Ian Walsh

I’m just stoked to be doing what I’m doing

Ian Walsh surfing in Honolua Bay, Hawaii on 30th March 2011
© Zak Noyle/Red Bull Content Pool

Hi, my name is Ian Walsh. My discipline is free surfing and surfing big wave. My friends call me Walshy. I was born on 10 May 1983 in a fun world. My special talent is not karaoke. My philosophy of life is it's not how good you are but how good you want to be. My favourite food is Mexican. My favourite music is an array of randomness from 10,000 songs in my iPod.


Ian Walsh was in the water shortly after he could walk. When most 16-year-olds in Maui were riding BMX or hanging out in town, Ian was paddling out at Jaws. By 18, he’d graduated valedictorian of his high school, but was also giving himself a crash-course in weather mapping, with the motive of finding the biggest, ugliest waves he could.

At 21 he bounced down the face of a proper 70-footer at Jaws and was nominated for Wave of the Year at the Billabong XXL Awards. Skip forward a few years and several more XXL nominations, and he's still searching for the wave that'll top the rest. But the beauty of Ian is, he doesn't do it for an award. He does it for himself.

Ian's tackled everything from maxed-out Jaws to maxed-out Chopes, been nominated for numerous heavy-water awards, towed into mysto bombs 100 miles off the California coast, and pretty much seen everything in between.

"I'm just stoked to be doing what I’m doing," he says. "There aren't a lot of people in the world who get to go ride waves for a living. That's my job, and I'm having a hell of a good time doing it."

Ian's most recent exploits took him back home to Jaws where he cast the jet ski aside and paddled into some serious mountains, on one wave getting barrelled all the way across the inside on his 10'6". “You gotta keep it interesting, I guess," he says. At the very least, he definitely knows how to do that.

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Surfer Ian Walsh rides the tube in Japan.

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Jaws shows its teeth

Surfing An XXL swell slams into Maui and a motley crew of Peahi’s finest can’t help but conquer it.

Career Highlights

  1. 2014
    1. 4th Place: VANS World Cup of Surfing

      Oahu, Hawaii, USA

  2. 2011
    1. 1st Place: ASP Vans Triple Crown Pipeline Master

      Oahu, Hawaii, USA

  3. 2008
    1. Surfer Poll Awards 'Heavy Water' Award

  4. 2006
    1. 3rd Place: Monster Energy Pro Pipeline

      Honolulu, Hawaii

  5. 2005
    1. 1st Place: Xcel Pro

      Sunset Beach, Hawaii

  6. 2004
    1. Billabong XXL Awards Runner Up

  7. 2003
    1. Established Ian Walsh Menehune Mayhem Surf Event Shows