"The Duke" Kahanamoko, born on August 24, 1890, was a renowned Hawaiian athlete who held three Olympic gold medals. He has several world records at the Olympics. He is considered the founder of modern surfing. His love for surfing allowed the sport to be rediscovered after it was prohibited by missionaries. This made him famous throughout the world as the one who saved surfing from being lost in the dust bins of history. A Honolulu native, he lived to be 77 years old and died on January 22, 1968 due to a heart attack. He is considered one of the most famous surfers to have ever lived. Statues of him can be found all over the world.
Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz was born to a Jewish family in Gavelston, Texas in March 3, 1921. He was a Med student who gave everything up to become a surfer. The Doc was much like a libertine surfer, who spent over two decades on the road visiting various surf camps and surf spots around the world. He and his wife had nine children on the road and were highly influential with surfers around the world. Paskowitz started a new trend in surf culture which replicated his carelessness of society's materialism and high standards. The Doc kept it simple and lived a life as though every day were summer. He was much appreciated by surfers worldwide and has opened several surf schools and camps to continue his legacy.
Kelly Slater is a known name throughout the world and for good reason. Born in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Kelly Slater has gained renowned fame for the number of championships and awards in surfing. He started surfing at the young age of six and by the time he turned eleven years old, he blew the competition out of the water (no pun intended). From the start of his professional career at the age of 18, Slater ended up winning the World Surf League Championship 11 times. He has been featured in many video games, movies, TV shows, and many more. He has been even honored by the United States congress and there's even a statue of him in his native Cocoa Beach.
Nick Gabaldon is known as the Rosa Parks of surfing. An African-American and Mexican-American by birth, Gabaldon is more than just a surfer. He became renowned for being a civil rights figure for the segregated black community. He defied all of the segregation rules and continued to enjoy beaches that were prohibited for colored people. Many surfers around him sympathized with him and helped him defy the segregation that he experienced. Surfing mainly around Southern California, name in the Los Angeles area, Gabaldon was killed on June 5, 1951 when he surfed right into a pier in Malibu at the young age of 24. Nevertheless, he is still remembered to this day. There is plaque that honors his memory in Santa Monica and there is a day of rememberance for him on June 1st.
Miki Dora should be considered the James Dean of surfing. He surfed mainly around the Malibu area in Southern California and became a notorious surfer for his rebel-like attitude and innovative style. Equally interesting is his family background. An ethnic Hungarian, his parents divorced when he was just 10 years old. His mother then married a surfer who introduced Miki the art of surfing. Since then, Miki Dora would become a renowned surfer travelling surf spots around the world. He died in 2002 at the age of 67 from cancer.