Surfing: Gabriel Medina is the world's most popular surfer on social media | Photo: WSL

In the surfing world, a whole new wave of influence is being carried on the digital currents of social media.

From the transparent barrels of the Pacific to the thunderous beach breaks of the Atlantic, surfing luminaries are not just making their mark on the waves but are also shaping the digital landscape, amassing legions of followers who hang on to every post.

The rise of social media has profoundly impacted surfing, transforming it from an alternative, somewhat elusive pursuit to a mainstream, globally-followed sport.

It has given us a privileged window into the lives of our favorite surfers and made us privy to their training regimens, recovery routines, dietary habits, and uniquely intimate relationships with the ocean.

These insights do more than just humanize these athletes; they empower us, the everyday individuals, with knowledge and inspiration to dive into the sport and, perhaps, spark the next generation of surfing talents.

For our surfing idols, social media has not just amplified their influence but also democratized it.

Also, the surfer with the most competition wins isn't necessarily the most influential.

Instead, those who can connect with their audience, share their highs, lows, and everything in between, and spread the stoke of surfing with authenticity and passion find themselves riding the crest of digital influence.

Interestingly, only one surfer has over 10 million followers across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And only 19 athletes get past a combined total of one million fans.

Bethany Hamilton: the most followed female surfer in the world of social media | Photo: Hamilton Archive

A Wave of Influence

The power of this digital influence cannot be underestimated.

It can inspire change, drive environmental awareness, and advocate for the preservation of our oceans.

Today's top surfers often leverage their digital platform to rally their followers behind causes close to their hearts, imbuing their athletic prowess with a profound sense of social responsibility.

Our curated list of the top 40 most influential surfers on social media is a testament to the transformative power of this digital tool.

This illustrious group, comprising world champions, big wave chargers, free-surfing connoisseurs, and rising stars, resonates deeply with their audiences by reflecting the surfing community's diverse, inclusive, and vibrant spirit.

These influential surfers also have a significant impact on the industry.

Their product endorsements can make or break brands, their style can set trends, and their innovative maneuvers can push the boundaries of what's possible on a wave, fostering a continual evolution of the sport.

In today's world, social media is as integral to surfing as the board and the waves.

As we traverse through our list of the top 40 most influential surfers on social media, we celebrate not just their professional accomplishments but their ability to inspire, enact change, and draw us all a little closer to the ocean's embrace.

Stay tuned to this digital surf safari and catch the wave of influence redefining the sport, one post at a time.

From videos of audacious rides to tranquil beach sunsets, these athletes are bringing the magic of the ocean into your hands.

In the age of social media, everyone can share the stoke. So, ultimately, this is more than just a list of popular and famous surfers. It's a sign of the power of connection between us.

1. Gabriel Medina

Instagram: 11.1 million
Facebook: 1.4 million
Twitter: 475,700

2. Pedro Scooby

Instagram: 6.1 million
Facebook: 757,000
Twitter: 663,800

3. Kelly Slater

Instagram: 3.2 million
Facebook: 1.8 million
Twitter: 884,300

4. Bethany Hamilton

Instagram: 2.1 million
Facebook: 2.3 million
Twitter: 1.3 million

5. Alana Blanchard

Instagram: 1.7 million
Facebook: 2.1 million
Twitter: 140,700

6. Anastasia Ashley

Instagram: 1 million
Facebook: 2.1 million
Twitter: 104,300

7. Italo Ferreira

Instagram: 2.8 million
Facebook: 210,000
Twitter: 149,100

8. John John Florence

Instagram: 1.5 million
Facebook: 694,000
Twitter: 90,500

9. Mick Fanning

Instagram: 1.2 million
Facebook: 560,000
Twitter: 305,500

10. Filipe Toledo

Instagram: 1.1 million
Facebook: 457,000
Twitter: 65,300

11. Sally Fitzgibbons

Instagram: 559,000
Facebook: 672,000
Twitter: 366,700

12. Coco Ho

Instagram: 681,000
Facebook: 773,00
Twitter: 133,200

13. Kai Lenny

Instagram: 1.1 million
Facebook: 438,000
Twitter: 23,300

14. Maya Gabeira

Instagram: 607,000
Facebook: 919,000
Twitter: 2,800

15. Jamie O'Brien

Instagram: 1.1 million
Facebook: 332,000
Twitter: 65,700

16. Julian Wilson

Instagram: 784,000
Facebook: 441,000
Twitter: 180,800

17. Stephanie Gilmore

Instagram: 705,000
Facebook: 537,000
Twitter: 125,100

18. Jordy Smith

Instagram: 590,000
Facebook: 384,000
Twitter: 98,900

19. Kelia Moniz

Instagram: 727,2000
Facebook: 272,000
Twitter: 25,300

20. Lucas Chianca

Instagram: 866,000
Facebook: 52,000
Twitter: 54,700

21. Rob Machado

Instagram: 593,000
Facebook: 325,000
Twitter: 47,600

22. Adriano De Souza

Instagram: 436,000
Facebook: 394,000
Twitter: 73,600

23. Lakey Peterson

Instagram: 635,000
Facebook: 196,000
Twitter: 39,200

24. Laird Hamilton

Instagram: 461,000
Facebook: 325,000
Twitter: 49,800

25. Laura Enever

Instagram: 403,000
Facebook: 353,000
Twitter: 35,800

26. Carissa Moore

Instagram: 555,000
Facebook: 156,000
Twitter: 48,100

27. Shane Dorian

Instagram: 492,000
Facebook: 227,000
Twitter: 3,500

28. Kanoa Igarashi

Instagram: 593,000
Facebook: 78,000
Twitter: 27,200

29. Owen Wright

Instagram: 439,000
Facebook: 243,000
Twitter: n.a.

30. Carlos Burle

Instagram: 302,000
Facebook: 342,000
Twitter: 17,600

31. Miguel Pupo

Instagram: 311,000
Facebook: 191,000
Twitter: 42,900

32. Kolohe Andino

Instagram: 357,000
Facebook: 115,000
Twitter: 38,100

33. Jack Freestone

Instagram: 371,000
Facebook: 113,000
Twitter: n.a.

34. Nathan Florence

Instagram: 445,000
Facebook: 14,500
Twitter: 2,100

35. Joel Parkinson

Instagram: 390,000
Facebook: 65,000
Twitter: n.a.

36. Laura Crane

Instagram: 417,000
Facebook: 10,000
Twitter: n.a.

37. Jack Robinson

Instagram: 379,000
Facebook: 30,000
Twitter: n.a.

38. Koa Smith

Instagram: 277,000
Facebook: 65,000
Twitter: n.a.

39. Caroline Marks

Instagram: 252,000
Facebook: 54,000
Twitter: 7,800

40. Koa Rothman

Instagram: 281,000
Facebook: 17,000
Twitter: n.a.


Have we missed someone in the top 40 of the world's most-followed surfers? Send us an email.

Last update: May 22, 2023

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