Surf Quotes That Capture the Essence of Life on the Waves

All surfers understand that surfing is an analogy for life itself. It’s a journey filled with exhilaration, frustration, and the unknown. Nevertheless, surf quotes beautifully capture exactly these.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of 40 surf quotes that will motivate you to get in the water. From surf legends like Gerry Lopez, Bethany Hamilton, and Mark Foo, these surf quotes can make you dream even more about surfing. Even if you’re just learning to walk on water for the first time or committing more by buying that first surfboard, these surf quotes will surely keep you motivated. 

Aside from getting the ultimate gear for surfing, and getting in shape, you also have to be mentally prepared to start your surf journey. Hence, here’s 40 best surf quotes to do just that. Enjoy the reading!

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The Call of the Waves: 40 Inspirational Surf Quotes

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Feelings are much like waves. We can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.

Jonatan Martesson

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The best surfer out there is the one having most fun.

Gerry Lopez

Gerry Lopez, aka Mr. Pipeline, is an American surfer, shaper, journalist, and film actor. He currently lives in Oregon and has surf and yoga clinics all over the world.

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Surfing is a way to be free.

Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson (March 8, 1969, in Ormond Beach, Florida) is a four-time world surfing champion from the United States. She won four successive world titles from 1994 to 1997. She was named ASP’s Rookie of the Year in 1987, won the US amateur surfing title in 1987 and turned professional the following year.

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Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid. Courage means you don't let fear stop you.

Bethany Hamilton

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My passion for surfing was more than my fear for sharks.

Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Meilani Hamilton-Dirks is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but who ultimately returned to professional surfing. She still competes in the women’s world tour , is a motivational speaker and has been stepping into big wave surfing.

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Surfing and Life hold parallels.

Elizabeth Saslamanca-Brosig

Elizabeth Salamanca-Brosig is American born, Filipino lover of Jesus. She is also an activist, author, and international speaker. Together with the help of her family, she founded Cloud9Surfing Missions which inspires individuals, families and communities with experiences that lead people to victory. She also founded the Surfing His Word Tour and the International Ukulele Ensemble. Later, the Salamanca-Brosig Family make their home in sunny Florida with their children, Kylie and Kai.

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I need the sea because it teaches me.

Pablo Neruda

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda, was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet-diplomat and politician.

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Surfing isn't just a sport, it's a way of life.
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It's not tragic to die doing something you love.

Mark Foo

Mark Sheldon Foo was a professional surfer. Unfortunately, Foo drowned while surfing at Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California, in 1994.

Mavericks is considered one of the biggest and most dangerous waves in the world.

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If you're having a bad day catch a wave.

Frosty Hesson

Frosty Hesson started surfing in California in 1963. After gaining experience in the cold waters of Santa Cruz, he joined a group of wave explorers in the Mavericks challenge. Moreover, in the 1980’s, Richard “Frosty” Hesson has never quit surfing, in its many angles.

The Mavericks master kept catching waves and started a successful career in surf training and coaching.

If you haven’t watched it yet, check out Chasing Mavericks, featuring Gerard Buttler, about the life of Frosty and surfing Mavericks. It’s a fantastic movie to watch to motivate you before crushing your first ever surf lesson!

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Surfing is my philosophy 101

Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is a poet, columnist, bushwalker and animal activist currently residing in Southern California.

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Surfing is the first thing I can remember being consumed by

Stephanie Gilmore

Stephanie Louise  Gilmore (aka Happy Gilmore) is an Australian professional surfer and seven-time world champion on the Women’s ASP World Tour. She was born in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia on 29 January 1988 and currently resides in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia.

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It's like the mafia. Once you're in you can't get out.


Discovering Wisdom in Surf Quotes

Kelly Slater

Robert Kelly Slater is an American professional surfer, author, actor, model, environmental activist, businessman, and innovator, best known for his unprecedented 11 world surfing championships. He is widely regarded as the greatest professional surfer (some say athlete) of all time.

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Just take your time, another comes. Let the other guys go, take another one.

Duke Kahanomoku

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (1890-1968) was a Native Hawaiian competition swimmer who popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing. He was born towards the end of the Kingdom of Hawaii, just before the overthrow. Eventually, he lived into statehood as a United States citizen.

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Surf girls rip and they are hot.

Alana Blanchard

Alana Rene Blanchard is an American professional surfer and model. Blanchard has surfed on the ASP World Tour and designs and models Rip Curl swimwear, particularly a line of wetsuits specifically for surfing. She is a long time best friend and supporter of Bethany Hamilton and is currently has a son with pro surfer Jack Freestone.

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Out of the water, I am nothing.

Duke Kahanomoku

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The only person surfing comfortable in this cold water is Henry, and Henry is a seal.

The Endless Summer

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You can't stop the waves but you can learn how to surf.

Hawaiian Proverb.

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Waves are not measured in feet and inches, they are measured in increments of fear.

Buzzy Trent

This surf quote from Buzzy Trent reflects his being pioneer of big wave surfing. Born in San Diego and raised in Santa Monica, he body surfed as a child and started surfing at age 12. Later, he moved to Hawaii in 1952 to surf and pioneered big wave surfing along with George Downing and Greg Noll.

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I don't need easy, I just need possible.

Bethany Hamilton

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I'm grateful to be a part of the surfing lifestyle. I get to do what I love every day. I'm happy with the life that I have and the role surfing plays in it.

Rosy Hodge

Born in South Africa and raised on the right hand points of the Eastern Cape, Rosy Hodge still has fond memories of her motherland. She grew up in the town of East London, on the south-eastern Cape (about 4 hours up the coast from J-Bay). Her approach to surfing and life stuck with her throughout her career. With some hard work, she broke into the World Championship Tour and enjoyed what she’d describe as some success as reflected by the surf quote. Ready to plunge into the surfing lifestyle? Explore our guide to selecting your first beginner longboard to get started!

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Surfing is simply the most fun I know how to have in this planet.

Antony Garrett

Antony Garrett Lisi, known as Garrett Lisi, is an American theoretical physicist and adventure sports enthusiast. Lisi works as an independent researcher without an academic position. A strong proponent of life balance, his case was between scientific research and enjoyment of the outdoors.

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Surfing makes me happy so that's just what I plan on doing.

Alana Blanchard

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Surfing is the most blissful experience you can have in this planet, a slice of heaven.

John Mcarthy

John has been surfing since the age of 10 and started competing on the Irish Surf Team at the age of 13 and holds national junior and senior titles. In October 2007 John was one of a group of surfers who pioneered the “Aileens Wave” under the Cliffs of Moher.

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If in doubt, paddle out.

Nat Young.

Robert Harold “Nat” Young is an Australian surfer and author. Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Young grew up in the small coastal suburb of Collaroy. In 1964, he was runner-up in the Australian junior championship at Manly, and two years later was named world surfing champion in 1966.

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The best wave of your life is still out there.

Steven Hawk

Lanky quick-witted surf journalist from San Diego, California; Surfer magazine editor from 1990 to 1998, and a Contributing Editor since 2004. Hawk was born (1955) in Pensacola, Florida, raised in San Diego, and began surfing at age 14.

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It's all about where your mind's at.

Kelly Slater

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Ride the waves and go with the flow of life.
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There is nothing, nothing more sad than a surfer who used to surf.
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Life is a lot like surfing. When you get caught in the impact zone you need to get right back up because you don't know what's coming behind the next wave.
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Love is bigger than any tidal wave or fear.

Bethany Hamilton

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The biggest sin in the world would be if I lost my love for the ocean.

Laird Hamilton

Laird John Hamilton is an American big-wave surfer, co-inventor of tow-in surfing, and an occasional fashion and action-sports model. He is married to Gabrielle Reece, a professional volleyball player, television personality, and model.

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Each wave was perfect.

Endless Summer

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Sand in my shower means I had a great day.
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There's no secret to balance, you just have to feel the waves.

Frank Herbert

Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr. was an American science fiction author best known for the 1965 novel Dune and its five sequels. Though he became famous for his novels, he also wrote short stories and worked as a newspaper journalist, photographer, book reviewer, ecological consultant, and lecturer.

Here you go! A selection of our 40 of our favorite surf quotes that remind us why we do what we do and can’t think of doing anything else. We hope you liked them and remember to share them with friends. Maybe you have some famous surf quotes that you know and would like to share with us too?

If you’re still hungry for surf wisdom, you’ll also find even more inspiration to fuel your love for surfing by watching our top surf videos. You can also explore our collection of over 600 surf quotes on our surf quote Pinterest board.

We hope that this article on surf quotes made you dream about your next surf session. Would you like to book your trip soon? Take a look at our guide to the best times to surf in Central America!

See you in the water!