There may have been a time when male modeling and professional surfing were considered mutually exclusive, but that time is not now.
Many surfers are cashing in on their good looks to earn lucrative incomes that further fund their endless search for waves. For these five pros, looking good and surfing good (OK, “well,” we know …) go hand in hand.
Danny FullerDanny Fuller made his name in the surfing world as one of the finest Pipeline surfers of his generation. However, his obvious good looks, accompanied by his photography and filmmaking talents, meant he was scouted for more-mainstream modeling shoots from the age of 20.
Fuller was one of the first surfers to maintain his credibility among big-wave hellmen while working for over a decade in the fashion industry. He’s best known as being the face of the Chanel campaign seen above, and now spends his time between Los Angeles, New York and Hawaii, chasing waves or front covers, depending on the season.
Koa Smith is a Hawaiian charger who has recently followed in the footsteps of his brother Travis into the high-stakes modeling business. In between logging incredible waves with his GoPro in the far reaches of the world, such as Namibia, he managed to win the 2015 VMAN/Ford Model Search, an annual competition run by the Ford modeling agency.
From there, Smith scored the gig as the face of the Alexander Wang campaign, shot by famed fashion photographer Steven Klein. His surfing career is still his main priority, but with demand heating up, it seems Smith won’t be able to sideline the modeling business for much longer.
Joss Ash is an English surfing champion who for the last decade has financed his worldwide surfing travels through modeling for brands like Barbour, Sainsbury’s and Debenhams. Ash was born in Cornwall as one of six surfing siblings (his brother Ruebyn is also a professional surfer) and claimed the U.K. title back in 2006.
Known for his aerial ability, Ash made a career out of surfing before taking to modeling at the relatively late age of 29. He has recently moved to London to further his modeling career and uses his income to travel to the world’s best waves.
It was as a teenager while working in his father’s business, Nomad Surf Shop in Boynton Beach, Florida, that Ryan Heavyside was first spotted by a fashion photographer. An initial Versace assignment in Miami led to work in New York, which was followed by constant work in the fashion capitals of the world. He is now represented by agencies in Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Hamburg, Paris and Milan.
All this fashion work, however, hasn’t gotten in the way of him running the family business. That allows him to surf his local break most days as well as get paid by surf brands to travel to exotic waves all around the world.
After a successful career in professional surfing, where he reached as high as No. 10 in the world, Australian Luke Stedman turned first to modeling and then to fashion design. He is the founder and creative director of the clothing label Insted We Smile and bases himself between Bali, London and Sydney.
In between running the business, he still surfs most days. He has been shot for Kooples ad campaigns and the fashion website MR PORTER, but now mostly models his own designs.
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