains Miki Dora. Dora Lives. I am an asshole.

Derek Hynd

Key & Criteria

N = Naturalfoot 

G = Goofyfoot 

B = Body 

P = Prone 

S = Switch 

K = Kneeboard 

Ad = Adaptive Disabled 

Art-Form/Lifestyle Span:  The amount of time an individual has practiced the art form and/ or lifestyle that is significantly important. Art form represents approach/footprint in the water, while lifestyle represents approach/ footprint on land. Note: This span may or may not include a surfer’s entire life/career. This category accounts only for the length of time that they have risen to distinction under these criteria. 

Self-made/Paid: Denotes whether a surfer is paid by the surf industry and/or surf brands or their income is non-endemic to the surf industry. Note: Surfers whose points of distinction were established before or after they became/were paid professionals are categorized as self-made. 

Footprint: Intentional/unintentional lifestyle impact(s), with the offset of footprint relative to the plus or minus sum of industrial and/or personal impact on the environment 

PoD: Point(s) of distinction, or the characteristics, behaviors, innovations, approaches, mindsets, et cetera, that make a surfer exceptional and warrant their Evolver inclusion and ranking 

App: Application(s), or the venue, arena, and/or focus of practice in which PoDs are applied 

Pos: Positive impact(s) 

Neg: Negative impact(s)

100  GRACE STYMAN-LANE N Art-Form Span: 1 day. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: 12-foot glider. App: Small point surf. Pos: First-ever wave off shortboards was an instant revelation of art in motion via entry speed/style/form/positioning. Neg:  As with the bulk of competition surfers, failure to evolve the experience and apply the lesson long term. Note: Evoked Skip Frye at Cliffs and Linda Cuy at Easkey with correct power-to-weight ratio and instant Zen possession. Photo by Nicholas Vitko.

99  KOHEI CHIBA N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 55 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: major; personal: nil). PoD: Style doyen. App: Storm surf. Pos: Japanese industry pioneer with a focus of cottage production; fit, humble, durable, connected, respected, gentlemanly. Neg: Construction toxins/waste; minor travel. Note: Master and pioneer of the typhoon-fed Shikoku rivermouth experience; highly credible cottage craftsmanship in boards and wetsuits. 

98  HOLLY WAWN N Art-Form Span: 10 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Campbell Brothers semi-gun Bonzer. App: J-Bay high lines. Pos: Power-to-weight ratio, combined with minimalist delivery. Neg: Failure to realize the lesson long term. Note: Arriving at 5- to 8-foot J-Bay as a QS surfer passing by, stood out on debut via Bonzer way ahead of standard curves. Photo by Thomas Robinson.

97 JED DONE N Art-Form Span: 30 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Research/development of flex tails. App: Negative rocker flex via platypus tail. Pos: Tapped how to expand inertia without physical force through the negative-flex tail harnessing and releasing acceleration during bottom turns. Neg: Nil; cottage-builder waste is offset by self-sustainability far from urban bullshit. Note: Simon Anderson’s 1981 Thruster debut at Bells used a similar method based on uniform volume and power-to-weight “tilt”-release bottom turns. Photo courtesy of Jed Done.

96  FABIO GOUVEIA N Art-Form Span: 40 years. Paid. Footprint: Massive (industrial: massive; personal: minor; offset: nil). PoD: Pure form. App: Tour purist. Pos: Counterpoint to Brazilian approach via rising in solitude in equatorial point waves as a radical minimalist; still holding form 25 years post–competitive career. Neg: Massive impact on Brazilian surfing boom,  massive third-party national board industry footprint via domestic/international travel toxins/waste. Note: On tour nearly 40 years ago, occasionally out-styled Curren via economy of movement; recently turned up at Jeffreys Bay in perfect touch. 

95  JARED MELL N Art-Form Span: 15 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Quiver exploration. App: Twin-keel glider. Pos: Adept on any craft north of industrial pulp; phenomenal depth/speed delivery on 12-foot equipment in cyclone point surf. Neg: Quiver over-choice, the bane of many a sponsored alternative pro; perpetuation of third-party surf-travel lifestyle. Note: Can perfectly set a twin-fin glider rail in serious conditions with astonishing power-to-weight delivery. Photo by Kane Skennar.

94  BEAU CRAM N Art-Form Span: 5 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Quiver exploration. App: Semi-gun fish at J-Bay. Pos: Lineage; innate positional awareness, lateral appreciations, high lines at solid Supers; radical barrel and face combinations in small surf on a beater. Neg: Occasional travel. Note: Up there with best-ever J-Bay debuts via projection drivelines portraying the Cram lineage of eloquent power. Photo by Tom Pearsall.

93  RANGI ORMOND N Art-Form Span: 20 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Farmland isolation. App: Country soul raising of family. Pos: Abandoned Australia and the crowd for New Zealand and empty local go-outs; fluid in all manner of alternative boards. Neg: Nil. Note: Was at the forefront of alternative surfing until brilliantly bailing on bullshit to raise a family far from the madding crowd, becoming an unintended futurist. 

92  JYOTI WALKER N Art-Form Span: 10 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Positioning/style. App: Point-reef surf. Pos: Method simplicity via style/line/positioning/speed on all boards/designs, backhand/forehand. Neg: Minor travel. Note: Diminutive power-to-weight dynamics, from a 5’3″ fish at  Desert Point to a 12-foot glider at sandbar points. Photo by Paul Kelly.

91  BEN ZUBKEVYCH P Art-Form Span: 10 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Minimalism. App: Mat. Pos: Lateness, velocity, projection, minimalism, natural progression. Neg: Nil. Note: The inside late drop on a mat in a horror pack against a strong current sends a telling message: grand art from grand endeavor. Photo by Fenna de King.

90  GARY ROGERS G Lifestyle Span: 35 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Minimalist retailer. App: Community cog in an English Channel town. Pos: Essential/core, if arcane, surf-shop proprietor with magical reciprocity with hardy local surfers. Neg: Minor industrial cog, thus stuck in the carbon cycle, albeit exponentially offset by 35 years of altering what would have been non-surfing lives. Note: Welsh surfing nomad who came upon the town of Saltburn, noted the power of the reefs, got stoked, built a fortune in social capital. 

89  CALICHE ALFARO G Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Work/surf balance. App: Restaurateur/ secluded split-peak reef maestro. Pos: Core figure of a Costa Rican surf town with world-class empty dawn patrols during southern-hemi swells. Neg: Third-party carbon farm effect as a catcher of global youth tourism at a beachside mecca he’s branded causes ongoing collective footprint. Note: A local’s life of surf/fiesta at his door creates no need to travel; home wellenough built not to need ground-floor air conditioning. 

88  HARRY HENDERSON P Art-Form Span: 10 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Invention. App: Hand-planing. Pos: High-art prone method evokes Larry Gephart gun hand-planing and Glen Whitford palm-pivot barrel loops; unique tractor stalls on a 9-foot foamie. Neg: Standard mass softboard sourcing/ production/freight/distribution/wastage out of Asia delivers a regressive footprint. Note: Sixty-five years of surf-industry invention versus footprint sits here in simple form—highly inspired visual positives against omnipotent carbon negative. 

87  JACOB STUTH N Art-Form Span: 15 years. Self-made.  Footprint: Minor. PoD: Redefining traditional alaia technique.  App: Radical speed-torques at Noosa. Pos: Latter-day pioneer, with Tom Wegener, of an environmentally perfect surfing alternative with a unique method of torque/flex velocity generation. Neg: Seasonal travel. Note: Arguably the most traditionally sound alaia rider of modern times—upright with astonishing trim speed, an ancient-to-modern bridge. 

86  TYLER WARREN N Art-Form Span: 20 years. Self-made/paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Art/quiver. App: 4’6″ and up. Pos: Adept feet/ hands; lateral thought; a post-Litmus surf-industry counter point; rare surfer to master all craft; uncontrived. Neg: Direct board-construction waste; third-party socio/industrial impact; early alternative career played unintended role in feeding hipster flotsam. Note: In a class with Dave Rastovich, Dane Peterson, and Ryan Burch for cross-quiver ability; artwork success partly absolves ties to industry. 

85  ELLIS ERICSON N Art-Form Span: 15 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Adept on most alternative designs. App: Exploratory Kidman/Greenough test pilot. Pos: Early transition to alternative surfing via rightful questioning of standard board limitations, edgeboard collaborations, mat appreciations. Neg: Too much too soon via early film work (Free as a Dog); a few lean years before initial Bali design-hub resurgence. Note: Example of surfer evolution once freed of competitive-criteria demands; impressive “gut punch” thrust technique on mats. Photo by Andrew Kidman.

84  BRADEN WEIR N Art-Form Span: 15 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor (industrial: moderate; personal: negligible; offset: minor). PoD: Traditional alaia. App: Critical point surf. Pos: Radical alaia R&D; lineup mastery in the course of riding small wood; fast; explosive; paddle-fit. Neg: Construction waste via standard boards. Note: Possesses a Greenough element of profoundly lateral thought; depth of radical alaia line lost on standard pointbreak packs. 

83  DERRICK DISNEY N Art-Form Span: 15 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor (industrial: minor; personal: minor; offset: minor). PoD: Quiver versatility. App: Pointbreaks. Pos: Style in critical position on challenging boards small to large. Neg: Minor travel; construction toxins/waste. Note: Imprinted on those seeing him from Mex to J-Bay is the difficult made easy. 

82  MATT CHOJNACKI N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 20 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: minor; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Quiver. App: Pocket panache. Pos: Heritage; lines/clutch pocket positioning at speed on semiguns/longboards. Neg: Travel footprint; vintage-car devotee— literal carbon creation. Note: Non-pretentious McTavish disciple of similar artistry, notably the slot off the bottom to barrel. 

81  NATHAN OLDFIELD N Art-Form Span: 5 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Gliding. App: Power-to-weight style/delivery. Pos: Unassuming, quiet, polite filmmaker; glider minimalist with critical speed/power. Neg: Negligible. Note: Pointbreak rides on 12-foot boards done with aplomb, hen’s teeth, and deceptively laconic upright skill factor. 

80  DAVE/BRONTE MACAULAY G/G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 35 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (travel: moderate; personal: minor; offset: minor). PoD: Desert travel. App: Pits. Pos: Approach at solid Gnaraloo is perhaps highest-caliber example of father/daughter surfing. Neg: Carbon via long-term land/air travel and personal quiver. Note: Dave, fitness and form against general ex-pro trend of losing edge; Bronte, likely to be part of this exception to the rule. Photo by Ryan Miller.

79  DEREK MACLEOD G Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Self-made. Footprint: Nil. PoD: Lifestyle epiphany switch. App: Cold-water isolated surf community pioneer. Pos: Power of conviction in seeing natural wonder, building a new life around it, elevating lives of others in similar vein via low-impact minimalism. Neg: In social credit. Note: As a Glasgow bikie going 100 mph in the Outer Hebrides, flashed by a wave like “that Pipeline on TV,” moved there, learned to surf, built a dream.

78 BETHANY HAMILTON Ad+G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 20 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor (industrial: moderate; personal: minor). PoD: Amputee. App: Shark attack. Pos: Outrageous adaptations via critical takeoffs with one arm are against-odds inspiration to all surfers; profound mindset to defeat physical setback. Neg: Carbon via mainstream/competition travel. Note: Listed for overcoming frontier challenge. 

77  BILL HARTLEY N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 40 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: minor; personal: major; offset: minor). PoD: Sebastian Inlet mentor. App: Kelly Slater. Pos: First Peak carve an inspiration in the rise of KS. Neg: Major multiples of personal Indo travel, in particular long-haul flights to diesel-powered Mentawai luxury; quiver toxins/waste. Note: It’s like “Who influenced Elvis?” to have Kelly acknowledge him across generations, Hartley of the Underground, main vein. 

76  JOCK SUTHERLAND S Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Self-made. Footprint: Nil. PoD: Mind-body minimalism. App: Surfer/fisherman. Pos: Radical switchfoot pioneer at Waimea (including at night), Pipeline, and Sunset; nimble, smart, lateral, open, astute then as now; self-sustainability on land/at sea. Neg: Nil. Note: With Joey Cabell, Mike Doyle, Rusty Miller, an ultimate exemplar before, during, and after the 1967 to ’68 downsizing; fit and consummate as a minimalist surfing elder. Photo by Jeff Divine.

75  DANNY WILLS N Lifestyle Span: 20 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: nil; offset: nil). PoD: Longevity. App: Precision. Pos: Sound transition from  top pro to top retailer via 20 years at Quiksilver; well-mannered, humble, open; flawless in post-career form. Neg: Third-party industrial carbon footprint as a highly valued Australian retailer. Note: Major cog on both sides of fence: world-title leader  on final-day Pipe climax, second-phase master retailer in Byron Bay. 

74  JORDAN RODIN N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 10 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Free friction. App: Isolation. Pos: Hard-onshore surfing inside barrier reefs; free-friction exponent via speed, acceleration, invention, edge control. Neg: Fuel via desert travel. Note: Nothing if not committed to variations of the fuck-off bottom turn. Photo by Billy Cervi.

73  MATT KECHELE G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 40 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: minor; offset: nil). PoD: Durability. App: Fitness. Pos: Prime Kelly Slater mentor; original aerialist; board upcycler; local icon; intergenerational lifestyle impact; enduring fitness; form; goodwill. Neg: Moderate board-building waste/toxins; seminal role in Slater’s rise, thus an indirect hand in Slater’s carbon footprint. Note: Major player in the fabric of one of the world’s core surf zones: the entire East Coast of the USA. 

72  JOHANNA BREBNER N Art-Form Span: 5 years. Paid. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Lineup methodology. App: Packed pointbreaks. Pos: Minimalism; understatement; style; quiver differentiation; mat/free friction/recycled boards; ocean paddling on an Island gun; renowned for smiling in a sea of assholes. Neg: Negligible. Note: Subcurrent art of passive lineup chess work—the subtle, silent, joyful “drift hustle” in packs of 50-plus males at points. 

71  TREVOR GORDON N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 20 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Distinctive/localized style doyen. App: Point surf. Pos: Revered for non-rote appreciations. Neg: Minor travel. Note: Peer reputation of the surfer as an artist can’t get much better; rare bird of nonconformist line; underground icon. 

70  HARRISON ROACH N Art-Form Span: 15 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Board-spectrum mastery. App: Twisting Boiling Pot on garbage-dump single-fins. Pos: Vast skill set with all designs, even recycled; humility, poise, focus. Neg: Carbon via competitive/non-competitive travel. Note: Forget about longboard touch—dominating on old dumpster single-fins  at beyond low-tide Boiling Pot during cyclone swells is the  new green. Photo by Harrison Mark.

69  TYLER HATZIKIAN G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 35 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Loaded. App: Power. Pos: Heritage via Hap Jacobs as mentor; goofyfooted Phil Edwards; vertical industry mastery—factory to lineup, machine shop to raceway. Neg: Despite purity of long-term manual skill sets, the original cult surfing lifestyle of heavy boards and big engines breeds environmental footprint. Note: Logs and 409s—the South Bay double play from 1962 to ’65; declined a 1992 offer as Curren’s main “Search” partner to stay true to ethos. 

68  MICK FANNING N Art-Form Span: 25 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: massive; personal: major; offset: minor). PoD: Definition of precision. App: Points. Pos: Fine role model of optimism; endurance; good nature with peers/fans/strangers; overcoming adversity; up-front demeanor; flat-chat speedster. Neg: Considerable direct/indirect industrial impact via clothing, wetsuits, hard and soft boards, freight, energy toxins/ waste. Note: Wunderkind from relentless Snapper cutbacks to barrel finesse at Lennox; tour finesse via “rapier touch” dump landings. 

67  ALEX KNOST N Art-Form Span: 25 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: minor; offset: nil). PoD: Nonconformist. App: Semi-gun retro. Pos: Unique approach, markedly different to pros of every ilk; stutter-stepped jaggedness reflects independence from the criteria. Neg: Contrived or not, his proto-hipsterism was a tipping point for alternative industry, directly/indirectly feeding quiver creations, thus added carbon. Note: An Iggy Pop–styled alternative icon; inspiration for lineup urbanists, but gets full respect and outlasted the trend. Photo by Grant Ellis.

66  CRAIG ANDERSON G Art-Form Span: 20 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Corporate owner. App: Freesurfing. Pos: Alternative to the standard box; on a fish, even if only a hybrid, his high line is high art; Dane Reynolds partner in apparel business. Neg: Cult youth figure inspiring third-party footprints, creating industrial influence, thus toxic expansion. Note: Fame buys into obligation, hype, and saturation, competitive or otherwise; new phase puts him in a deeper footprint with Reynolds. Photo by John Respondek.

65  OZZIE WRIGHT G Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate. PoD: Free-form surfer/punk artist. App: Lifestyle hinged to surf/art. Pos: Relentless; isolationist; Left Bank mindset; wealth creation from pop art. Neg: Travel; global third-party industrial impact via apparel; board creation and breakage toxins/waste. Note: Countercultural anti-jock, outstripped traditionalist peers for form retention/minimalist lifestyle  despite wild roots. Photo by John Respondek.

64  JOEL PARKINSON N Art-Form Span: 25 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: major; personal: major; offset: nil). PoD: Nonchalant positioning. App: Home points. Pos: Polite, good-natured icon; extreme performance made easy; rescue work during Australian floods of ’22. Neg: Direct/indirect career impact from grom to pro, thus part of revolving/growing carbon cycle. Note: Laconic maestro at tail end of pro-surfing era when style was part of the assessment; never once seemed fazed by pressure. 

63  MICHAEL/MASON/COCO HO N/N/N Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: moderate; offset: minor). PoD: Focus/fun. App: Any wave. Pos: Optimistic; humorous; deflective; roots, lineage, tribal respect; wave-addicted. Neg: Travel/quiver. Note: Dedication to fun in any size surf, passed down father to son/daughter—no greater surfing essence. Photo by Kalani Cummins.

62  MARK OCCHILUPO G Art-Form Span: 40 years. Paid. Footprint: Mega (industrial: mega; personal: massive; offset: nil). PoD: Revolutionary. App: Tom Curren. Pos: Upbeat, conversational, friendly, endearing; hilarious spontaneity; drawn-out rail-grab-fade bottom turns to hooks will never be beaten. Neg: Mega direct/indirect industrial/social imprint on 40 years of amateur, QS, and CT surfers via party/travel impact and global board/apparel carbon. Note: Best-ever tour surfer for mixing style and power-to-weight ratio; greatest complete backhand display at Bells Beach in ’97; currently retaining 50 percent form. 

61  JACK ROBINSON N Art-Form Span: 5 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: minor; offset: minor). PoD: Panache. App: Forehand reefs. Pos: The most die-hard anti-competitive reader perhaps needs to check Robinson’s forehand approach to home reefs, which is up there with Andy/ Bruce at the same age. Neg: Rising tour carbon footprint; rising mainstream industrial links; question mark regarding whether his current competitive choice is optimal. Note: Perfect forehand delivery in critical situations—in this regard, as adept as the greatest surfers in history. Photo by Ryan Miller.

60  PETER JONES G Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: National Welsh cultural icon. App: Cottage surf-shop pioneer. Pos: Perhaps the most pleasant surfing identity ever to have existed, a force of hope/ optimism and lesson of minimalism providing greater reward. Neg: Minor freight impacts spanning decades. Note: A perfect career in surf retailing—small family business, devoted locals, stretches of empty beach at hand. 

59  JIM BANKS G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 45 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: minor; offset: nil). PoD: Surfer/shaper. App: Indonesia. Pos: Pinnacle Indo gun construction; master surfer/shaper; high-end wave knowledge; durability. Neg: Craftsman toxins/waste. Note: Iconic reputation for serious Indonesian conditions, a major second-phase career post–pro surfing. 

58  DAVE PARMENTER N Lifestyle Span: 40 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Staunch awareness/dedication/respect. App: Power/line/drive. Pos: Iconoclastic; empowered; dedicated; culturally immersed. Neg: Craftsman toxins/waste. Note: Latter-day Phil Edwards—style, stoicism, intelligence; retaining same mindset from mid-’80s Bud Tour wunderkind to current Hawaii-based purist. Photo by Jeff Divine.

57 TERRY CHUNG N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 45 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Self-sustainability. App: Outer Islands country soul. Pos: Polite, humble, pragmatic, inventive; pioneer via foil in big surf; one of best ever at J-Bay via setting high-gun mark dueling with Mikey Meyer. Neg: Minor fuel use via offshore angling. Note: Highly measured/highly unaffected in the generation of myriad big-surf super egos. 

56  SID ABRUZZI N Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Community bastion. App: Contrary social icon of surf/skate to Rhode Island. Pos: Energy; hope; natural faith; underground hero; social equality; successful battler for surfer rights against American establishment. Neg: Nil. Note: Champion of disaffected and trampled surfers/non-surfers; as important to roots/core/local fabric as any surfer alive. 

55  DARRICK DOERNER N Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Waterman focus/safety. App: Tow development. Pos: Fitness; diligence; durability; water-safety pioneer; critical wave focus. Neg: Global third-party industrial impact via personal-watercraft boom. Note: Staunch bastion of North Shore lifestyle; attention to fitness; commitment to challenge; pioneer of assisted big-wave surfing. 

54  MARK STEWART Ad Art-Form Span: 30 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor (industrial: negligible; personal: minor; offset: nil). PoD: Disabled. App: Pocket speed. Pos: Phenomenal wave knowledge and positioning at high velocity; overcame loss of leg as teen. Neg: Ongoing domestic/international travel footprint. Note: Sits deep for critical sections with patient but assertive lineup work; speed via low-center drive up there with best able-bodied kneeboarders. 

53  BILL/LAIRD HAMILTON N/N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Self-made/paid. Footprint: Mega (industrial: mega; personal: major; offset: nil). PoD: Style. App: Big surf. Pos: Lineage—Bill, radical late-’60s North Shore stylist and Kauai self-sufficiency; Laird, pioneer of tow and greatest-ever power-to-weight bigwave surfer. Neg: Bill, negligible, offsetting son’s impact; Laird, major carbon impacts of personal watercraft and third-party role in global big-surf movement. Note: Divergence—Bill, major public fame from 1968 to ’72, then reduced footprint; Laird, enhanced family’s fame and expanded personal/industrial footprint. Photo by Tom Servais.

52  KASSIA MEADOR G Art-Form Span: 25 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: major; personal: minor; offset: nil). PoD: Minimalism. App: Zen performance. Pos: Maestro post–David Nuuhiwa/Nat Young longboarder in a field of two with Joel Tudor; role model; open public persona. Neg: Ongoing career travel; ongoing and reverberating third-party industry impact for men/women. Note: At age 18 she rivaled Tudor; all down to minimalism, no slams; still immersed in art/style. 

51  NICK/TOM CARROLL G/G Art-Form Span: 50 years. Paid. Footprint: Mega (industrial: mega; personal: moderate; offset: moderate). PoD: Mindsets. App: Mind/body fitness. Pos: Both humorous, fearless, fit, focused; quiver/form retention from 2 to 15 foot; Nick via writing, Tom via surfing reflects relentless delivery under pressure. Neg: Lineup behaviorism—Nick more minor but loud, Tom as habitual and callous; Tom, direct/indirect vertical industrial/social footprint at all levels. Note: Evolved their fields; Tom’s from-the-flats under the Pipeline ax is peerless; Tom, finally losing drugs and finding yoga. Photo by Jeff Divine.

50  RAF/ARI BROWNE G+S/N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 10 years. Self-made/paid. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Inventive. App: Alternative-board masteries. Pos: Ari, hulls/free friction; Raf, switchfoot/gliders; both adept from foil to gliders; stylish; dry wit, offbeat publishers. Neg: Minor—Ari, travel and quiver; Raf, quiver. Note: Maestros of all craft; keyed into the greatest turn in surfing—the delayed-fade bottom turn. 

49  WAYNE SCHONELL N Lifestyle Span: 35 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Courage of convictions. App: Central American sea-changer. Pos: Noted a decline in Australian surf lifestyle in the ’80s and bailed; likewise bailed on the North Shore in the ’90s; hunted isolated big surf, settled. Neg: Nil. Note: Transformed an equatorial “maybe” into a self-sufficient paradise. 

48  NAT/BEAU/BRYCE YOUNG N/N/N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Paid. Footprint: Mega (industrial: mega; personal: mega; offset: minor). PoD: Genius. App: Evolution. Pos: Mastery/futurist adaptations; Nat, free-form speed/pivot/style/fin design/fin placement/longboard revolutions from 1966 to ’85. Neg: Nat, mass industrial footprint from 1960s to 1980s, direct impact on late-’60s drug culture, ongoing impact of mal lineup morass of the poorly skilled. Note: Nat, most adept longboard-to-shortboard transition; Beau, adept all craft; Bryce, genius alaia work at reefbreaks sans leash. 

47  MIKE STEWART P Art-Form Span: 40 years. Paid. Footprint: Mega (industrial: mega; personal: massive; offset: minor). PoD: Genius. App: Pipe flex/release work. Pos: Beach-culture doyen; bodyboard god; role model; Curren/Slater peer; longest tube at Pipe with witnesses (Divine/Bleak/Hynd) from three different angles. Neg: Personal board waste (bodyboard flex/memory loss every couple of surfs) creates mega industrial/personal toxins/waste; global freight/travel. Note: At long-term peak, redefined outermost notions of critical performance from 5 to 15 foot via any form of surfing; constant poise under pressure. 

46  OWL CHAPMAN N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Non-travel. App: North Shore endurance from the ’60s to present. Pos: Arcane simplicity of staying local; quixotic surfing mindset reflected  in famed telemark stance; cottage board-building; frontier  minimalist. Neg: Nil—canceled out—as cottage craftsman toxins/waste offset against 55 years of engineered subsistence minimalism. Note: Longevity against the “big hits,” as Felipe Pomar once put it; longevity without leaving the Rock, ingrained locality. Photo by Jeff Divine.

45  LUKE SHEPARDSON N Lifestyle Span: 1 day. Footprint: Nil. PoD: Waimea lifeguard. App: The Eddie. Pos: Work ethic via on day of days wins the Eddie on work break, reluctant to celebrate, immediately back to work—can’t touch that. Neg: Nil. Note: Mind-blowing lifestyle minimalism in the course of a rostered day on the Bay tower. 

44  JORDY SMITH N Art-Form Span: 20 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: major; personal: moderate; offset: minor). PoD: Power/style. App: Hollow points. Pos: Polite; engaging; understated; egalitarian; optimistic; style/power counterpoint amid a throng of lightweight formula kings on the CT. Neg: Ongoing travel footprint; mass influential grommet footprint; direct/indirect board constructions freight/waste. Note: Give him a day with Frankie Oberholzer on the Durban South Coast and he’ll lay out more explosive art than in a year on tour.

43  JOEL TUDOR G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 40 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: mega; personal: minor; offset: minor). PoD: Minimalism. App: Longer boards. Pos: No leash or plug on Pipe guns; minimalism evolution to martial arts; intelligent; measured; masterful; enduring. Neg: Career competition/ promotional travel; 1980s global longboard boom with David/ Nat; massive lineup impact; industry toxins/waste. Note: Magnitude of influence on both sides of the coin; the most perfect performance-art surfer of all time, all craft considered. Photo by Todd Glaser.

42  JACK JOHNSON N Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: major; personal: nil; offset: minor). PoD: Career management. App: Family. Pos: Mainstream icon; traditionalist true to roots; a positive compartmentalism in the face of fame—not a care for miles. Neg: Non-surfing industrial impact via travel commitments; mass third-party consumerism and concert travel. Note: Understated counterpoint to 1,000 American Dream failures; set parameters on own terms at home beach without loss of core lifestyle. 

41  TAHLIJA REDGARD N Lifestyle Span: 10 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Power surfer. App: Desert isolationist. Pos: Fit; direct; self-sufficient angler; adept on any wave of any size, notably big Indo on a shortboard/alaia; far ahead of pro curve for self-sustainability. Neg: None. Note: Arguably the most powerful female surfer; angler in the wilds shows base skilled futurism. 

40  TOM/JON WEGENER N+P/N+P Art-Form Span: 20 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Minor (industrial: major; personal: minor; offset: moderate). PoD: Alaia/olo. App: R&D. Pos: Tom, attention to sustainable method via ancient (olo/alaia) to arcane (kook box/toothpick), master olo rider; Jon, neo alaia semi-guns. Neg: Tom, marketing/production/freight toxins/waste in midst of a 100 percent self-sustainable green production—a grand paradox; Jon, none. Note: Conundrum of applied super genius via restorative culture/sustainable craftsmanship/cottage marketing against a flip side of plastics footprint. 

39  STEVE LIS K Art-Form Span: 50 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Fish developer. App: Revolutionary kneeboard progression at San Diego reefs. Pos: Lateral thought; low center of gravity; power-to-weight mastery; speed; acceleration; the lore of “Stevie” or “Lis” as strong now as late 1960s. Neg: Negligible. Note: Iconic à la Duke/Rabbit at Queens, Dora/Phil at Malibu, Buffalo at Makaha, Frye in SD, BK at Sunset, Gerry at Pipe, MP at Kirra, Simon at Narrabeen, J. Paarman at J-Bay. Photo by Jeff Divine.

38  SAGE/HEATH JOSKE G/N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Self-made/paid. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Alternative focus. App: Diligence. Pos: Sage, foremost ancient-craft rider (long alaia/traditional koa) and fish doyen; Heath, ex-pro keyed into harsh/isolated eco-regenerative habitat. Neg: Reverse, in  credit. Note: Sage, King of Noosa tag laid on him by local groms 15 years ago despite visiting; Heath, Chouinard minimalist disciple in post-competitive life. Photo by SA Rips.

37  GIBUS DE SOULTRAIT N Lifestyle Span: 40 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: European industry doyen. App: Pioneer environmentalist. Pos: Erudite, lateral writer/thinker/publisher; childhood lineage—family home in Guéthary hosted seasonally migrating 1960s/’70s US/AUS stars. Neg: Nil. Note: Forerunner surfer-environmentalist via successful Euro activism with M. Cole/T. Curren in late 1980s; French publishing doyen; voice of reason.

36 ASHLEIGH BROWNE N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 10 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Style/power/attitude/location. App: Mex points. Pos: Traditional stylist reflected in single-fin semi-guns to low-rocker longboards; minimalist-roots discipline, committed to desert-pointbreak life. Neg: Seasonal long-haul travel every six months. Note: A mirror into historical style/power lines of Bob McTavish—economy of movement mixed with power delivery in perfect point surf at all sizes. 

35  GRANT BAKER N Art-Form Span: 30 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: moderate; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Barrels. App: J-Bay/Jaws/Maverick’s. Pos: Forwent nine-to-five work for big surf; measured on land/sea; rare gift to call on alpha levels via the ability to focus and slow down the critical moment. Neg: Ongoing major travel; third-party apparel/board impact via freight/toxins/waste. Note: Many peers in giant surf, few at J-Bay in real conditions via prime exponent  of the “long-gone” barrel from Supers to Impossibles. 

34  DAVID MUNK Ad Lifestyle Span: 20 years. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Paraplegic. App: Point surf. Pos: Purpose-designed craft delivering drive, line, and power, usually  executed amongst uncaring pointbreak assholes; inspiring; courageous; focused; mindful. Neg: Nil. Note: How many  surfers face mortality each paddle-out? There’s courage, then there’s vital courage. 

33  BRITTANY LEONARD/MATT HOWARD G/N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Self-made. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Isolationist survivalism. App: Mex desert point. Pos: Pre-Terminator socioeconomic, demographic, and political awareness; raw desert dwellers; adept on all craft; marriage to long lulls but insane surf. Neg: Nil—something says all the heat and dust, having broken convention years back, is worth returns of really long pointbreak perfection. Note: Hear them bellowing “Nothing to do with us” as the planet’s shit hits the fan via early futurist call to bail on the city, a radical minimalist leap. 

32  WARREN PFEIFFER P Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Minimalism/isolation. App: 4th Gear Flyer mats. Pos: Contentment surfing an empty back point over the hill from eternal crowds with blisteringly accelerated direct A-to-B speed. Neg: Nil. Note: Lifetime of tunings to peers George Greenough/Peter Crawford via 50 years of subcult devotion to pure surfing form—the mat. Photo by Ed Sloane.

31  JUSTIN BULLOCK G Art-Form Span: 35 years. Self-made. Footprint: Nil. PoD: No leash, ever. App: California Central Coast raised; 15 years on Maui; 20 years in Australia. Pos: Taught the art of monkey wrenching at an early age and became an iconoclast craftsman—best work recycling boards; humble; polite; understated; precise. Neg: Nil. Note: Know a surfer who’s been through multiple Hawaiian winters sans leash and you’ll likely know a watcher, thinker, swimmer— an aware person. 

30  RYAN BURCH G Art-Form Span: 20 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor (industrial: moderate; personal: minor; offset: minor). PoD: Radical minimalism. App: Line. Pos: Unique; humble; gracious; artistic; surfer/shaper adept on all craft, in particular sub-4-foot foam-block performance art; minimized footprinting. Neg: Relatively minor craftsman toxins/waste; travel. Note: Arose via invention, if not sheer revolution, on an EPS foam chunk best celebrated in an Australian desert setting; art-form wunderkind.

29 DANE REYNOLDS N Lifestyle Span: 20 years. Self-made. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: major; personal: minor; offset: minor). PoD: Corp owner. App: Reinvention. Pos: Wealth/fame/contractual deconstruction via roots focus, family values, self-awareness, media creation, fan-base utilization/invention/simplicity. Neg: Industrial footprint via clothing and boards. Note: Most radical/appreciated surfer on the planet for a decade, yet unsuited to traditionally boxed performance.

28  JAMIE O’BRIEN N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 25 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: major; personal: moderate; offset: minor). PoD: Genius. App: Barrels. Pos: Free-form mind via extreme Pipe/Padang evolutions, pioneer fan base, counterintuitive abandonment of WCT pathway, big-surf pranksterism. Neg: Direct travel; accessory to gigantic non-surf global sponsor trailblazing footprint and its carbon attachment. Note: In declining opportunities to follow the competitive route, established runaway media prototype. 

27  BRIAN/RUSTY KEAULANA N/N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: major; personal: minor; offset: moderate). PoD: Ancestry. App: Depth. Pos: Lineage/ tradition/conscience/consciousness; adept at all waterborne pursuits ancient/modern; deferential, polite; humble. Neg: Minor, major direct/indirect industrial impact offset by depth of communal focus/awareness. Note: The one era of purism in the modern competitive gathering was the Makaha International through the 1950s. The seminal link? “Keaulana.” 

26  BIRD HUFFMAN N+K Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Total quiver knowledge. App: Board collector/curator/distributor. Pos: Style purveyor/conduit; recycled-board maestro; communal doyen and keeper of San Diego surfboard heritage via Bird’s Surf Shed. Neg: Nil, in credit despite the creep of retail, as positives predominate in massive ratio. Note: Central to a grand San Diego collective spanning 20 to 30 core people from Cliffs to factory floors, the most seminal core of global art form. 

25  MIKEY MEYER N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Minor. PoD: Economy of movement. App: Surfer/shaper style doyen. Pos: Greatest positional surfer at J-Bay from ’82 to present; master of minimalist style; lauded by T. Curren/M. Dora; patient; measured; enduring craftsmanship. Neg: Minor toxins/waste as cottage builder. Note: Of 100 best-ever positional high-line rides from Boneyards through Impossibles, 10 belong to Mikey. 

24  GERRY LOPEZ G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Paid. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: mega; personal: minor; offset: major). PoD: Icon. App: Land/sea zen. Pos: Tribal inspiration via direct bearing on 1970s industry boom; Pipe mastery; pioneer of G-Land; philosophical/spiritual figurehead, quasi-religious imprint. Neg: Tribal intimidation via direct bearing on entourage actions at Padang during early 1980s; indirect cultural perpetuation of hierarchical social Darwinism. Note: Most famed surfer through 1970s via zen under the Pipe axe; pioneer lifestyle and travel icon; indirect 50-year en masse third-party Indonesian footprint. Photo by Dana Edmunds.

23  MATAHI DROLLET G Art-Form Span: 5 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor (industrial: negligible; personal: minor; offset: minor). PoD: Majestic art. App: Giant Teahupoo. Pos: Awareness, intuition, touch, style in the face of fury; probable best localized surfer on Earth; Olympics without him at Teahupoo will be shameful. Neg: Fuel for outer-reef and tow surfing. Note: Having only seen the vision, I defer to Vetea David’s assessment in extending the Teahupoo evolution from the mark set by Manoa Drollet. Photo by Ben Thouard.

22  ROB MACHADO G Art-Form Span: 15 years. Footprint: Moderate (industrial: major; personal: moderate; offset: nil). PoD: Career deconstruction. App: Fish evolution. Pos: Post-competitive artistic revelation; fish linkage/acceleration/style; art form offsets massive career footprint. Neg: 1990s art-form regression of the Momentum Generation; mega 35 years of  direct/indirect industrial impact via travel and board freight/ toxins/waste. Note: Any query regarding lack of mainstream-pro recognition on this list may go to Machado’s fish work for an answer. 

21  ADRIAN JONES N Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Self-sufficient/permaculture/ survivalism. App: Island isolation. Pos: Futurism in subsistence; native-animal rehab; driftwood board constructions; closest thus far to being the great unknown surfer. Neg: Collector-boards market. Note: Future critical life via environmental protector as green-thumb master in cold, harsh bush habitat with a sea to himself. 

20  TRAVERS ADLER N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 15 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Nil. PoD: Individualism. App: Free-form style. Pos: Unique; humble; polite; gracious; artistic; isolated; unpredictable; arch exponent of surfing’s great element—fun; Charlie Chaplin of waves. Neg: Negligible. Note: A genius, not said lightly; possibly closest to Greenough for lateral thought process; angles painted on the face are total free-form jazz. 

19  TOM POHAKU STONE G Art-Form Span: 60 years. Self-made. Footprint: Nil. PoD: Conduit of primal minimalism. App: Spiritual awareness—earth/sea/sky. Pos: Keeper of Polynesian knowledge, attainment, tradition. Neg: Reverse, in credit. Note: Tube-riding conduit from Jock to Gerry; conduit to ancient mountain racing; perhaps the connecting rod to ancestral surfer voice. Photo by Jeff Divine.

18  CHRIS/KEITH/DAN MALLOY G/G/N Lifestyle Span: 25 years. Paid. Footprint: Minor (industrial: major; personal: moderate; offset: moderate). PoD: Adaptation. App: Isolation. Pos: Sociopolitical collectivized environmental practice via Ranch ethos, embracing low-footprint farming to evolve sustainable solo/family futures. Neg: External materialist/travel pursuits; direct/indirect mainstream/alternative industrial impacts.  Note: Two offset ASP pros turned iconic futurists, American Dreams at play, 1940s coastal ranching meets 2040s protectionist sustainability. Photo by Tom Servais.

17  ANDREW KIDMAN N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Alternative movement source. App: Surfer/musician/filmmaker. Pos: Quit industry as a mag editor early to seek alternate minimalism via music, boards, farming, filmmaking (Litmus, Glass Love). Neg: Minor toxins/waste as cottage craftsman offset 10 times over by artform/lifestyle influences on third parties. Note: Alternative art form/lifestyle based on knowledge of industrial assholism— saw the pitfalls firsthand, reacted. 

16  FRANKIE OBERHOLZER N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 35 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Radical poise. App: Master surfer/beach angler. Pos: Humble; polite; gracious; artistic; lateral; isolated; self-sustainable; a surfer’s surfer, Curren’s favorite. Neg: Negligible, minor resins/sanding dust in fin-design work far offset by the minimalist example of pioneer alternative pathways both home and away. Note: More fisherman than surfer; more Curren than Curren sometimes; perhaps richest high-level surfer alive despite being dirt poor—surf, fish, live. Photo by Grant Ellis.

15  STEPHANIE GILMORE N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 25 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: massive; personal: moderate; offset: minor). PoD: Style. App: Lifestyle. Pos: Polish of the nonpump-pump-turn-pump pump-turn; appeals to pure form, aka style versus non-style; lifestyle inspiration. Neg: Travel footprint via competition/non-competition; direct role model for parental syndrome of career-sports engineering from cradle to club/amateur/semi-pro/pro. Note: Massive both-way footprint leaning to the positive; interactive goodwill; pos/neg pulling touch of careers in competition. 

14  JOHN JOHN/NATHAN/IVAN FLORENCE N/N/G Art-Form Span: 10 years. Paid. Footprint: Mega (industrial: mega; personal: major; offset: minor). PoD: Genius. App: Frontiers. Pos: Barrel evolutions, notably big Pipe/big Cloudbreak/big Teahupoo; good conduct via fan tolerance, pressure deflection, politeness, humility. Neg: Personal quiver toxins/waste; third-person travel/career responsibility of carbon-intense pursuits. Note: For all the positives, greater concerns rest with a need to reduce first-/third-person footprints and aspirational next-genfootprint attitudes. Photo by Ryan Miller.

13  THE UNKNOWN SURFER NGSBPKAd Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 20 years. Self-made. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Self-sufficient isolation. App: Realization. Pos: Environmental minimalism/activism/offset/repair; land/sea self-sufficiency; recycled housing/boards, home schooling, good conduct, humility. Neg: Nil. Note: Whoever it is, footprint must reduce land to sea. 

12  WAYNE LYNCH G Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Nil (industrial: major; personal: nil; offset: major). PoD: Lifestyle. App: Minimalism. Pos: Pioneer performance artist; lifestyle isolationist; minimalism futurist; greatest ever from-behind-the-foamball tube maestro. Neg: Relatively minor construction toxins/waste. Note: Land/sea mystique; 55 years of minimalism, if not engineered isolation; retains critical/radical technique/positioning far from any crowd. 

11  MARK CUNNINGHAM B Art-Form Span: 50 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible (industrial: minor; personal: nil). PoD: Genius. App: Bodysurfing doyen. Pos: Pioneer Pipeline maestro/North Shore waterman; maximum man-against-sea minimalism; art-form exemplar; rare peer to peak-1970s Lopez. Neg: Negligible. Note: Continues to provide intergenerational minimalist inspiration at the highest performance levels in the oldest of surfing forms—the body. Photo by Todd Glaser.

10  MICKEY MUÑOZ N Lifestyle Span: 75 years. Self-made. Footprint: Nil (industrial: major; personal: reverse, in credit). PoD: Desert minimalism. App: Isolation. Pos: Given first-ever modern shortboard by Joe Quigg; evolved early art form; retained manners/simplicity of lifestyle and secrets of empty surf. Neg: Mass-production design work; industrial freight. Note: Part originator of modern art form/lifestyle; by 1954, despite youth, was foil to Dora—one living for perfect surf, the other the ongoing grift. Photo by Jeff Divine.

9 EMILY/ROGER ERICKSON N/N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 60 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: North Shore underground. App: Waimea Bay. Pos: Emily, tiny iPhone photo in 2012 on Roger’s board with Foo’s line; Roger, Foo/Little mentor, no greater tale of inspiration via redemption. Neg: Nil, Emily’s quiver expansion/travel offset by Roger’s vast signpost credit as the master North Shore subsistence survivalist spanning 50 years. Note: Emily, 10 years as Bay queen; Roger, multiple battle/trauma survivor, 10 years as Bay king. 

TOM CURREN N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 45 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: mega; personal: minor). PoD: Revolution No. 1. App: Industrial/aesthetic. Pos: Pioneer surfer-environmentalist; radical yet minimalist style; prime quiver usage  in small surf to big; minstrel of surfer rebirth. Neg: Godhead role in industrial boom in 1980s; major role in 1990s boom; indirect hardgoods toxins/waste; travel/third-party employment impacts. Note: Three phases of industrial impact—direct multibillion-dollar footprint/direct alternative-surfing figurehead/direct neo-surfer/musician impact.

MAURICE/DAMIEN COLE N/G Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Minor (industrial: major; personal: major; offset: major). PoD/App: Revolutionary. Pos: Maurice’s major industrial impacts offset by European green activism/paternal futurism reflected in Damien’s radical voice in anti-oil protest. Neg: Maurice, past social influences; Damien, industrial/freight impacts. Note: Maurice, delivered Curren’s rebirth from 1989 to ’93, evolved high-line speed from 2018 to ’23; Damien, direct success protesting big oil. 

YVON CHOUINARD N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 50 years. Selfmade. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Genius. App: Transnational futurism. Pos: Evolving art form/lifestyle by deconstructing toxic industry/consumer cycle, creating/propelling minimalist surfers as signposts of the future. Neg: Vast credit in socio-environmental economics exposes the surf industry to a major hardgoods/softgoods/boardroom reckoning. Note: In 100 years, Patagonia may be the one sustained surf-lifestyle brand; the land, Patagonia, may house vital habitation arks. 

KELLY SLATER N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 40 years. Paid. Footprint: Major (industrial: mega; personal: mega; offset:  major). PoD: Vertical impact. App: Total. Pos: Time/motion mastery; hope/inspiration; lateral thought; athletic revolution; fan tolerance, politeness, optimism; third-party career generation. Neg: Industry/tour/travel footprint; direct hardgoods footprint via personal/marketed; direct/indirect global/inland apparel footprint. Note: Pendulum footprint in/out of the water beyond anyone; technical/artistic evolution; excellent conduct on land and in the lineup set against vertical bedrock industrial/consumer/media-complex career footprint; seamless transition from Curren’s Revolution No. 1 to his Revolution No. 2; feeds the footprint bulk of all industry employment/lifestyle; offsetting the pressure is the irony of golf and Jimmy Buffet. 

GEORGE GREENOUGH K+P Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 65 years. Self-made. Footprint: Nil (industrial: mega; personal: nil; offset: mega). PoD: Revolution. App: Fin. Pos: Theoretical/practical advancements via rail/fin/mat/speed/edge as valid now as then; self-sustainability; minimalism; adventurism; isolationism. Neg: Acolyte/fan effect causes indirect industrial impact of third-party construction and travel waste/toxins; shark baiting/culling as ritual sport. Note: Should the reader not be versed in Children of the Sun, please consider that 60 years ago at Noosa Heads, the flexing twang of the fuck-off bottom turn delivered the great leap forward, bridging Edwards/Dora to McTavish/Young; the 1965 rail-work/high-aspect fin ratio and latter flat-chat mat velocity built a similar conceptual revolution as Bob Dylan’s folk-to-electric shift in 1965; despite divergences, Greenough factors are expanding with time; an artist rarely evolves as a conceptual, not physical, construct— Greenough is one. Photo by Andrew Kidman.

SKIP FRYE N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 65 years. Self-made. Footprint: Nil (industrial: major; personal: minor; offset: mega). PoD: Minimalism. App: Mindfulness. Pos: Ultra-minimalist design evolution/application via 12-foot-plus glider connecting to 5-foot fish; manners; local bonds; environmental balance; no leash, ever. Neg: Global industrial impacts of fish to glider and all models between; notable third-party career explosions and consequent major footprints. Note: Be it relatively insular San Diegan purism from 1960 to 1993 or global reach from 1993 to present, Frye minimalism is the seminal art-form/lifestyle signpost; from the minutiae of early coastal-litter cleanups, there’s been attention to minimalist details of base good citizenry; pioneer work on body dynamics via daily quiver strategy long to short remains highly inventive and as underutilized today as in the 1970s in mastering power-to-weight ratios in course of pure fun; valid at age 10, 25, 80; beautiful. Photo by Todd Glaser.

TORREN MARTYN N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 5 years. Paid. Footprint: Reverse, in credit. PoD: Counterpoint adventurism. App: Shoestring minimalism. Pos: Message simplicity against mass industrial environmental impact of surfing as sport; alternative barrel work; humility; simplicity; politeness. Neg: Minor travel via air/diesel yacht. Note: Point-blank delivery of surfing’s greatest countercultural/counterpoint master class in late July 2021 via Lost Track Atlantic, Episode 2, a simple, unintended release in the same week as Olympic surfing—minor online feed against an administrative private/public billions spent across 60 years with a media feed of 3 billion viewers, Martyn’s solo performance laid bare, right then, the footprint/style gulf of art form to sport, this alternative groove in challenging settings exemplified poverty-art in motion against dripping wealth of sport in motion—result: no contest. Photo by Quinn Matthews.

DAVE RASTOVICH N Art-Form/Lifestyle Span: 30 years. Paid. Footprint: Nil (industrial: major; personal: nil; offset: major). PoD: Futurism. App: Activism. Pos: Environmental awareness/activism, minimalism, self-sustainability, quiver depth, podcast (Water People) evolution with partner Lauren Hill. Neg: Direct/indirect industrial impact via fan expressionism/ expansionism/over-consumerism, corporate/personal travel, quiver overabundance. Note: Dick Van Straalen, as catalyst, deconstructed Dave from junior-competition animal to alternative wunderkind, a 4’10” signposted the future; juxtaposition with Andy Irons in Jack McCoy’s Blue Horizon was seminal; Rastovich-Patagonia bond, without any mixed message, is a vital deconstruction of the global surfer mindset; Water People reinforces the platform. Photo by SA Rips.

Ground Zero MARK PAARMAN G Lifestyle Span: 5 years. Self-made. Footprint: Negligible. PoD: Terminal illness. App: Solo sailing the  Atlantic/Pacific for big surf. Pos: Ultimate surfer’s pursuit against the odds via sailing from Cape Saint Francis to Teahupoo/Cloudbreak/Nias with intent to rail against fate. Neg: Diesel use in poor weather; rotting sails; life savings  spent on limited medicine (indicative of a death sentence), supply gone by Cloudbreak. Note: Not just any surfer, a Paarman, raised in Cape Town in the early 1960s in brutally cold big surf, a half mile out to sea in great-white central,  pre-leash/pre-wetsuit; kid brother of Donald/Johnny, the Paarmans lived 24/7 in dunes during the early Cape Saint Francis/Jeffreys Bay era, their surfing method pure BK before they knew of him—the fuck-off bottom turn straight up; Mark made hay trawler fishing, got heavy, bummed out, missed days, missed takeoffs, but with a gut perversely set for ultra-late  moments and nothing denied him; enter the dragon—lung cancer; the word, terminal—best case, delay, but reality to a South African battler looked more like unsustainable European drug use; the Paarman option was to buy a worn double-steelhulled yacht and what medicine he could afford, then go west into the sun across the Atlantic/Pacific to leave the planet in a big way at Teahupoo and Cloudbreak; took a non-surfing backpacker couple aboard at Tavarua and related his latter-day Homeric tale; lo, the fickle finger of fate—his new crew instantly enacted a GoFundMe and flash lobby squarely aimed at AstraZeneca to keep him alive, the result a renewed but finite supply; due west he plotted, sails shot, engine worn, cut  beneath New Guinea for Nias/Bawa, took on first/second mates in J-Bay surfers Ash/Justin, parked off in a boat graveyard; flew home and was greeted by an understanding wife; at time of print shows signs of remission, sans medicine— inexplicable, acid to alkaline switch, effect of pure stoke. Photo courtesy of Mark Paarman.

[Feature Image by Grant Ellis]