Real Surf Players
Eight of the world's most talented surfers have signed on for X Games' Real Surf. Including 11-time world champ Kelly Slater and free surfing freak Matt Meola, the greatest show in surf is about to get underway. Here's whom you'll be seeing.
With 11 world titles, 51 event wins and countless other records, nobody comes close to Kelly Slater. He is hands down the best competitive surfer in the history of the sport.
At 40 years old, Kelly Slater continues to push the boundries of what is possible on a surfboard.
Jordy Smith remains South Africa's greatest hope for a world champion. In 2010, he gave Kelly Slater a run for his money, ultimately finishing the season in the runner-up slot. Refocused and reenergized, Smith looks to make another stong push this year.
Jordy Smith spent last year working on his Red Bull-sponsored film "Blending Colours." Making trips to Indonesia, Reunion Island, remote African locales and everywhere in between, "the experience was incredible in so many ways," says Smith.
In only his second year on the world tour, Gabriel Medina gave Brazil reason to cheer. Performing backflips at Off The Wall and trading tubes with Slater in the final in Fiji, the 19-year-old is quickly becoming a household name.
Considering Gabriel Medina didn't start surfing competitively until he was 14, his progress has been dramatic. In less than five years, he is giving the world's best a run for the money.
In 2011, Matt Meola walked away with a cool $100,000 for winning Taylor Steele's "Innersection" video contest. Not one for conventional contests, the boy can flat out perform when the camera's on.
A key player in the surge in talent on Maui, Matt Meola works on perfecting surfing's first double rotation 720 when it's small, but when the buoys perk up, he'll be paddling Jaws with the boys.
With an eye for the aesthetic, Dion Agius has directed his surfing efforts toward projects with a creative lilt. He is as dedicated to what's happening behind the lens as he is in front.
Growing up in Tasmania, Dion Agius started his life in the water as an accomplished bodyboarder. Eventually standing up on two feet, his career has evolved into one of the most dynamic in surfing.
Josh Kerr doesn't get the credit he's due. An incredible talent in anything from 2 feet to 20, he might be the best all-around surfer on the ASP World Tour and may find himself in the running for a world title in 2013.
As comfortable flying above the lip as he is pulling into draining barrels like this, Kerr continues to be one of the most exciting, spontaneous surfers around.
Known for his freakish aerial abilities and lack of desire to conform, Chippa Wilson epitomizes the free surfing ethos. Hailing from Cabarita Beach, Australia, he brings the X factor to Real Surf.
Appearing in Kai Neville's "Dear Suburbia," Transworld Surf magazine's "Let's Surf Seriously," Analog's "Chromatic" and the Kustom Airstrike, to name a few, Wilson has made a career out of performing for the camera.
Albee Layer is island style all the way. Growing up on Maui means spending more time in the water than on land. Sometimes that means surfing, other times it means stalking dinner.
As comfortable paddling into 25-foot Jaws as he is going for a 720, Layer's array of talents will serve him well when it comes to putting together his Real Surf edit.