Peter Mel

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Peter Mel
Personal information
Born (1969-11-24) November 24, 1969 (age 48)
Santa Cruz, California, U.S.
Residence Santa Cruz, California
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Surfing career
Years active 1975–present
Sponsors Quiksilver
Major achievements -(1997)1st O'neill Cold Water Classic, (Santa Cruz, California)
-(2004)5th Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Invitational (Oahu, Hawaii)
-(2009)3rd Billabong Pico Alto Invitacional (Punta Hermosa, Peru)
-(2009)3rd place, Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos (Pichilemu, Chile)
-(2010)3rd place, Billabong Pico Alto Copa Burn (Punta Hermosa, Peru)
-(2011)1st Billabong Pico Alto Copa Burn
-1st place, Crowned Big Wave World Tour Champion 2011/2012
-1st place, Mavericks Invitational 2012/2013 (Half Moon Bay, California)
Surfing specifications
Stance Regular (natural) foot
Shaper(s) John Carper (JC Surfboards), Stretch Surfboards and Freeline Surfboards
Quiver 5'10", 6'1", 6'4", 6'6" & 10"2
Favorite waves Mavericks (Half Moon Bay, California)
Waimea Bay (North Shore, Oahu)
Steamer Lane (Santa Cruz)
Cortés Bank (Deep ocean, 100 miles west of San Diego, California)

Peter Mel (born November 24, 1969 in Santa Cruz, California), is a professional surfer and the 2012/2013 Mavericks Invitational Surfing Champion. Mel began his surfing life in Capitola, California before moving on to Santa Cruz. His father John, who started the family business Freeline Surf Design the same year Pete was born, made his boards over the years and gradually brought his son under his shaping wing. In the shadow of Steamer Lane locals Vince Collier, Kevin Reed and especially Richard Schmidt, Mel rose quickly through the line-up ranks with an unprecedented crop of young surfers. Like Schmidt, he would spend many winters in Hawaii, enjoying the less-restrictive conditions and developing his signature style.

Throughout the 1990s, Mel found moderate success on the domestic and ASP World Tour Qualifying Series, before finally finding his niche during California’s El Nino winter of 1997-98. At the age of 29, Mel was really just coming into his own.[1]

Peter Mel at Mavericks.jpg

Known in Santa Cruz as the “Condor” for his extreme wingspan (A nickname Mel was less than fond of), Peter was a shoo-in to claim the $50,000 Billabong XXL Big-Wave Challenge, for paddling into the winter’s biggest wave, but this was not to be and Peter ended up just short of the honor that year. Mel finished eighth in the 1998 Surfer Magazine Reader’s Poll Awards[citation needed] and established himself as California’s premier big-wave rider. Peter also appeared on the big screen opposite Gerard Butler in "Chasing Mavericks".

Today,[when?] Peter Mel is broadcaster for the World Surf League, continues to surf as an endorsed athlete and help run the family business in Santa Cruz. He has conquered a dream of his being crowned the Big Wave World Champion 2011/2012. The Big Wave World Tour concluded its third successful season crowning Mel as Big Wave World Tour Champion. The season started out strong at the extremely consistent big wave spot Punta de Lobos, Chile, home of the Quiksilver Ceremonial. The contest was held under sunny skies, perfect offshore winds and flawless 40+ft waves. The second stop on the tour, Billabong Pico Alto Invitational, was held at the famed Peruvian Big Wave Spot, in clean and consistent 35–40 ft waves. Mel won the final. Immediately following his victory, fellow Quiksilver rider, Kelly Slater tweeted, ”It’s about time Pete.” Mel cemented his legacy as one of the best big wave surfers to come out of Santa Cruz long before he surfed at Pico Alto in Peru. "For obvious reasons, I'm very excited about it. Any time you throw a world title in front of anything, it's what it says. It's an achievement," said Mel, who accepted the award on April 29. "It's not something I thought I would achieve in my dreams." Following the end of the 2013 season, Peter Mel entered retirement from the pro surfing circuit, and, subsequently, becoming the World Surf League's (WSL) first Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) commissioner for the WSL's inaugural 2014-5 season.[2]

Peter Mel Is a remarkable surfer and is related to John Mel. John Mel is Peter Mel's father. John is a very talented surfer as well. Peter named his son after his father who has now followed in both of their footsteps. Young John Mel is a two time National Champion himself. Peter has appeared in movies such as Step into Liquid, Riding Giants and Chasing Mavericks.


  1. ^ "Peter Mel Employs All Aspects of Surfing to Win the RB5X". Surfing Magazine. 2003-06-23. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  2. ^ Logie, Travis (15 November 2014). "Logie Talks Retirement with Mel". Retrieved 6 March 2015. 

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