Greg Long (surfer)
San Clemente, California, U.S.
|Sponsors||Billabong, Xcel Wetsuits, Von Zipper, Ocean Minded|
|Major achievements||2001 NSSA National Championship winner
2003 Red Bull Big Wave Africa winner
2008 Maverick's Surf Contest
2009 Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational winner
2009 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big-wave contest
|Stance||Regular (natural) foot (left foot forward)|
|Favorite waves||Mavericks, Todos Santos, Cortes Bank, Pipeline, Hitchcock's, Trestles|
|Favorite maneuvers||Barrels, Big Waves, Tubes|
Greg Long (born 1984) is an American 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 Global Big Wave 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 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 surfed with Greg and helped progress his skills. Greg surfed the waves at Trestles, California 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 Gerlac, Mike Parsons, and Grant "Twiggy" Baker towed into waves at the Cortes Bank off the coast of San Diego 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. Long also won the 2009 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big-wave contest on Waimea Bay, Oahu.
On 4 January 2012, Greg Long, along with his fellow big wave surfers, 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. Later that year, the Hollywood film he provided stunt surfing for, Chasing Mavericks premiered.
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.
Long uses his celebrity to donate to charity organizations, and is involved in the Surfrider Foundation, Wildcoast, and Save the Waves. Also, Long focused his efforts on Baja, Mexico when a natural gas facility ruined a classic big wave surf spot in the area.
- 2014 – Billabong XXL Ride of the Year - May 2, 2014 for his big wave ride at Puerto Escondido, Mexico
- 2013 – Billabong XXL Surfline Men's Performance Award
- 2013 – Billabong XXL Ride of the Year - 3rd Place at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on October 10, 2012
- 2011 – Surf Industry Manufacturer's Association (SIMA) Waterman of the Year
- 2008 – Billabong XXL Performer of the Year Award
- 2007 – Billabong XXL Best Tow-In Wave of the Year
- 2007 – Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards Biggest Paddle In Wave
- Thread (2007)
- Beneath the Surface (2008)
- Nomads (2009)
- Chasing Mavericks (2012), Hollywood film (stunts)
Long is featured in an ESPN on ABC television series three-part special called World of X-Games: Big Wave Hellmen that premiered on October 26, 2014 and ran until November 9, 2014. It follows Greg along with five of his Big Wave Hellmen competitors: Shane Dorian, Grant "Twiggy" Baker, Ryan "Hippo" Hipwood and Mark Healey touring the biggest and best big wave breaks in the world competing for the big wave world title. A panel of judgeds, one will be crowned "Big Wave Hellmen of the Year". They spent a year around the globe chasing monster swells to hunt down and ride the most dangerous waves they could find. And in the end, determined by a panel of expert judges, who include legendary big wave surfers, Greg Noll and Mike Parsons, and author of Ghost Wave: The Discovery of Cortes Bank Chris Dixon, one will be crowned "Big Wave Hellmen of the Year".
The series featured some of the biggest wave destinations in the world, including: Belharra Reef off the coast of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France, Cortes Bank off the coast of San Diego, Jaws in Peahi, Hawaii, Mavericks in Northern California, Cowie Bombie near Margaret River, Western Australia, "The Rights" further south in Western Australia, Pico Alto in Punta Hermosa, Lima, Peru and Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca, Mexico.