Greg Long (surfer)
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Greg Long (born 1984) is a Californian surfer from San Clemente, California. He is the only surfer to win the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational, the Maverick's Surf Contest, and the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event. Additionally, he is the most decorated surfer in the Billabong XXL big wave surfing awards. He is widely regarded as one of the best big wave surfers in the world.
Born and raised in San Clemente, Greg and his brother Rusty Long (surfer) were introduced to the ocean at an early age by their father, who was a lifeguard. At the age of 16, Greg moved to San Diego where he lived with his older cousin David Long who surf with Greg and help progress his skills. Greg surfed the waves at Trestles at an early age and was highly regarded throughout the community as an up and coming star. At 17, Greg won the NSSA National Men's Open Title in 2001, and looked to have a promising career in competitive surfing. But, Greg's passion for big surf forced him to leave the professional circuit and focus entirely on traveling the world in search of biggest waves.
At age 15, Greg first paddled out to what eventually would be his home big wave break, an island off the coast of Baja, California called Todos Santos. There, he honed his big wave skills throughout his teen years and had many sessions with legendary big wave rider Mike Parsons. After surfing Todos for a couple years, Long took his big wave act to spots such as Maverick's, in Northern California, and Dungeon's, in Cape Town, South Africa. He won the Red Bull Big Wave Africa at Dungeon's in 2003 at age 19. The win officially put him on the big wave map, and he has since been a standout on every huge swell all over the world.
On January 5, 2008, Long and fellow riders Brad Gerlach, Parsons, and Grant Baker towed into waves at the Cortes Bank that estimated to be around 60–70 feet on the face. That same year, Long won the Maverick's surf contest in 20 feet (6.1 m) surf. In June 2008, he signed a sponsorship deal with Billabong.
Long's biggest career achievement came in December 2009, when he won the prestigious Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in massive 40 feet (12 m) surf at the North Shore's Waimea Bay. There, he took down ten time world champion Kelly Slater and a host of the world's best big wave riders.
On 4 January 2012, Greg Long, Ian Walsh, Kohl Christensen, Jeff Rowley, Dave Wassel, Shane Dorian, Mark Healey, Carlos Burle, Nate Fletcher, Garrett McNamara, Kai Barger, North Shore locals and other of the best big wave surfers in the world invaded the Hawaiian Islands for a historic day of surfing.Jeff Rowley made Australian history by being the first Australian to paddle into a 15 metres (49 ft) wave at Jaws Peahi, Hawaii, achieving his 'Charge for Charity' mission set for 2011, to raise money for Breast Cancer Australia.
Long has been known for caring more for the spirit of big wave surfing, rather than the sponsorship deals, media attention, and contest wins. At the Maverick's Contest in 2008, for example, Long agreed to split the prize money among himself and the five other finalists. He is also known for pressing the limits paddle-in surfing, paddling into many waves which were once deemed unrideable without the help of a jet ski. Long recently was included as an actor and adviser in the Hollywood film, Chasing Mavericks, and was featured as the star of a documentary about the psychology of big wave surfing.
Notes "The Long and the Short of It" http://www.billabong.com/us/team-rider/surf/269/greg-long http://www.surfingmagazine.com/news/greg-long-signs-with-billabong-061008/ http://www.surfermag.com/features/greg-long-wins-quiksilver-in-memory-of-eddie-aikau/ http://www.theinertia.com/business-media/greg-long-discusses-chasing-mavericks/ http://www.theinertia.com/surf/sine-qua-non-psychology-of-big-wave-surfing-with-greg-long/