Sport Rulebook

Surf legends: The top 6 men who made waves in surfing history

When it comes to surfing, there are few names as well-known and respected as

Kelly Slater. Widely regarded as one of the best surfers of all time, Slater has dominated the sport for decades and has set countless records along the way.

However, he’s not the only one to leave his mark on surfing. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top six best men’s surfers of all time, including

Kelly Slater,

Shaun Tomson,

Andy Irons,

Mark Richards,

Tom Carroll, and

Mick Fanning. We’ll explore their accomplishments, their careers, and what makes them stand out in the world of surfing.

Kelly Slater

When it comes to professional surfing, few athletes can match the career of

Kelly Slater. With 11 world titles to his name, as well as dozens of wins on the World Surf League Championship Tour, Slater has set the bar incredibly high for other surfers.

He started his career young, winning the National Championship at only 18 years old. He quickly made a name for himself as a force to be reckoned with, earning his first world title in 1992, and then going on to win the next four consecutively.

Slater’s record-breaking run continued throughout the 2000s, earning him a total of 11 world titles, a feat that no other surfer has yet to accomplish. Slater’s dominance on the waves set an incredibly high standard for other surfers to aspire to, and his longevity in the sport is a testament to his dedication and skill.

Shaun Tomson

Shaun Tomson is a South African surfer who made waves in the surfing world in the 1970s and 80s. Tomson is known for his incredible barrel riding skills, which earned him numerous wins and accolades throughout his career.

He was a regular on the World Championship Tour, and in 1977 he won the World Title, cementing his place in surfing history.

After retiring from competitive surfing, Tomson turned his attention to other pursuits, including writing a self-help book called “Surfer’s Code: 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life.” The book is inspired by Tomson’s experiences on the waves and provides readers with practical advice on how to navigate life’s challenges.

Andy Irons

Andy Irons was a Hawaiian surfer who tragically passed away in 2010. Irons was known for his impressive surfing skills, including his ability to navigate the challenging waves of his home islands.

He won three World Championships, and his fierce competitive spirit made him a fan favorite among surfing enthusiasts. In addition to his competitive success, Irons was also a skilled freesurfer who starred in numerous surf films throughout his career.

His talent and charisma made him one of the most well-known and beloved surfers of his time.

Mark Richards

Mark Richards is a retired Australian surfer who is considered one of the best surfers of the 1970s and 80s. Richards was a pioneer in shaping surfboards, and his designs had a significant impact on the sport.

He won four world titles in his career, and his dominance on the waves cemented his place in surfing history. In addition to his surfing success, Richards was also inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the sport.

His innovative surfboard designs and competitive success have inspired countless surfers around the world.

Tom Carroll

Tom Carroll is an Australian surfer who first made waves in the surfing world in the 1980s. He won two world championships during his career and was also the Australian Junior Title winner in 1978.

He’s perhaps best known for his incredible performance at the 1986 Pipe Masters, which he won by defeating fellow surfer Derek Ho in one of the most memorable heats in surfing history. Carroll’s competitive success continued throughout the 1980s and 90s, and he also starred in several surf films, showcasing his impressive skills on the waves.

Carroll’s place in surfing history is well-deserved, thanks to his impressive surfing skills and his dominance of the competitive field.

Mick Fanning

Mick Fanning is an Australian surfer who has made a name for himself in recent years. Fanning has won three World Championships and has numerous other wins on the World Tour.

He’s also been named Australian Male Surfer of the Year multiple times. Fanning’s career has been marked by both his impressive surfing abilities and his resilience in the face of adversity.

In 2015, while competing in the J-Bay Open in South Africa, Fanning was attacked by a shark. Despite the terrifying ordeal, Fanning remained cool-headed and was able to escape unharmed.

His calm demeanor in the aftermath of the attack earned him even more respect from his peers and fans.

Conclusion

The six surfers listed above have left an indelible mark on the world of surfing. From

Kelly Slater’s record-breaking 11 world titles to

Shaun Tomson’s barrel riding skills, each of these surfers has contributed something unique to the sport. By pushing themselves to new heights and inspiring other surfers to do the same, they’ve helped shape surfing into the beloved sport that it is today.

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer yourself or simply a fan of the sport, these surfers are sure to inspire you with their incredible talent and dedication.

Shaun Tomson

Shaun Tomson is a South African surfer born on August 21, 1955, in Durban, South Africa. He grew up in a surfing family, with his father being an accomplished surfer and surfboard shaper.

Tomson’s love for the sport began at a young age, and he quickly made a name for himself in the local surfing scene.

Early Life and Career

Tomson entered his first surfing competition, the Gunston 500, at the age of 15. He quickly demonstrated his skill on the waves, winning the under-18 division and catching the attention of the surfing community.

This performance helped launch his career in competitive surfing, leading to numerous wins in South Africa and earning him a spot on the World Championship Tour in 1976.

Professional Success

Tomson quickly made his mark on the tour, earning his first major win in Hawaii in 1977. His signature move was his ability to ride the barrel, and he quickly became known as one of the best barrel riders in the world.

In 1977, he won the World Championship Tour, cementing his place in surfing history. In addition to his competitive success, Tomson also starred in several surf films throughout his career.

He appeared in movies such as “Free Ride” and “Fantastic Plastic Machine,” showcasing his impressive skills on the waves.

Post-Retirement

After retiring from competitive surfing in 1989, Tomson turned his attention to other pursuits. He launched his own surfwear brand, Solitude, and later founded a clothing brand called Instinct.

He also wrote a self-help book called “Surfer’s Code: 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life,” which drew inspiration from his experiences on the waves. The book is filled with practical advice for navigating life’s challenges, and has been well-received by readers around the world.

Today, Tomson continues to inspire others through motivational speeches and lectures. He speaks about the importance of perseverance and resilience, drawing on his own experiences in surfing and beyond.

He remains a beloved figure in the surfing community, and his contributions to the sport and beyond continue to be celebrated.

Andy Irons

Andy Irons was a Hawaiian surfer born on July 24, 1978, in Kauai, Hawaii. He grew up on the island, learning to surf from a young age and quickly developing an impressive skillset on the waves.

Early Life and Career

Irons entered the competitive surfing scene at a young age, winning the National Amateur Title in 1996. He quickly made his mark on the World Championship Tour, earning his first win in 1999.

He went on to win three world championships in his career, cementing his place as one of the best surfers of his time.

Comeback and Success

In 2002, Irons took a break from the World Championship Tour, citing fatigue and the need to focus on his mental health. He returned to the tour in 2003, and his comeback was nothing short of impressive.

In 2004, he won the World Championship, defeating fellow surfer

Kelly Slater in a tense competition. Irons continued to dominate on the waves, earning numerous wins and accolades on the World Championship Tour.

He won the Quiksilver Pro France in 2003, 2004, and 2005, as well as the Rip Curl Pro Search in 2006. His fierce competitive spirit and impressive surfing skills made him a beloved figure in the surfing community.

Legacy

Sadly, Irons passed away in 2010 at the age of 32. His death sent shockwaves through the surfing world, as fans and fellow surfers mourned the loss of one of the sport’s brightest stars.

In the years since his passing, Irons’ legacy has continued to be celebrated. His impact on the surfing community was significant, and his contributions to the sport will not be forgotten.

In addition to his competitive success, Irons was also known for his philanthropy work. He founded the Irons Brothers Foundation with his brother, Bruce, to support causes such as ocean health and Native Hawaiian culture.

Today, his foundation continues to do important work, honoring the legacy of Andy and Bruce Irons.

Conclusion

Shaun Tomson and

Andy Irons are two of the most respected and celebrated surfers of all time. Whether it was Tomson’s impressive barrel riding skills or Irons’ fierce competitive spirit, these surfers inspired countless others to pursue their passion for the sport.

While both have faced their own challenges throughout their careers and beyond, they remain beloved figures in the surfing community. Today, their legacies continue to be celebrated, as surfers around the world take inspiration from their impressive achievements and unwavering dedication.

Mark Richards

Mark Richards is a retired Australian surfer born on March 7, 1957, in Newcastle, New South Wales. Richards started surfing at a young age and was quickly recognized as a talented young surfer.

He was selected to represent Australia in the National Team and began shaping surfboards in his spare time.

Early Life and Career

Richards turned pro at the age of 17, competing in the Australian Pro-Am circuit. He made his mark on the surfing community by winning numerous events and earning sponsorships from major surfwear brands such as Rip Curl and Quiksilver.

Richards quickly became known for his impressive surfboard designs and his competitive performance on the waves.

Four-Straight World Championships

Richards’ competitive success continued throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. He won four straight world championships from 1979 to 1982, becoming the first surfer to accomplish this impressive feat.

Richards’ dominance on the Professional Surfing Tour set a record for most consecutive wins, a record that would not be broken for nearly two decades.

Return to World Tour and Success

Richards took a break from competitive surfing in the mid-1980s, focusing on other pursuits such as acting and music. However, in the mid-1990s, he returned to the World Tour and proved that he still had what it takes to compete at the highest level.

In 1997, Richards earned the ASP Grandmasters World Champion title, and he has won multiple age group titles in the years since. Today, Richards continues to be involved in the surfing community.

He is an ambassador for various surfwear brands and remains an inspiration for surfers around the world.

Tom Carroll

Tom Carroll is an Australian surfer born on November 29, 1961, in Newport, New South Wales. He grew up surfing on Sydney’s northern beaches and quickly developed a reputation as a skilled and determined surfer.

Early Career

Carroll’s competitive career began in the late 1970s, when he won the Australian Junior Title and the Pro Juniors Title. He quickly made his way onto the International Professional Surfers (IPS) World Tour, honing his skills against some of the best surfers in the world.

First World Title and Success

Carroll’s breakthrough moment came in 1983 when he won his first World Championship Title. It was a historic moment, as Carroll became the first goofy foot surfer to win the title.

He went on to win a second world championship in 1984, solidifying his status as one of the best surfers in the world. Carroll was also a fan favorite, winning several Surfer Poll awards during his career.

Post-Retirement and

Legacy

Carroll retired from competitive surfing in 1991 but remains a beloved figure in the surfing community. He went on to sign a historic million-dollar contract with surfwear brand Quiksilver, cementing his status as one of surfing’s most successful athletes.

In addition to his competitive success, Carroll has been honored for his contributions to the sport. He was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame in 1991, and his impact on the surfing community continues to be celebrated today.

Carroll remains involved in the sport, serving as an ambassador for various surf brands and supporting initiatives to promote surfing around the world.

Conclusion

Mark Richards and

Tom Carroll are both surfing legends who have left an indelible mark on the sport. From Richards’ record-breaking win streak to Carroll’s historic world championship as a goofy footer, these surfers pushed themselves and the sport to new heights.

Today, their contributions to the sport continue to be celebrated, and their influence on the surfing community can still be seen in surfers around the world. With their impressive careers and unwavering dedication to the sport, Richards and Carroll have helped shape surfing into the beloved sport that it is today.

Mick Fanning

Mick Fanning is an Australian surfer born on June 13, 1981, in Penrith, New South Wales. Fanning’s powerful surfing style quickly caught the attention of the surfing community, and he rose to prominence in the early 2000s.

Early Career

Fanning faced several obstacles early in his career, including a foot injury that threatened to derail his burgeoning career. However, he persevered, gaining momentum on the World Championship Tour and quickly becoming one of the most well-known surfers in the world.

In 2007, Fanning achieved a major career milestone by winning his first event on the World Tour. This victory was a defining moment for Fanning, and it signaled the beginning of an incredibly successful career.

Career Achievements

Fanning’s success on the World Tour continued throughout the next decade. He won numerous events, including three Bells Beach titles, two Rip Curl Pro Search titles, and the 2016 Hurley Pro at Trestles.

His consistently strong performances earned him several World Tour wins and several Australian Male Surfer of the Year awards. In 2007, he won his first World Championship Title, defeating American surfer

Kelly Slater in a dramatic competition.

In 2009 and 2013, Fanning won two additional world championships, cementing his status as one of the best surfers in the world. Fanning’s impressive career spanned over a decade, and his dedication to the sport and his unwavering competitive spirit made him a beloved figure in the surfing community.

Legacy

In 2015, Fanning faced a terrifying ordeal while competing in the J-Bay Open in South Africa. During the competition, he was attacked by a shark

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