Image courtesy of: Reef 

Orange is the new black and 40 is the new 30, which means that surfers are having prolonged careers and ripping harder, longer. It would have been hard to imagine someone over 40 having a viable career on the world tour or as a free surfer ten years ago, however guys like Kelly Slater and Tom Curren are currently rewriting the rule book.

Kelly is the undisputed king of progressive surfing after 40, he won his last World Championship on the precipice of his 40th year on earth. And while he hasn’t won a title in his 40’s he has put on mind bending performances at Cloudbreak and spun one of the most progressive airs of all time in his 40’s, redefining what is possible after forty.

King Kelly isn’t the only one pushing the limits and surfing progressively with refined style, as many surfers in their 40’s are taking surfing to new levels,and we have picked five of our favorite over 40 surfers who are still pushing the limits.

1. Tom Curren-


Tom Curren is your favorite surfers favorite surfer, and for good reason as the king of Rincon is one of the most stylish surfers to ever step foot on a surfboard. The three time World Champion, retired from competitive surfing in the 90’s, at 52 Curren is still one of the most preeminent surfers of the planet. While new footage of Curren is infrequent, it is still highly coveted, as the style master still surfs as smooth as ever.

2. Shane Dorian-

Shane Dorian | Plate Lunch from Ryan Moss on Vimeo.

At 44 Shane doesn’t seem to be slowing down as the retired World Tour surfer now spends his time throwing himself over the ledge of the world’s most deadly waves. Regarded as big wave surfers most prominent madman, Shane’s effortless style in waves of consequence is a thing of true beauty. Dorian is still setting the standard for progressive big wave surfing, and will mostly likely hold down the thrown for at least the next decade.

 3. Rob Machado-

3 sessions 3 minutes from Through The Lens on Vimeo.

We can’t have our five favorite surfers over 40 without including hometown hero Rob Machado. While Rob has transitioned from competitor to soul surfer, the Cardiff local still seems to spend ample time getting barreled around the world. Machado has also started to shape some of the most beautiful and functional surfboards in the world. Smooth as butter and still ripping as hard as ever, Rob is an inspiration to anyone looking to stay progressive in their 40’s.

4. Grant “Twiggy” Baker-

South Africa’s big wave madman Grant “Twiggy” Baker is still pushing the limits on big waves around the world. The 43 year old hellman is one of big wave surfing’s most prominent figures being a World Champion, Mavs maverick, and XXL winner. Baker even won this summer’s 2016 Puerto Escondido Challenge in macking conditions, further proving the over 40 World Champ is still on top of his game.

5. Taylor Knox-

Another local favorite and friend of the shop, Taylor Knox is a shining example of what happens when you take care of your body. While the fitness enthusiasts no longer competes, Knox is still a powerhouse and can be seen putting his rails to the limit every time there is a Socal swell. An ambassador of health, power surfing, and good vibes, Taylor is still surfing at an elite level in his 40’s. If power and finesse is your forte, then Knox is surely one of your favorite surfers too.