Meet the 10 most underrated surfers of all time

We like to give credit where credit is due, and these 10 guys deserve a ton of it.
Gabriel Villaran surfing a tube in Rapa Nui
Into the Blue © Alfredo Escobar/Red Bull Content Pool
By Brian Roddy

Some people have iconic names – the kind of names that you know and remember, sometimes without even realising why you know and remember – but you won’t find any of those names on this list. Instead, this list is full of the names that you should know and might not remember. This list has the names of guys who’ve shoved the limits of surfing without ever getting recognition for their might. This list contains the names of the top-10 most underrated surfers ever and you can go ahead and just call that iconic.

Gabriel Villaran
The Peruvian has begun to get the recognition he deserves on the big-wave scene, but his small-wave act is nothing to ignore. It’s safe to say that Gabriel has enough talent to be a superstar.

Cheyne Horan
A lot of surfers have come painfully close to a world title, but none have done it as many times as Cheyne Horan. Cheyne was merely a few heats away from the taste of champagne on four separate occasions, and will forever be remembered as a runner-up. Well, that and being one of the most interesting surfers the world has ever seen.

Dean Randazzo
Rumour has it that Dean Randazzo was delivering pizzas to fund his travels when he qualified for the WCT. So, there’s that. And there’s the fact that he beat cancer and now heads a non-profit that helps people do the same. Plus, the guy’s power game is unreal.

Matt Kechele
Not only did Kech help trail-blaze the aerial, he also took Kelly Slater under his wing and helped shape the young Floridian into the 11-time World Champion that he’s become.

Bede Durbidge
While Bede might not be a bastion of progressive surfing, he is undeniably one of the smoothest power surfers of this generation. Lest we forget, the man has won a Triple Crown.

Derek Ho
Uncle Derek turns 51 this year, yet he still packs some of the biggest Pipeline waves of the season. That’s just what we’ve come to expect from the 1993 World Champion.

Nathan Fletcher
Media infatuation comes and goes, but Nathan stays just the same.

Shane Powell
Remember the Momentum Generation? You know, those American guys who changed the face of surfing back in the 1990s? Well, guess what – one of them wasn’t American. Shane Powell always had a part in the heavenly films of Taylor Steele and he won a handful of WCTs while he was at it.

Gavin Beschen
Like Nathan Fletcher, Gavin has spent time both in and out of the spotlight. One minute he’s cool, next minute he’s old, then he’s the cool old guy. Not like it would bother Gavin much though – he’s too busy getting barreled.

Will Dillon
If a guy pulls into a 30-foot barrel in Mexico and nobody is around to see it, does it still count? It does. Just ask expat and all-around hellman Will Dillon.

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