Famous Australian Surfers

Famous Australian Surfers

Stephanie Gilmore

The list of famous Australian surfers is also a list of some of the greatest surfers in surfing history.  The list I have compiled is made up of mostly World Surfing Champions, but does include one Australian surfer, who is not a World Surfing Champion, but his invention changed surfing forever.  There is no ranking to this list but generally based on the number of World Surfing Championships won.

Layne Beachley

Layne Beachley was born on May 24, 1972 in Sydney, Australia.  She was adopted as a child and began surfing at the age of 4.  She is a seven-time World Surfing Champion and won those titles consecutively, a feat that has yet to be matched.  She is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Layne Beachley was awarded the Australian Sports Medal and Officer of the Order of Australia.  She was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia: “For distinguished service to the community through support for a range of charitable organizations, as a mentor for women in sport, and to surfing as a world champion competitor.”

Stephanie Gilmore

Famous Australian Surfers

Mark Richards

Stephanie Gilmore was born on January 29, 1988 in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia and still makes her home in Australia.  She is a six-time World Surfing Champion and has dominated the sport of surfing for many years.  She has been a competitor on the WSL, previously known as the ASP, since 2007, and won her first World Surfing Championship during that year.

Her most recent World Surfing Championship came in 2014, when she beat out Tyler Wright for the title.  She was aided in this victory when Carissa Moore took out Tyler Wright in the Target Maui Pro surf contest.  In 2015, due to injury, Ms. Gilmore was not a factor in that year’s championship.  She is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.  In the 2016 World Surfing Rankings, she is currently rank 5th in the World, and, for her, that is considered a slow start.

Mark Richards

Mark Richards was born on March 7, 1957 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.  He is a four-time World Surfing Champion, and he won those championships, consecutively, from 1979 – 1982.  He is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

On January 1, 2001, Mark Richards was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal: “For service to surfing, especially as a role model to young Australian surfers.”  On December 5, 2000, he was awarded the Australian Surf Medal: “Service to Surf Riding.”  On January 26, 1994, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia: “For Service to Surfing.”

Michael Fanning aka Mick Fanning

Famous Australian Surfers

Mick Fanning

Mick Fanning was June 13, 1981 in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia.  His nickname is “White Lightning,” he is a three-time World Surfing Champion and won those titles in 2007, 2009 and 2013.  He joined the professional surfing tour in 2002 and finished 5th in his rookie year.  He wears the number 7 on his jersey and has a total career winnings of $2,679,620.

Besides being a three-time World Champion, Mick Fanning has finished runner-up to the title in 2014 and 2015 and finished 3rd four times.  He has won Australia’s Male Surf of the Year 4 times and in 2007 won the Australian Male Surfing Performance Award.

Thomas Victor Carroll aka Tom Carroll

Tom Carroll was born on November 26, 1961 in Newport, New South Wales, Australia.  He is a two-time World Surfing Champion, and he won those championships in 1983 and 1984.  He has won the Pipeline Masters three times, and won the Triple Crown of Surfing in 1991.

Tom Carroll is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.  On November 14, 2000, Tom Carroll was awarded the Australian Sports Medal: “Competitive surfing excellence.”

Damien Hardman

Famous Australian Surfers

Damien Hardman

Damien Hardman was born on January 23, 1966 in Sydney, Australia.  He was given the nickname the “Iceman,” because of his cool as ice demeanor when competing in surfing contests.  He is a two-time World Surfing Champion, and he won those championships in 1987 and 1991.  He is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Joel Parkinson

Joel Parkinson was born on April 10, 1981 in Nambour, Queensland, Australia.  He is the 2012 World Surfing Champion and has won the Triple Crown of Surfing three times (2008, 2009 and 2010).  He is a four time runner-up, 2nd place finisher, for the World Surfing Championship Title.  He qualified for the World Surfing Championship Tour in 2001, and finished 21st in his rookie year.  He won his first pro contest in 1999, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay.

Joel Parkinson wears the number 81 on his jersey and has a total career winnings of $2,101,100.  He finished 3rd in the 2016 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, and his last world tour win was in 2013, he won the Oakley Pro Bali.  After the completion of 3 events in the 2016 championship tour, he is ranked 5th in the World.

Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew

Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew was on November 30, 1954 in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia.  He won the World Surfing Championship in 1978.  On January 26, 2009, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, was awarded Member of the Order of Australia: “For service to surfing as a competitor, administrator and mentor, and to the environment through support for a range of coastal conservation groups.”

On December 5, 2000, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, was awarded the Australian Sports Medal: “Services to Surf Riding.”  He is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Mark “Occy” Occhilupo

Famous Australian Surfers

Mark “Occy” Occhilupo

Mark “Occy” Occhilupo was born on February 12, 1966 in Kurnell, New South Wales, Australia.  He won the World Surfing Championship in 1999 at the age of 33.  He joined the World Championship Tour at the age of 17, and was known for his powerful backhand surfing (he is a goofy footer).  He is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Barton Lynch

Barton Lynch was born on August 9, 1963 in Manly, New South Wales, Australia.  He won the World Surfing Championship in 1988, in that year he also won the Billabong Pro.  He won 17 tour events in his 15 year career.  He is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Peter Townend

Peter Townend in 1953 in Bilinga on the Gold Coast of Australia.  At the age of 23 he won the 1976 World Surfing Championship.  He is a member of the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

Simon Anderson

Simon Anderson was born on July 7, 1954 in North Narrabeen, New South Wales, Australia.  He never won a World Surfing Championship, but as a surfboard shaper he invented the three fin or thruster fin system.  This thruster fin system revolutionized surfing and is a system that is still being used by professional surfers and most surfboard makers.  On November 14, 2000, Simon Anderson, was awarded the Australian Sports Medal: “For services to surfboard design and competition.”

In Conclusion

As you can see, the list of famous Australian surfers is also a list of some of the greatest surfers in surfing history.  Australians have made a major impact in the surfing world and they continue to do so today.

Check out my post: “Surfing vs Snowboarding.”

Should you have any questions or comments, please post it in the comments section of this page.

6 thoughts on “Famous Australian Surfers

  1. Being great doesn’t always mean that you have to be a winner all the time. You can be great in some other ways like Simon Anderson.

    Its funny how most of them are already in their 50s.

    PS. Stephanie Gilmore is a hottie. =P

    • Hi Von, I agree, you don’t have to be a winner all the time to make a great contribution. There are some great younger Australian Surfers (see my post “Top Male Surfers“) but I think it important to remember the pioneers.

      I also think Stephanie Gilmore is a beauty.

      Thanks for the comments and dropping in!

  2. A great and useful website . You really have a lot of interesting informations . I’m glad I found you! Cheers!

    • Hi Rob, I’m glad you found the information my website provides useful.

      Thanks for the comments and dropping in!

  3. Superb list and really good insight into some of the greats. Do you have a personal favorite if so who and why? Also, (and I expect a biased opinion but…) which is the best surfing nation and why? I’ve got a feeling Great Britain won’t be topping the table but I’d like to see your response.
    Cheers.

    • Hi Dan, If I was to choose my personal favorite from that list, It would be Stephanie Gilmore or Joel Parkinson. I love the way they surf, it looks effortless. As far as best surfing nation, if you went strictly on World Surfing Championship, you cannot deny Australia. The one nation that seems to be dominating the scene right not is Brazil, as far as the men go. With the women it’s Australia and U.S. (I’m including Hawaii, though the WSL lists Hawaii separate from the U.S.).

      Thanks for the comments and dropping in!

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