Major Pro Athletes Who Surf
Sometimes as a surfer it’s fun to know who else is int your sport. Granted, there’s also something beautifully anonymous about surfing. It’s not really a spectator sport, and there’s always something cool about just seeing someone out on the waves demonstrating great skill in total obscurity. That said, most of us just want to have a good time, and that means we want more and more people to discover the joy and beauty of surfing. Thus, sometimes it’s fun to point out when celebrity figures, who have followings and serve as role models, like to get out on the waves themselves.
Along those lines we wanted to take a quick look at a few regular surfers who happen to be among the best and most famous athletes alive.
One of the most famous defensive footballers on the planet, Dani Alves is known to be a genuine Brazilian “beach boy” when he’s not playing football. He made a remarkable career for himself both with the Brazilian national team and with some of the top clubs in Europe (namely, PSG and Barcelona), and was on pace to play in this summer’s World Cup before suffering a bad knee injury. Alves, 35, may be on his way out of football – but perhaps he’ll have more time to ride the incredible surf in Brazil.
Drew Brees has quietly put together one of the most impressive careers for an NFL quarterback in history. Year in and year out, regardless of how good his New Orleans Saints are, Brees puts up remarkable passing statistics. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising then that Brees has been spotted out surfing with a few of his NFL buddies. Someone with the type of poise and focus it takes to remain so good for so long is mentally suited to the sport.
Professional golf coverage can be a little bit fickle. In all the excitement over the comeback of Tiger Woods, the emergence of Jordan Spieth, and any given story of the week, a guy like Adam Scott – who won the Masters in 2013 with one of the better scores we’ve seen this decade – can be forgotten. But Scott is still among the world’s very best golfers, and incidentally is said to be a surfing enthusiast as well. This won’t surprise anyone once you recall that he grew up on the Gold Coast!
Now 40, Barry Zito is actually retired from Major League Baseball. At his best, however, he was one of the toughest pitchers in the game (and earned one of the MLB’s most lucrative contracts as a result). It’s been said that Zito enjoys some of his free time surfing in Hawaii, and we have to imagine he’s spending a little bit more time out on the water now that he’s not traveling with a professional baseball team for 162 games a season (plus spring training and the playoffs, where he often found himself).
Just a few short years ago Blake Griffin was one of the most electrifying players in the NBA. He still can be, but a few injuries and the dissolution of his Los Angeles Clippers team (Griffin now plays in Detroit) have quieted his career a bit. At his best, Griffin is a tornado of energy on the court, known for some of the most ferocious dunks of this era – which is all somewhat antithetical to his notably chill off-court presence. Back in 2011 Griffin revealed that he was turning to surfing during the NBA’s lockout, and if you’ve seen much of him in interviews or behind-the-scenes content it’s easy to imagine him as a full-fledged beach bum.