A List Of The Best Bodyboarders Of All Time

Bodyboarding was invented in the early 1970s, giving us nearly 50 years of action, 5 decades in which we have witnessed the rise and fall of many great athletes. But who are the best bodyboarders of all time, and what makes them so great?

Let’s find out as we look and the greatest bodyboarders in the sport’s history.

Mike Stewart

  • When Was He Born? 1963
  • Where Was He Born? Hawaii, USA
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Pipeline, Hawaii
  • What’s He Known For? The most successful bodyboarder of all time.

Mike Stewart is to bodyboarding what Kelly Slater is to surfing or what Rodney Mullen and Tony Hawk are to skateboarding.

He has been a massive influence on the sport and has developed many new tricks while also acting as an advocate. He was one of the first bodyboarders to turn this sport into a profession and he helped to make it what it is today.

Often regarded as one of the best tube riders around, Stewart also created Mike Stewart Science Bodyboards, crescent tail boards regarded as some of the best in the business.

Guilherme Tamega

  • When Was He Born? 1972
  • Where Was He Born? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Cronulla, Australia
  • What’s He Known For? Six-time world champion

Guilherme Tamega is a Brazilian bodyboarder who won 6 world titles between 1994 and 2002. He also finished as a runner-up on 6 separate occasions and was probably the best bodyboarder in the 1990s.

He won the Shark Island Challenge (held in Cronulla, New South Wales) three times and is the founder of GT Boards.

Tamega’s exploits have seen him become one of the most influential bodyboarders of all time, giving him legendary status.

Alexandra Rinder

  • When Was She Born? 1998
  • Where Was She Born? Canary Islands, Spain
  • What’s Her Favorite Spot? El Fronton, Spain
  • What’s She Known For? Won her first world title aged 16.

Alexandra Rinder was born in the Canary Islands, giving her plenty of opportunities to practice her skills. She began bodyboarding when she was just 9 years old and within a few years, she was competing against adults.

Alexandra Rinder won her first of two world titles aged 16 and has since established herself as one of the best female bodyboarders in the world.

Ayaka Suzuki

  • When Was She Born? 1996
  • Where Was She Born? Chigasaki, Japan
  • What’s Her Favorite Spot? Nazare, Portugal
  • What’s She Known For? A world title win in 2018.

Ayaka Suzuki is probably the best Japanese athlete that this young sport has seen. It took her a lot of time, effort, and training to move from the ranks of amateur to the heights of a professional, and in doing so, she has inspired many other young riders to follow in her footsteps.

Neymara Carvalho

  • When Was She Born? 1976
  • Where Was She Born? Vila Velha, Brazil
  • What’s Her Favorite Spot? Canary Islands
  • What’s She Known For? The most successful female bodyboarder.

Neymara Carvalho is a massively successful Brazilian bodyboarder who claimed five IBS World Tour wins between 2003 and 2009. She was unstoppable throughout that period and even won a national event when she was 5 months pregnant.

As with many influential and successful sports persons, Neymara has used her money and reputation to establish charitable organizations and give back to underprivileged communities.

Pierre-Louis Costes

  • When Was He Born? 1990
  • Where Was He Born? Vichy, France
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? El Fronton, Spain
  • What’s He Known For? An expert in the backflip

If you want to learn how to nail the backflip, check out some videos of Pierre-Louis Costes, a Frenchman who has mastered the technique of this popular trick. He is an aerial master and has won the Pipeline Pro on two occasions. He also won a world title while facing some of the best bodyboarders in the world.

Amaury Lavernhe

  • When Was He Born? 1985
  • Where Was He Born? Poitiers, France
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Reunion Island, France
  • What’s He Known For? Runs the Amaury Academy and has won two world titles.

Amaury Lavernhe is a gifted and well-rounded bodyboarder who can handle waves of all types of sizes. His versatility is why he is so highly considered in the bodyboarding world and why he has two titles under his belt.

Dave Hubbard

  • When Was He Born? 1992
  • Where Was He Born? Lihue, Hawaii
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Pipeline, Hawaii
  • What’s He Known For? The most successful drop-knee bodyboarder.

Dave Hubbard is a Hawaiian bodyboarder who won 8 drop-knee bodyboarding titles between 2005 and 2016, making him the most successful athlete in the DK discipline. He is also the co-founder of Hubboards and one of the best-known boarders in the sport.

Jeff Hubbard

  • When Was He Born? 19765
  • Where Was He Born? Honolulu, Hawaii
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Pipeline, Hawaii
  • What’s He Known For? Landing a 720 and winning three world titles.

Jeff Hubbard is Dave Hubbard’s older brother and the other co-founder of Hubboards. He won an impressive three world titles between 2006 and 2012 and has also claimed 11 US national titles and 5 Pipeline Pros.

Joana Schenker

  • When Was She Born? 1987
  • Where Was She Born? Faro, Portugal
  • What’s Her Favorite Spot? Zavial, Portugal
  • What’s She Known For? One of the best European bodyboarders.

Often regarded as one of the best European bodyboarders and female bodyboarders, Joana Schenker claimed an amazing four titles on the European Tour of Bodyboarding (ETB) between 2014 and 2017.

She has also won over half a dozen national titles and is a strong and fearless competitor that always puts on a good show.

Ryan Hardy

  • When Was He Born? 1979
  • Where Was He Born? Margaret River, Australia
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? North Point, Australia
  • What’s He Known For? An icon of Australian bodyboarding

Ryan Hardy is a bodyboarding legend with numerous titles under his belt, including two victories at the Shark Island Challenge and one at the Pipeline Pro. He has yet to win a world title, but he did finish second on the 2006 IBA World Tour.

Sari Ohhara

  • When Was She Born? 1995
  • Where Was She Born? Tokyo, Japan
  • What’s Her Favorite Spot? Shidashita, Japan
  • What’s She Known For? A leading Japanese bodyboarder.

Ohhara won an APB World Tour title in 2019 and has also claimed numerous national titles. She began bodyboarding when she was just 11 years old and is one of the most successful female Japanese riders.

Jay Reale

  • When Was He Born? 1964
  • Where Was He Born? Maryland, USA
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Point Mugu, California
  • What’s He Known For? The first pro bodyboarder to come from the east coast

Jay Reale has had a substantial impact on the bodyboarding world. He was a full-time professional in the 1980s and was considered to be the best bodyboarder on the east coast. He was voted as one of the top wave riding athletes from the Eastern Surfing Association and he also founded eBodyBoarding.com.

Kainoa McGee

  • When Was He Born? 1971
  • Where Was He Born? Honolulu, Hawaii
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Pipeline, Hawaii
  • What’s He Known For? A versatile waterman

Kainoa’s life story is one of triumph and incredible fortune. He was given a 5% chance of surviving after contracting viral encephalitis in 2000, but survive he did. He worked his way back to full health and went on to earn a reputation as a leading waterman, one who has competed in numerous water sports, including bodyboarding, stand up paddle boarding, and longboarding.

Michael Eppelstun

  • When Was He Born? 1970
  • Where Was He Born? Parkes, Australia
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Pipeline, Hawaii
  • What’s He Known For? Won the International Morey Boogie Board Pro Championships in 1993.

Michael Eppelstun is an Australian bodyboarder who invented the Backflip and Air Roll Spin. More importantly, he won the International Morey Boogie Bodyboard Pro Championships in 1993, ending a reign of Mike Stewart dominance that had lasted for 6 straight years.

Ben Player

  • When Was He Born? 1978
  • Where Was He Born? Australia
  • What’s His Favorite Spot? Pipeline, Hawaii
  • What’s He Known For? Owner of Movement Bodyboarding magazine.

Ben Player is often regarded as one of the best Aussie bodyboarders in history. He won the 2005 Pipeline, finished second a year later, and then won again in 2007. He repeated his victory in 2013 with yet another victory.

These days, Player helps to run Movement Bodyboarding, an Australian bodyboarding magazine.

Damian King

  • When Was He Born? 1978
  • Where Was He Born? Port Macquarie, Australia
  • What’s He Known For? A two-time world champion

Damian King was the one who beat Ben Player to the punch in 2006, beating him by a fraction to claim the Pipeline title. He was also a two-time World Bodyboarding Champion, claiming the title in 2003 and 2004.

In 2011, King became the first-ever athlete to win both the Prone and Drop-Knee world titles.

Other Great Bodyboarders

Although the names above are widely considered to be the most skilled and accomplished, there are many more great bodyboarding champions out there. Some of them called time on their careers many years ago, others are still going strong.

All of the following athletes have won major titles in this sport and many of them deserve to be mentioned on a list of the “best bodyboarders”:

  • Isabela Sousa: A Brazilian rider who won the IBA World Tour in 2010, 2012, and 2013, followed by the APB World Tour in 2016.
  • Andre Botha: Won GOB World Tour titles in 1998 and 1999.
  • Stephanie Pettersen: A top female rider who won the International Morey Boogie Board Pro Championships in 1990, 1993, and 1994.
  • Ben Severson: The Hawaiian won the International Morey Boogie Board Pro Championships in 1986.
  • Soraia Rocha: A Brazilian who claimed two successive GOB World Tours in 2000 and 2001.
  • Jared Houston: One of the most successful African riders ever, Jared Houston claimed APB World Tour titles in 2015 and 2018.
  • Tristan Roberts: A South African who won an APB World Tour in 2019.