Surfing is hard enough at the best of times, and few can say they have a great surfing style.
But every now and then, a human comes along who is the epitome of style on a surfboard.
We’ve found all of these superheroes, so let’s jump straight in with our carefully curated list of the world’s most stylish surfers.
You won’t find many surfers that aren’t familiar with the iconic surfing style of Rob Machado.
Part of the momentum generation, Rob grew up surfing and competing alongside other legends like Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox and Sunny Garcia.
He surfed with the same laid-back approach in two-foot Huntington Beach or firing Pipeline.
His perfect combo of style and power meant he held his own on tour for years against other giants of our sport.
The style icon works closely alongside Firewire Surfboards to design and produce a range of boards inspired by Rob’s truly individual take on surfing waves.
Here’s a recent clip of Rob making the most of his 7’0 at a beach break in Mexico; it’s fair to say that he hasn’t lost any of his fluid style.
Steph Gilmore has an affinity with right-hand point breaks, making her surfing nearly magical.
Combining a relaxed stance with powerful turns and manoeuvres gives her an effortless style that’s a pleasure to watch.
And the judges are all in agreement, the now eight-time world champion is still at the top of her game, threatening more world titles and solidifying her position as the most stylish female surfer in the world.
You can see Steph’s impeccable style in action below as she shreds small waves on a twin fin out on the iconic right-handers of Malibu.
Asher’s the kind of human that could make any surf craft look good.
Growing up in Austalia’s bush, he’s got a genuine connection with the land he calls home, devoting his life to family, fishing and the pursuit of pumping waves.
Despite being good enough to mix it up with the world’s best, he opted to follow the free surfing route, testing out more left-field surfboards and chasing swells up and down the east coast of Australia.
In this edit from RVCA titled No Straight Lines, Asher takes a twin fin through its paces at various spots along the NSW coast.
It’s hard to write any list of great surfers without adding the GOAT himself.
Just because Kelly isn’t the first name that pops into your head when you think of style doesn’t mean the guy doesn’t ooze the stuff out in the water.
From his outrageous 540 at Portugal to his near-perfect carving 360, Kelly’s got a natural affinity with shortboards.
Here’s a quick clip of him showing D-Bah, who’s boss, during a free surf while attending the Goldie contest.
Mr, Pipeline himself, no one shows more style and poise in the barrel than the legend himself.
He’s championed his laid-back approach to life and took it all the way into the ocean.
Credited as having complete poise during the gnarliest waves, he quickly gained notoriety as the best tube rider on the planet.
Now his iconic stance is unmissable from Magazine covers to early surf movies.
Check out the biopic below, The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez, as Patagonia uncover the life of one of surfing’s most stylish individuals.
With a bottom turn that’s truly unique and a graceful approach off the lip, it’s no wonder Mikey is one of the best free surfers in the world.
Growing up in South Africa, he honed his aesthetically pleasing style on the long walls of Jeffreys Bay.
He spent a short while on tour, but it was pretty apparent that his surfing was much better suited to a more relaxed arena.
Since then, he’s been working as one of Van’s surf ambassadors, consistently putting out stylish surf edits like the one below.
Lakey grew up surfing the near-perfect waves of Lowers in Califonia.
With Mike Parsons as a coach in her corner, she has quickly shown herself to be one of the best female surfers in the world.
But it’s her style that really sets her apart.
Much like fellow local Kolohe Andino, she seems to surf with perfect timing, executing snaps and carves in graceful symmetry with the lip of the wave.
Check out the video below as she elegantly dismantles some of the lefts and rights at her local.
Tom’s one of the most successful surfers on the planet, and his stoke doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
He can carve it up with the world’s best, and his three world titles in 1985, 1986, and 1990 tend to agree.
Don’t miss the edit below, where Tom joins fellow Rip Curl shredder Mason Ho on a hunt for typhoon swell somewhere in the North Pacific.
Ethan’s a recent addition to the WSL world tour, but he’s already in title contention with a recent win at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and a second place at Corona Open J-Bay.
His style is somewhere between Andy Irons and Mick Fanning, with perfectly placed manoeuvers delivered at lightning speed.
With a tendency to stick to his rails, he relies on a vicious arsenal of carves, snaps and wraps to net consistent eight-point plus rides in competition.
Ewing’s a pleasure to watch on a wave, and with many more years to come, we’re nearly certain there’s a world title trophy in his future.
Catch up with Ethan as he takes you through some of the best waves from his 2022 season up against the world’s best surfers.