10 Sick Surfers You’ve Never Heard Of

All deserve way more applause than they get

Russ Bierke

How many 16 year olds you know charge Shipsterns? How many do you know can also go toe-to-toe with Kelly Slater at one of the heaviest waves in the world and hold their own?

Sixteen year old Russ Bierke is one of the most promising talents to come out of the big wave scene in a long time.
“He’s one of the most promising talents to come out of the big wave scene in a long time”
Born in Hawaii, he moved to Australia with his family as a child and has spent the last half dozen years honing his craft on the intimidating reefs of south-east Australia.

Big wave surfing is in his blood. Dad Kirk is a legendary big wave surfer and shaper in his own right, having lived on the North Shore of Oahu for some two decades.

The same day Russ was going head to head with Kelly, Kirk was a just a few bays away throwing down some big wave heroics of his own. A performance that would earn the father a nomination in that year’s Oakley Big Wave Awards. Crazy stuff.


Damien Wills

He’s one of the top five maddest humans on earth, surely.

Damien ‘Dom’ Wills is largely unknown outside of Australia but his heavy wave heroics (and beatings) remain some of the most mind-boggling the sport has ever seen.

“Dom was the first person to bodysurf Shipersterns!”

Famous for becoming the first person to bodysurf Shipsterns, Dom has made a career out of simply tackling waves no one else wants.

This footage here has to rank with the all time worst wipeouts ever; the wave itself considered a complete death trap by most top line surfers. Not Dom though.


Ryan Burch

The great finless magician Ryan Burch, known for riding traction-less blocks of foam everywhere from Californian beachies to the rugged reef breaks of North West Australia.

A true modern day visionary, Burch exists in the sport’s margins where he tinkers away with futuristic designs, all the time redefining what was thought possible on a surfboard.

A product of Cardiff, CA, he grew with Rob Machado and Joel Tudor as mentors. You can tell watching his effortless approach and speedy transitions on all kinds of crafts.


Kepa Acero

The great Basque nomad, Kepa Acero is arguably surfing’s most intrepid traveller. Which is no small feat in a sport known for great adventurers.

Kepa has done it all – Africa, Europe, Australia, Indonesia, South America – on a shoestring budget, using some of the most ingenious methods imaginable to document his trips.

“He’s become one of the most loved figures in surfing”

A former semi-professional surfer who competed on the World Qualifying Series for a period, Kepa got jack of competing one day and decided to hit the road with no other goal then to get pitted.

A throwback to the Basque adventurers and seafarers of yesteryear, he has become one of the most loved figures in the surfing underground.


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