Peter Mel

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Peter Mel
Personal information
Born (1969-11-24) November 24, 1969 (age 50)
Santa Cruz, California, U.S.
ResidenceSanta Cruz, California
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight200 lb (91 kg)
Surfing career
Years active1975–present
Major achievements-(1997)1st O'neill Cold Water Classic, (Santa Cruz, California)
-(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
StanceRegular (natural) foot
Shaper(s)Self (Peter Mel) Al Merrick (Channel Islands Surfboards), John Carper (JC Surfboards), Stretch Surfboards and Freeline Surfboards (John Mel)
Quiver5'10", 6'1", 6'4", 6'6" & 10"2

Peter Mel (born November 24, 1969 in Santa Cruz, California), is an American professional surfer. Mel began his surfing life in Capitola, California before moving on to Santa Cruz. He is known as a 'big wave' surfer and son of John Mel, a four time surfing National Champion.[1]


Throughout the 1990s, Mel participated on the World Surf League domestic and Qualifying Series,[2] before finally finding his niche of big-wave surfing during California’s El Nino winter of 1997-98.[3] The Big Wave World Tour concluded its third successful season crowning Mel as Big Wave World Tour Champion winning the Billabong Pico Alto Invitational.[4]

Mel appeared in the movies Step into Liquid, Riding Giants, Chasing Mavericks and Peaking, Peter Mel. Mel has appeared opposite Gerard Butler in Chasing Mavericks. Mel is a broadcaster for the World Surf League.[2] He finished eighth in the 1998 Surfer Magazine Reader’s Poll Awards.[5]

In 2018, Mel participated in an interview with a surfing periodical with journalist Shelby Stanger to discuss personal issues he fought with and overcame.[6] In the interview Mel discusses how he prepares for big wave riding, family, and personal demons. Mel also appeared with Laird Hamilton to discuss balancing life as an athlete and family.[7]

Contest wins[edit]

Year Place Contest
1997 1st O'Neill Cold Water Classic, Santa Cruz, California[8]
2011 1st Billabong Pico Alto Copa Burn[9]
2012 1st Big Wave World Tour[4]
2013 1st Mavericks Invitational[10]


Following the end of the 2013 season, 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. Mel retired as commissioner of the WSL BWWT in 2014 to run his surf shop and compete again on the Big Wave Tour.[11]


  1. ^ "John Mel, a Patriarch of Santa Cruz Surfing, Gets His Due". Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Pro Surfer: Peter Mel". World Surf League. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  3. ^ "Peter Mel Employs All Aspects of Surfing to Win the RB5X". Surfing Magazine. June 23, 2003. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Green, Marvin. "Peter Mel Claims Big Wave World Title". The Inertia. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Surfer Magazine November 1998
  6. ^ Stanger, Shelby. "Peter Mel Opens Up About Sobriety, Fear, Failure, and Finding Balance in Life". The Inertia. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  7. ^ The Surfline Interview: Laird Hamilton with Peter Mel, retrieved December 14, 2018
  8. ^ "Nat Young Leads Local Contingent On Day Four Of O'Neill Cold Water Classic". Adventure Sports Network. October 25, 2008. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  9. ^ "PETER MEL WINS BILLABONG PICO ALTO". Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  10. ^, Editor at. "Peter Mel wins the Mavericks Invitational 2012-2013". SurferToday. Retrieved December 27, 2018.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Logie, Travis (November 15, 2014). "Logie Talks Retirement with Mel". Retrieved March 6, 2015.

External links[edit]