25+ Surf Quotes to Inspire Your Next Surf

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No matter whether you’re looking for quotes about surfing to motivate you to paddle harder or just trying to snag a salty caption for Instagram, these are the best surf quotes we’ve found in books, in movies, and around the web.

Inspirational Surf Quotes

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
― Andre Gide

“Well, in regards to surfing, I’ve learned that there is always another wave coming. Translated that means there is always tomorrow. No matter how badly you get caught inside, if you can just hang in there and keep paddling, the set is going to pass and there will be a lull afterwards. So don’t give up, just take your pounding, wait until the set passes, then make your move.”
― Gerry Lopez

“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”
― Unknown

“The best wave of your life is still out there.”
 Steve Hawk

“The fear of missing out is far scarier than facing a fear. I was terrified to go back to Teahupoo after destroying my face on the reef there, but the thought of not going back and being able to experience that wave again became far more than I could live comfortably with.”
― Keala Kennelly

Quotes About Surfing and Life

“What are they doing this for? It’s just pure. You’re alone. That wave is so much bigger and stronger than you. You’re always outnumbered. They always can crush you. And yet you’re going to accept that and turn it into a little, brief, meaningless art form.”
― William Finnegan, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

“As long as I’m still surfing wherever I am, I’ll always be happy.”
― Stephanie Gilmore

“Surfing is a way to be free.”
― Lisa Andersen

“Surviving is the strongest memory I have; the sense of having walked on water.”
― Tim Winton, Breath

“I will always remember my first wave this morning. The smells of paraffin wax and brine and peppy scrub. The way the swell rose beneath me like a body drawing to air. How the wave drew me forward and I sprang to my feet, skating with the wind of momentum in my ears. I leant across the wall of upstanding water and the board came with me as though it was part of my body and mind. The blur of spray. The billion shards of light. I remember the solitary watching figure on the beach and the flash of Loonies’s smile as I flew by; I was intoxicated. And though I’ve lived to be an old man with my own share of happiness for all the mess I made, I still judge every joyous moment, every victory and revelation against those few seconds of living.”
― Tim Winton, Breath

“Doing risk sport had taught me another important lesson: never exceed your limits. You push the envelope and you live for those moments when you’re right on the edge, but you don’t go over. You have to be true to yourself; you have to know your strengths and limitations and live within your means.”
― Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing

“The best part of big-wave surfing is the moment when all your senses are engaged. Putting yourself in a life-threatening situation forces you to be totally and completely present and makes you feel like you are one with the universe for a split second… There’s nothing quite like that rush you get from paddling into a wave the size of a two-story house.”
― Keala Kennelly

“Surfing is kind of a good metaphor for the rest of life.
The extremely good stuff—chocolate and great sex and weddings and hilarious jokes—fills a minute portion of an adult lifespan.
The rest of life is the paddling—work, paying bills, flossing, getting sick, dying.”
Jaimal Yogis, Saltwater Buddha

“Surfing for me is more than my lifestyle; it’s my passion, my love, and it’s a part of me.”
― Bethany Hamilton

“Surfing, alone among sports, generates laughter at its very suggestion, and this is because it turns not a skill into an art, but an inexplicable and useless urge into a vital way of life.”
― Matt Warshaw

“Life is a lot like surfing. When you get caught in the impact zone, you’ve got to just get back up. Because you never know what may be over the next wave.”
― Bethany Hamilton

Surf Quotes About the Sea

“It was, once again, a glorious wave, with hues in its depths so intense they felt like first editions—ocean colors never seen before, made solely for this wave, this moment, perhaps never to be seen again.”
― William Finnegan, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

“For most surfers, I think—for me, certainly—waves have a spooky duality. When you are absorbed in surfing them, they seem alive. They each have personalities, distinct and intricate, and quickly changing moods, to which you must react in the most intuitive, almost intimate way—too many people have likened riding waves to making love. And yet waves are of course not alive, not sentient, and the lover you reach to embrace may turn murderous without warning. It’s nothing personal. That self-disemboweling death wave on the inside bar is not bloody-minded. Thinking so is just reflex anthropomorphism. Wave love is a one-way street.”
― William Finnegan, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

“Out of the water, I am nothing.”
― Duke Kahanamoku

“Surfing is a deeply wonderful thing. Anytime, anywhere, and any way.”
― Gerry Lopez

“The main object in surfing, is to always remain in the curl. Stay as close as possible to the white water without actually getting caught by it.”
― The Endless Summer

“There are so many different elements to surfing. Small waves, big waves, long boards, short boards. This makes it a sport you can share with people. It’s not just a solitary thing, it’s become a family thing, too. It’s about exercising and passing something on from father to son, and from mother to daughter.”
― Kelly Slater

“Waves are not measured in feet and inches, they’re measured in increments of fear.”
― Buzzy Trent

“For me, surfing is as close a connection I can have with Mother Nature. To surf, you’re riding a pulse of energy from Mother Nature. And it’s strong. It’s real. It’s there. And you’re dancing with that. You’re connecting with that. You’re might be the only person in the history of the universe that connects with that particular pulse of energy.”
― Xavier Rudd

“If you don’t understand the wave, you can’t respect it. And if you don’t have respect, it’s only a matter of time before the ocean teaches you to get some.”
― Laird Hamilton

Funny Quotes About Surfing

“Everywhere they went they were greeted with a familiar cry surfers have heard 1,000 times each, quote, You guys really missed it, you should’ve been here yesterday!
― The Endless Summer

“We call them sharks, the Australians call them ‘the men in the gray suits.’ Whatever you call them… they like your body.”
― The Endless Summer

“Wiping out is an underappreciated skill.”
― Laird Hamilton

“Kook means the clueless beginner who paddles his surf board out to the other surfers in the lineup and starts chattering away like it’s a cocktail party, completely ignores all the finely-tuned protocols of surf that have developed over decades.”
― Peter Heller

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