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15 Totally Badass Surfers Who Are Everything This International Surfing Day

It’s International Surfing Day on Saturday! Sweet. To celebrate, I asked hardcore surfers who are the most badass dudes of the surfing world. Here are the 15 who made the cut…

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1. Kelly Slater

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A record eleven-time world champion, the world’s best-known surfer is both the youngest and oldest to have held the title. One of the most decorated athletes ever, he also once starred in Baywatch.

2. Bethany Hamilton

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Bethany’s left arm was bitten off by a shark at 13 yet she returned to professional surfing a month later. She surfed during pregnancy and has founded her own charity for limb loss victims.

3. Tom Curren

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Three-time world champion Tom once rode a wave for a record 1200 feet, had a secret music career and was an anti-establishment rebel who rejected prize money and ditched photoshoots.

4. Dane Reynolds

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Known as the world’s best free surfer, shy Dane’s aggressive style has seen him endure many injuries. He has quit competing professionally numerous times to enjoy surfing on his own watch.

5. Eddie Aikau

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The hugely respected Hawaiian lifeguard saved over 500 people from drowning and won numerous awards tackling huge waves nobody else would touch, before dying at sea in 1978 trying to save his crew.

6. Greg Long

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Not content with winning all of the big-wave surfing awards possible, adrenaline junkie Greg chases storms for fun and had a near-death experience surfing in 2012 – returning to competing four days later.

7. Doc Paskowitz

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A surfing guru who gave up being a doctor to live on the road with his wife and nine children, Doc founded pro Israeli-Palestian peace organisation Surfing for Peace. He lived and surfed until age 93.

8. Bobby Martinez

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Outspoken Bobby’s professional surfing career ended after criticising the ASP in a televised interview (a rant spoofed on Sesame Street); though they did then change their ranking system for the better.

9. Mason Ho

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Known as ‘The World’s Most Entertaining Surfer’ for his lively interviews and tendency to laugh his way through huge waves, Mason once surfed an Australian contest entirely naked after entering last-minute.

10. Mark Healey

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This sometime Hollywood stuntman, big-wave surfer and champion fisherman also assisted scientists on a shark-saving mission, due to being able to hold his breath underwater for six minutes.

11. Mick Fanning

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Three-time world champion ‘White Lightning’ survived an encounter with a great white shark during a South African final by punching it, before disappearing for a year to travel and briefly live in the wild.

12. Clay Marzo

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One of the most naturally gifted surfers ever, Clay was one of Quiksilver’s Young Guns in the early noughties before being diagnosed with Asperger’s. He now works with charities for fellow sufferers.

13. Matt Archbold

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A cult hero and child prodigy who fell into alcohol and hard drug addiction as well as facing prison numerous times, Matt maintained his ground-breaking free surfing career right through to recovery.

14. Garrett McNamara

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Surfing a 100-foot high wave in 2013, extreme waterman Garrett broke his own world record. He also almost drowned at notorious surfing spot Jaws in Maui and again surfing a tsunami in Alaska.

15. Dane Kealoha

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The pigdog stance creator, once world number two, retired after being banned from the world tour. The proud Hawaiian snubbed petty politics between the ASP and IPS to compete on home soil.

16. And here is Doc again

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....because he's adorable

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