The Top 5 Beards in Surf

Sometimes, a surfer is only as good as the beard that wears him.

| posted on May 10, 2013

John Peck

Magnificent. Dark luminescent roots framed by a silver halo that’s been bleached pure by sun and experience and LSD. The middle-aged beard that all beards aspire to. This is a beard that has seen some shit. Some real life shit. Fear. Joy. Transcendence (maybe literally). First ballot Hall of Fame. Photo: Ellis

Keith Malloy

No-nonsense. This is the beard of the carpenter. Or the Civil War re-enactor. A big, heavy handlebar ‘stache up top. Solid two-tone color scheme below: brown foundation with a blonde, wavy, often wind-lashed and salt-encrusted chin-beard section. Hipster-chic, but still grizzled as all hell. There may be a bird in there somewhere. Nearly flawless. Photo: Burkard

Chris Del Moro

Inquisitive. This is the thinking man’s beard. An artist’s beard. You will find flecks of paint, book jacket dust particles, and little bits of artisanal tea in Del Moro’s beard. This baby is perfectly at home whether sheathed in ice crystals from a frigid Scandinavian pointbreak, gently swaying to a Caribbean breeze, or cascading marvelously down the front of a wool cardigan worn to a poetry reading. Photo: Rugai

*Bud Freitas

A beard like this will get you set waves in NorCal all by itself. Grow this beard, paddle out to the peak anywhere you want, and at least once, you will get whistled into a screamer. Freitas already surfed better than almost everybody on the planet, but after he grew this beard, his tuberides got deeper, his trimlines grew purer, and his carves took on Richard Cram-like proportions. Just because of that beautiful beard. (*Bud's beard is no longer, due to an ultimatum from a lady friend. It will be missed.) Photo: Ellis

Dion Agius

This beard looks like it should be attached to the face of man who is trying to sell you a rug in a smoke-filled Turkish bazaar. And that’s a good thing. It’s grown out into that upside-down triangular shape that just exudes exoticism. Agius has done cooler things with cooler people in cooler places than you ever have, and he’s somehow manifested all that in his beard. Photo: Burkard

  • TD
  • Clarence

    Dude, what about Chris and Dan Malloy????? Also Jack O’Neill has an epic beard!

  • Surfjunkie

    John Haffey?

  • Brian Butcher

    If I saw Bud with that thing, I would paddle fast the other way :).

  • Bronson @ StokeTV

    Nice round-up guys but I can think of another name which should be on that list.

    The magnificent man-beard belongs to South African big wave charger Josh Redman, he (and his beard) were the recent feature in the local ZigZag surf mag here in SA.

  • stp

    Peck is a true legend, Haffey is just true, and O’neill rules

  • charliep


  • scott johns

    i think surfboard shaper and soul surfer Trevor Cranmer from the great lakes has the best beard hands down!

  • Sandi

    Love Keith Malloy’s beard, that picture is amazing, definitely looks like something from the civil war era.

  • Lee G Und

    This is seriously the most homosexual article ever in Surfer. Not that I have a problem with that. Just sayin’……

  • carlos pacheco

    Cool look…

  • Lyle Carlson


  • beastdog

    Dion’s beard is fuckin’ pathetic!!!!

  • MPR

    Jack O’Neill?

  • bob saget

    what about john haffey

    he always wins

  • stevenug

    Nicely done Justin.

  • Boardwalk Surf

    Really Surprised Jack O’Neill isn’t on the list.

  • Dean

    Josh Redman should be on this list……………………………………… Come now Surfer mag.

  • Adam

    Delbert Outer Banks – “I moved here in’72 and I haven’t shaved since”.

  • G

    Agreed – Jack O’neill needs to be included. And since being a “known entity” per say isn’t a requirement (read: who the hell are those middle two dudes?), leaving Conan Hayes out of this list is clearly a major mistake. That guy could pass mustard at a Taliban manliness convention.

  • http://200KMSFROMTHEOCEAN RatMan

    What’s the big deal about beards ? Surfing’s not about trends or fashion! Let em grow …or cut em off! Who gives a
    flying f£$k anyway..! Stop trying to make old freedom trendy! It ain’t about trend or media attention in most cases, it’s about just,,,,,being who you want to be! We did it in the 70’s and the 80’s and now it’s back, as FASHION!
    F@£K OFF! stop wankin’ and just surf !

  • jbaffa

    i believe that the Del Moro beard was photographed by Filippo Maffei, and having had the pleasure to travel with said beard for 3 months through Italy – one would be remiss to not mention the unique odor it presents to those lucky enough to be within 2 or 3 feet on a warm summer day. classic blog post justin. bravo.

  • Dariddla

    Kieth’s beard is like the paint job on his home from Dave Powers my brother, very stoic and real!

    Dan Riddle

  • Ultimate Bro Bra

    How could you leave me out, mate?

  • Brendon

    By the Beard of Zues! How is Josh Redman’s spectacularly cultivated man-beard not top of this list?
    Oh yes, because he’s an underground Saffa charger with tragically less international appeal than a hipster poser like Agius.
    Shame on you surfermag.

  • the deuce

    no jack oneill?

  • Ursus Magnus

    Doesn’t Ole still have a beard? He had a chin wookie in the 50s when he was making surfboards at 9th St. in Sunset Beach where Bruce Jones is now. I was a little kid and would watch him work.

  • Roy Stuart

    It ‘aint about the beard.

  • http://SchlesingerAssociates Dr. Howie Feltersnatch, M.D.

    We need more articles like this. How about a mullet retrospective?

  • Marcello

    Lord Krishna said: I am expounding unto you who are unnenvious, this most confidential, secret wisdom, the knowledge of devotion, which when in realization after knowing which you will be liberated from this miserable material existence.