50 of the Best Surf Quotes

Last updated:

Surfers can be unexpectedly poetic when describing the surfing experience. Many of their quotes are surprisingly poignant and inspiring.

We’ve compiled a list of 50 of the best surfing quotes from world champions through to authors and celebrities. Be sure to check out our previous surf quotes and inspirational articles.

What is your favourite surf quote? Tell us in the comments below.


If in doubt, paddle out.

Nat Young

Surfing is the most blissful experience you can have on this planet, a taste of heaven.

John McCarthy

Surfing is for life.

Bruce Jenkins

Out of the water, I am nothing.

Duke Kahanamoku

Your surfing can get better on every turn, on every wave you catch. Learn to read the ocean better. A big part of my success has been wave knowledge.

Kelly Slater

I think when a surfer becomes a surfer, it’s almost like an obligation to be an environmentalist at the same time.

Kelly Slater

It’s like the mafia. Once you’re in – your in. There’s no getting out.

Kelly Slater

You can take a surfer out of the surf, but you can not take surf out of surfer.

Bob McTavish

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

John Kabat-Zinn

Surfing is very much like making love. It always feels good, no matter how many times you’ve done it.

Paul Strauch

The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.

Phil Edwards

Live to surf, surf to live.

Mike Doyle

Surfing is almost a way to fly.

 Jeff Hakman

When the surfs up, your life is too

Wilhelm Sverdvik

If you’re having a bad day, catch a wave.

Frosty Hesson

The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.

Phil Edwards

We’re all equal before a wave.

Laird Hamilton

There is not one right way to ride a wave.

Jamie O’Brien

Surfing is attitude dancing.

Gerry Lopez

Surfing’s one of the few sports that you look ahead to see what’s behind.

Laird Hamilton

Never drive away from good surf.

Roger Sharp

Work to surf, surf to work!

Andrew Cotton

Surfing to me is like playing music. You play different melodies with different boards.

Skip Frye

The three most important things in life: surf, surf, surf.”

Jack O’Neill

“The best wave of your life is still out there.

Steve Hawk

Surfing soothes me, it’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m on a wave.

Paul Walker

One of the greatest things about the sport of surfing is that you need only three things: your body, a surf-board, and a wave.

Naima Green 

Surfing, alone among sports, generates laughter at its very suggestion, and this is because it turns not a skill into an art, but an inexplicable and useless urge into a vital way of life.

Matt Warshaw

Surfing is a way to be free.

Lisa Andersen

If you’re having a bad day, catch a wave.

Frosty Hesson

Surfing in crowds is like mind over matter. If I don’t mind it don’t matter.

Brodus Rogers

Wiping out is an under-appreciated skill.

Laird Hamilton

Style is a natural extension of who you are as a person.

Mark Richards

Nobody gets to the end of their life and wishes they surfed less.

Bradley Hook, Surfing Life Waves

The joy of surfing is so many things combined, from the physical exertion of it, to the challenge of it, to the mental side of the sport.

Kelly Slater

I think when a surfer becomes a surfer, it’s almost like an obligation to be an environmentalist at the same time.

Kelly Slater

What I love the most about surfing is that it’s my first love. It’s the first thing I can remember being consumed by.

Stephanie Gilmore

I feel really at home in the ocean; surfing is a huge part of who I am.

Easkey Britton

There’s an independence to surfing, it’s just you and the ocean. There aren’t a bunch of rules.

Lee Clow

I’ve always thought surfing is a reflection of who you are.

Kelly Slater

Surfing to me is like playing music. You play different melodies with different boards.

Skip Frye

Surfing leads you through life, especially when you’re young and with hope in your heart.

Tom Blake

 Wiping out is an under-appreciated skill.

Laird Hamilton

I try changing my surfing, which is the absolute worst thing you can do. Everyone surfs their own way. If I try to surf like someone else I look like a dork.

Andy Irons

Life is a lot like surfing… When you get caught in the impact zone, you’ve got to just get back up. Because you never know what may be over the next wave.

Bethany Hamilton

The joy of surfing is so many things combined, from the physical exertion of it, to the challenge of it, to the mental side of the sport.

Kelly Slater

Sliding a wave removes our brains out of the ordinary and slips us into the extraordinary of being there now. No more worries about mortgages or strife of being poor or rich. When you enter the domain of an ocean cylinder, that moment, those split seconds belong to the Zen part of just being. Period.

Bill Hamilton 

Surfing, alone among sports, generates laughter at its very suggestion, and this is because it turns not a skill into an art, but an inexplicable and useless urge into a vital way of life.

Matt Warshaw 

Surfing for me is more than my lifestyle; it’s my passion, my love, and it’s a part of me.

Bethany Hamilton

It’s all about where your mind’s at.

Kelly Slater