5. CLAY MARZO
Clay is a surfing savant. Marzo routinely executes some of the most wildly imaginative and aggressive maneuvers that the sport has ever seen. Other than that dude from Marine Layer Productions, no one makes me pull my hair out more consistently while shouting strings of expletive vulgar obscenities in suspended disbelief.
4. MATT WILKINSON
Matt Wilko puts the “goofy” in goofy-footer. His vertical backside approach to surfing is viciously fun, filled with tail slides and power hacks, and even more radical than his wetsuits. Remember in 2012 when he showed up to the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach gliding on rollerblades and wearing a wetsuit that made him look like Batman’s nemesis? Legend.
3. CJ HOBGOOD
CJ shreds with powerful finesse. Gouging turns and speedy cutbacks coupled with no-hand-grab layback barrels define his hard-charging style. He may have won his World Title in a 911-shortened surf season, but he put in 16 solid years on tour. Since retirement, CJ and his crew are on a mission to Salvage A Lifestyle for Tomorrow’s Youth.
2. ROB MACHADO
Machado’s surfing style—whether cruising on a GO FISH or crushing the lip on an Alaia—has a beautiful way of always looking connected to nature. The Rob Machado Foundation reflects his personally conscious environmentalism and seeks to empower and educate youth to make more sustainable choices. More than anyone (sans Slater) Rob is making ECOBOARDS cool. Props.
1. GERRY LOPEZ
Mr. Pipeline. Won the ’72 and ’73 PipeMasters—soul-arching on a single-fin Lightning Bolt. His surfboard company was the first to sponsor surfers with free boards. The master of style is accredited with being among the first to surf Uluwatu, Bali. In the ’70s he frequented places like La Punta Roca in El Salvador and is responsible for encouraging a whole new generation of kids to get into the sport. Laird Hamilton says that Gerry is the one who told him about the Atom Blaster a.k.a Jaws a.k.a. Peahi.
“There is wisdom in waves. Some surfers see it right away, others never do. To find success in surfing, we must learn to be in harmony with nature.” – Excerpt from Gerry Lopez’s book, Surf Is Where You Find It