The surfing bug doesn’t discriminate, choosing Hollywood beefcakes, rock stars, starlets, and prime ministers as well as us mere mortals. Here are some of the celebrities who know one end of a surfboard from the other and aren’t afraid to get their hair wet.
Cameron Diaz is a keen and frequent surfer. Even though she broke her nose surfing back in 2003, it never stopped her from loving the sport. It helped that early on in her surfing career she had expert tuition from Kelly Slater, and that many of her movies have been filmed in Hawaii, where she is almost a local.
She first showed her surfing talents in Full Throttle, the Charlie’s Angels sequel where she performed her own surfing stunts, and if she isn’t riding waves, she is often snapped looking confident on her SUP.
Eddie Vedder started surfing at the same time he learned guitar, when he was 12. After becoming a worldwide star as front man of Pearl Jam, he continued to paddle out and has struck up long and lasting friendships with surfing champions Kelly Slater, Mark Richards and Laird Hamilton.
Vedder has spent many seasons on the North Shore of Oahu and was recently invited to take part in the opening ceremony of the big-wave In Memory of Eddie Aikau competition. “Surfing is as important to me as my music,” he once told Tracks. “I can’t imagine a life without either in it.”
We might be pushing the boundaries of the definition of “celebrity” here, but Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott took to the water over the weekend to support Wipeout Dementia. “Lots of us don’t like our prime minister, Tony Abbott,” says 1977 ASP World Champion Peter “PT” Townsend, “but I must admit he’s the only prime minister in the world who’s out charging it with former world champs like Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew.”
While not quite in the Vladimir-Putin-astride-a-dead-bear machismo category, to Abbott’s credit there was a hefty swell running. “Mate, that is no place for the fainthearted out there today,” he told Fairfax Press. “That is a big, big, thumping, pumping surf.”
Matthew McConaughey learned to surf while making the movie Surfer, Dude in 2007. It is nice to know there was a positive outcome from what is possibly one of the worst attempts at surfing done by Hollywood.
“It might sound corny, but I’ve never had a bad time surfing,” he told TW SURF just after the film came out. “I love being out there, I love the culture, I love being outside — I just love it, man.” He has continued to love it, surfing often near his Malibu, California, home, turning up to a few World Championship Tour events and, of course, making friends with Kelly Slater.
Ashley Greene and Vanessa Hudgens
To be honest, these two Hollywood starlets might fall into the category of Celebrities Who Have Surfed Once, but hey ho, that’s enough for us. The Spring Breakers and potential tow-in partners turned up in Bali in 2013 at the Oakley Pro and were recorded catching a few waves at Playgrounds in Nusa Lembongan.
Both turned out to be regular-footers, with functional, if unorthodox, styles. You can’t question their commitment, though, with Greene later posting a photo of a bloody leg on Instagram with the caption, “War wound from surfing today with Oakley. The reef ate me up. Worth it.”
The two-time Grammy-award-winning singer/songwriter grew up a few hours’ drive inland from the coast and didn’t start surfing until he was 28. He quickly became hooked, though, and often makes sure his concerts are at the locations with the best waves.
“Synchronizing your location and speed with that of a wave that traveled perhaps 1000s of miles to reach you is not unlike seeing a ghost or riding a dinosaur,” he wrote on his website, making no sense at all. “It’s a rare, exhilarating and fleeting experience.”
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