7.22.10

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#12 Phil Edwards

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

I’ve always thought of myself as having climbed near the top, and every now and again, I’d get to peak over, but never really reached it. Phil, unfortunately, reached the top and the fact was, he had no place to go but down. I don’t think his ego would allow him to have a bad

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7.22.10

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#13 Rabbit Bartholomew

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

The Barthlomews and Townends have enjoyed seven decades of friendship. Back in the forties, my grandparents owned the original Coolangatta Hotel, where Rabbit’s mum, Betty, worked in the dining room long before either Rabbit or I had been thought of.
So we’ve been connected for a long time, Rabbit and I, but the essence of our

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7.22.10

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#14 Miki Dora

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

Depending on the situation, you never knew which Miki you were gonna get. If you were lucky enough to encounter San Miguelito Dora during his lifetime, then you probably have a Miki story. With Miki, it was either love or hate. The ambiguity made him one of modern surfing’s key icons. In the post-war, military

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7.22.10

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#15 Martin Potter

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

Pottz was a beast. He blew everybody away in terms of maneuvers and speed and flash. The first time I saw Pottz I didn’t even know who he was. I was just a little guy at T-Street, where I grew up. He paddled out one day and I saw him catch a wave right off

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7.22.10

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#16 Michael Peterson

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

Michael Peterson still sports the very same pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses he wore during the ’70s. They’re a bit beat up these days, the frame held together by sticky tape, but they still work just fine. For MP, the leather jackets, jeans, and panama hats may have been all about fashion, but the sunglasses

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7.22.10

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#17 Wayne Lynch

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

I traveled with Wayne Lynch for most of Paul Witzig’s surf movies in the late-’60s. Evolution and Sea of Joy were the classics. You get to know someone pretty well when you travel together. We rode waves all over the world: Morocco, France, Puerto Rico, Mauritius, South Africa—it is a bond we share that will

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7.22.10

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#18 Simon Anderson

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

The year is 2110. One might hazard to assume few ancients remain in periodical “greatest” polls. Whether Top 20, 30, or 50, the short wick of pop culture has plenty. Laird Hamilton and Buzzy Trent continue to hit revisionist levels, seen as Man-vs-Sea pioneers of mega-wave surfing. Romantic notions of the pre-iceberg-melt age have surged

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7.22.10

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#19 George Greenough

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

Nat Young described George Greenough in the late ’60s as the greatest surfer in the world. Leroy Grannis memorably dismissed him with, “What can you learn from a mat-rider?” George’s surfing directly inspired Bob McTavish to make equipment that would allow a stand-up surfer to ride close to the curl (and the power of the

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7.22.10

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#20 Tom Blake

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

For some it’s the Holy Bible, or the Koran; for me it’s Hawaiian Surfriders 1935 by Tom Blake. In this single, slim volume—the very first book devoted exclusively to surf-riding—Blake addresses virtually every aspect of our modern surfing culture. What makes this so remarkable is that, at the time, no surf culture existed beyond that

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7.22.10

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#21 Rob Machado

SURFER Celebrates the 50 Greatest Surfers of All Time

When I first met Rob, he was the “Pencil-Neck-Small-Wave Phenomenon.” The guy was just so skinny and incredible. I was in Cabo for the contest that Herbie Fletcher used to host down there. I showed up at the event and checked the board and this was my heat: Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Kaipo

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