On This Day

Surfing in History

Events in Sport

  • 1966-10-02 Australian Robert 'Nat' Young puts on a dominating performance to win the World Surfing Championship at Ocean Beach, San Diego; Joyce Hoffman of Capistrano Beach, California takes women's title

Sports History

2003-10-31 Bethany Hamilton, aged 13, has her arm bitten off by a shark while surfing in Hawaii

  • 2008-10-03 American surfer Kelly Slater clinches his record 9th world championship after round 3 of Billabong Pro in Mundaka, Spain; accrues enough points with 5 victories to win title with 2 scheduled ASP Tour contests to be surfed

Sports History

2013-11-02 Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina claims ASP World Junior Title by beating Ramzi Boukhiam of Morocco in a high-scoring final at Joaquina Beach in Florianopolis, Brazil

  • 2014-11-27 Stephanie Gilmore wins her 6th women's world surfing title
  • 2016-05-14 Gabriel Medina becomes the first surfer ever to land the move "Backflip" in competition
  • 2016-08-03 International Olympic Committee approves baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding to be included in the sports program for 2020 Games only; total number of sports, 33
  • 2017-11-08 Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa breaks the world record for surfing the biggest-ever wave at 24.4m at Nazaré, Portugal
  • 2018-01-18 Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira rides the largest-ever wave by a female surfer at 20.72 m (68 ft) at Praia do Norte in Nazaréin, Portugal
  • 2018-11-26 Australian surfer Stephanie Gilmore is handed her record equalling 7th world title as American contender Lakey Peterson is a shock 2nd round elimination at the season-ending Maui Pro in Hawaii
  • 2021-07-27 Ítalo Ferreira of Brazil and American Carissa Moore claim inaugural men's and women's surfing gold medals at the Tokyo Olympic Games
  • 2022-02-05 Six days before his 50th birthday, 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater wins his 8th Pipeline title beating 22-year old Hawaiian Seth Moniz in the final

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1890-08-24 Duke Kahanamoku, American swimmer, surfer (Olympic gold 100m freestyle 1912, 20; 4x200m freestyle relay 1920), born in Honolulu, Hawaii (d. 1968)
  • 1960-08-08 Cheyne Horan, Australian surfer (World C'ship runner-up 1978, 79, 81, 82), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1964-03-02 Laird Hamilton, American big-wave surfer (co-inventor of tow-in surfing; heaviest wave ever ridden successfully, Teahupo'o 2000), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1964-09-26 Derek Ho, American surfer (World C'ship 1993; Hawaiian Triple Crown 1984, 86, 88, 90), born in Kailua, Hawaii (d. 2020)
  • 1972-02-11 Kelly Slater, American surfer (11 x WSL champion; Triple Crown 1995, 98, 2019, born in Cocoa Beach, Florida
  • 1978-07-24 Andy Irons, American surfer (ASP World Champion 2002-04), born in Kauai, Hawaii (d. 2010)
  • 1978-11-12 Lena Yada, American actress, model, surfer and WWE Diva, born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1979-02-24 Jesse Billauer, American quadriplegic surfer
  • 1979-11-16 Bruce Irons, American surfer, born in Lihue, Hawaii
  • 1988-01-29 Stephanie Gilmore, Australian surfer (World Champion 2007-10, 12, 14, 18), born in Murwillumbah, New South Wales

Bethany Hamilton

1990-02-08 Bethany Hamilton, American pro-surfer (Soul Surfer), born in Lihue, Hawaii

  • 1990-12-19 Sally Fitzgibbons, Australian pro surfer, born in Gerroa, Australia
  • 1992-08-27 Carissa Moore, American surfer (WSL Women's World Tour Champion 2011, 13, 15, 19), born in Honolulu, Hawaii

Gabriel Medina

1993-12-22 Gabriel Medina, Brazilian professional surfer (World Champion 2014), born in São Sebastião, São Paulo


Weddings in Sport

  • 2005-12-29 "One Life To Live" actress Bree Williamson (26) weds surfer Josh Evans near the Flor Blanca Resort in Mal Pais, Costa Rica
  • 2007-02-17 Australian TV presenter Natalie Gruzlewski (30) weds pro surfer Luke Egan at St. Augustine's Catholic Church

Bethany Hamilton

2013-08-18 Pro surfer Bethany Hamilton (23) weds boyfriend Adam Dirks in Kauai, Hawaii


Deaths in Sport

  • 1968-01-22 Duke Kahanamoku, American swimmer, surfer (Olympic gold 100m freestyle 1912, 20; 4x200m freestyle relay 1920), dies of a heart attack at 77
  • 1993-09-08 Lorin "Whitey" Harrison, surfer, dies of a heart attack at 80
  • 1995-12-14 Rob Harris, American sky surfer, dies skydiving at 28
  • 2010-11-02 Andy Irons, American surfer (ASP World Champion 2002-04), dies of heart attack due to acute mixed drug ingestion at 32
  • 2017-05-26 John Severson, founder of 'Surfer' magazine and artist (known for his depictions of surf culture), dies of cancer at 83
  • 2019-04-30 Mike Doyle, American surfer (World C'ship 1964 runner-up; World Tandem Champion 1965, 67), dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 78
  • 2020-07-17 Derek Ho, American surfer (World C'ship 1993; Hawaiian Triple Crown 1984, 86, 88, 90), dies from a heart attack at 55