Hollywood Stars That Love Surfing
One of the greatest things about surfing is that anyone can do it. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding waves, standing tall and staring out at the great blue or back to shore.
It’s part of the reason why so many people love surfing. From the competitive pros to the everyday joes, you never know who you will see catching a break at the beach. Even celebrities we’re used to seeing on screens or across the covers of magazines.
The interesting thing about celebrities that love surfing is that we wouldn’t really expect it. Surfing is not what they’re usually known for to start with, after all.
But looking at just how many Hollywood stars actually do surf shows that they are just like us when it comes to the waves. So here we take a look at some of the big Hollywood names that love surfing, and what it means to them.
The Gone Girl star has been spotted surfing countless times, particularly in Hawaii, where he’s previously gone for creative and romantic retreats. Although he sometimes has trouble dividing his time between work and play when he’s by the waves, according to an article from Gawker in 2007:
“..in between their shared family time and restorative surfing sessions, Affleck and Damon have periodically stopped in front of a laptop with an open Final Draft document…” the tongue-in-cheek article speculates.
It probably helps that Affleck’s married to Jennifer Garner, who also appears surfing in many of the photos of Affleck surfing.
Orlando Bloom took surfing lessons while filming Lord of the Rings in New Zealand from 1999 to 2000. According to Surfer Today: “he became passionate for the sport and has surfed, among other places, in Cornwall, Australia, Mexico and Hawaii.”
During his marriage to Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr, Orlando surfed some of the best beaches in Australia and has told reporters it’s one of his favourite ways to deal with long-haul flights.
“If you’re arriving into Sydney and you’re lucky enough to get down to the ocean and swim… I find that’s the best thing,” he says.
The bromance between Affleck and Damon is strong on and off land, but Damon also knows first-hand how quickly surfing can turn from good to bad. During promotional appearances for Elysium in 2013, the actor said he almost died in the surf.
“I nearly had it this summer – the waves are so high for me. When you miss a wave and get caught up in the inside and big waves comes you take it on the head,” he said, acknowledging he has a lot to learn about the nature of the surf.
“I’ve been told I’ll be able to read the waves in time but that has not happened for me yet. I started surfing six years ago on a summer vacation, but all in all I have only been doing it for six weeks.”
The Wild star has been surfing for years, and was even joined by surf champ Kelly Slater on a trip to Hawaii in 2007. Of course, the tabloids hinted that it could be more than a surfing trip for the two old friends, with People speculating: “Could romance be brewing? Reps for both Diaz and Slater could not be reached for comment, but one thing is for certain: the pair share a great love – for the waves.”
Diaz has respect for surfing though, and is often quoted as saying she loves surfing.
“It’s definitely a spiritual experience, the closest you can get to Mother Nature, which is God to me,” she says.
Another Good Will Hunting star that loves the waves, Minnie Driver has said that yoga and surfing are a core part of her spiritual practices, and that she tries to fit them into her schedule as much as possible.
“My church, my spiritual whatever, is yoga and surfing,” she says.
“Surfing is an utter, necessary part of my life, though I’m less obsessive than I used to be. I used to be up at 4.30am in my car, driving, trying to see where there was a break and what was going on.”
Entertainment website WeWomen.com also reports that she likes to take her son to the beach to learn more about animals such as anemones, starfish and crabs.
“Somebody told me that if you hum next to a hermit crab, it brings it out – and it works,” she says.
“Henry goes up and hums at any shell he sees now, because he thinks there’s going to be a crab in it.”
The Twilight actress took to surfing after getting lessons in Bali in 2013. Greene was there for the Oakley Bali Pro/Learn to Surf event with acting pals Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler, and experienced firsthand the pain of smashing into a reef. But, as she said on Instagram, it was “#worthit”.
Both Greene and Hudgens said they loved the experience, although a lot of the pics that were snapped of them shows more sun-bathing than surfing.
Helen Hunt’s love of surfing is said to have inspired her to write, direct and star in Ride. As Variety reports, the comedy is about a New York editor who follows her son to California after he drops out of college to be a surfer.
“I made this movie for mothers, sons, fathers, daughters, surfers and people who fall apart and come back together,” Hunt says.
And just as with Affleck, Damon and Garner, there are plenty of celebrity reports and photos of Helen Hunt surfing.
Loved for her openness and honesty, Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence has also surfed for years. But she recently revealed that she’s taken a break from boards after an injury caused temporary memory loss.
“I used to love surfing,” she told reporters before the Academy Awards in 2013. “Then I got hit in the head with my board, got concussion and couldn’t remember my phone number.”
No news on whether she’s headed back to the waves since then, but with so many films in the works it’s hard to imagine her having time for it right now anyway.
The Parks and Recreation star has been a keen surfer for five years and is another celeb (like Ashley Greene) who has posted surfing injuries on Instagram. But what’s cool about Rob Lowe’s love of surfing is that it’s extended to a passion for the environment and even his career.
The Huffington Post reports that he has teamed up with Dawn Saves Wildlife to produce an online documentary series called The Big Picture, which looks at “how marine mammals are individually impacted by environmental hazards and human interaction.”
“I love the ocean, I’m in it all the time –- I surf every free day I have, I fish, you know, I’ve always been connected to the water and to the envirornment,” Lowe tells HuffPost Celebrity.
Known for an extreme commitment to his roles, Matthew McConaughey learned to surf in 2006 for the movie Surfer, Dude and said he was “completely hooked”.
“It might sound corny, but I’ve never had a bad time surfing. I love being out there, I love the culture, I love being outside—I just love it, man,” he says in an interview with Transworld SURF in 2008.
“I’m a positive person all day, every day, and even more so when I’m surfing.”
Surfer, Dude was McConaughey’s second foray into producing and, while it only had a limited release, he says: “Me, Woody [Harrelson], and Willie [Nelson] had a blast making it.”
“…it’s a good “green movie” if you know what I mean—I think you’ll laugh your ass off.”
One of Penn’s most iconic roles is that of surfer Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). He’s been known as a surfing celeb ever since, and many a surfer has been heard quoting Spicoli’s, with some of the best lines including this one:
“Well, I’ll tell you Stu, I did battle some humongous waves! But you know, just like I told the guy on ABC, ‘danger is my business!'”
And this one, from the same interview in the movie:
“Well, Stu I’ll tell you, surfing’s not a sport, it’s a way of life, you know, a hobby. It’s a way of looking at that wave and saying, “Hey bud, let’s party!”
But even as recently as 2013, Penn was spotted in the surf, looking fit for his age and “proving”, as the Daily Mail puts it, that he’s “still a surfer dude at heart”.
The young actress says she has a strong connection to surfing after learning for her breakout role in Soul Surfer. Robb says preparation and shooting for the film, which is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton’s near-death experience with a shark, helped her understand why so many people love surfing.
“I didn’t really understand it before, at all,” she said in an interview, adding that now surfing is “something I just crave”.
“ I wish I was out there right now, even if I’m just sitting on a board. It’s one thing where you just forget about everything else that’s going on, on land. You’re unreachable. You’re untouched. You’re out in this place made by God.”
With his signature wavy blonde hair, tanned skin and quirky nose, Owen Wilson not only looks the part of a surfer but also is one, regularly hitting the beaches near his home in Hawaii (it’s a tough life, right?).
But he’s also another actor that has had some serious mishaps in the waves. In 2011 he was taken to hospital needing 24 stitches after slashing his forehead open in the surf.
“I took on a wave that was probably too big for me. I went off the back and the board kinda caught me and came back and hit me in the forehead and I got 24 stitches,” he told reporters at the time.
It’s easy to get sucked into trashy celebrity reports or to brush them off as superficial and totally removed from the lives of everyday people, but the Hollywood stars here show there is more to them than films, glamour and paparazzi.
So even if some people get more attention than others on land, everyone is equal in the eyes of the waves. The experiences we have surfing don’t really change whether you’re a Hollywood star, surfing champ, weekend wave warrior or a shy beginner. And that’s one of the most beautiful things about surfing anywhere in the world.