Did you know that the 2011 movie Soul Surfer was filmed in Kauai? With its perfect beaches and overwhelming waves, Kauai is the it-destination for surfers from all around the globe. So it’s no surprise that a lot of the surfing-themed movies take place on the island.
But thanks to the round-year perfect conditions, a lot of locals are also surfing throughout their lives — and you can see why Kauai produced quite a few surfing legends.
Famous Surfers from Kauai You’ve Probably Heard Of
1. Titus Kinimaka
Born back in 1955, Titus Kinimaka is an absolute surfing legend. Born and raised in Kauai, he is known as the top big-wave surfer of all time. A lot of today’s surfers name Tutis as their great master and inspiration.
On top of a mind-blowing and long-lasting surfing career, he also starred in a few Hollywood movies. You might have seen him in Soul Surfer (2011), The Pirates of the Caribbean (2011), and Hanalei Bay (2018).
2. Andy Irons
Also a Kauai native, Andy is probably the most famous local surfer who made a lot of global headlines. Throughout his impressive and roller-coaster of a surfing career, he took three world titles and achieved 20+ international victories.
Sadly, he passed away back in 2010, which came as a shock to the surfing community. Yet his legacy stays strong — you can learn about his mind-blowing life story in a dedicated biopic Andy Irons: Kissed by God.
3. Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton, born back in 1990, is one of the newest stars of the surfing scene. Having survived a shark attack at the age of 13, she is known as a tough fighter and a strong competitor within the surf community.
In 2014, she won at Pipeline Women’s Pro — the best-in-class competition for female surfers.
4. Sebastian Zietz
Another youngster born in 1988, Sebastian is actually not a Kauai native — he was born in Florida but moved to Kauai shortly after his birth. Like any local kid, he started surfing at the age of 4. In a short span of time, by 2013 he joined the World Championship Tour. In three years, he already won his very first World Surf League.
Sebastian is now one of the most promising names in the surfing world.
5. Danny Fuller
Danny’s surfing days started early — at the age of 39, he already has a 26-year surfing career with 13 years spent as a big-wave surfer. In fact, seeing the biggest wave ever has always been the target for his work both as a surfer and as an artist.
Yes, Danny is actually also a renowned Hawaiian artist who keeps depicting abstract seascapes.
6. Kala and Kamalei Alexander
Kala and Kamalei Alexander are probably the next most known surfing brothers after Andy and Bruce Irons — all Kauai natives.
Their tandem isn’t simply adored within the surfing community for all the accomplishments, they are what you’d call surfing activists. Kala co-founded the Wolfpak surf gang — a collective of Kauai surfers who enforce a new wave of respect to experienced surfers, and protect surfers that practice in the Kauai area.
And their Wolfpak takes various surfing tournaments by storm. In fact, a Kauai surfing god Andy Irons was also a part of the collective.
Get Your Feet On a Surfboard
When planning a trip to Kauai, surfing is a must-try, especially if you’re going to the North Shore. Of course, you can’t expect to get as good as the surfers we’ve mentioned here, but they also started somewhere. So pick your top surfing spot and get yourself in good shape to take on surfing in Kauai.