Weight: 185 lbs
Hometown: Hale’iwa, O’ahu
Interests outside of surfing: Golf, painting, photography
Ross Williams has a cool nickname-Silky Cat. He got this nickname because of his smooth, silky style, and his mellow, easy-going personality. Ross spent seven years on the world tour and has had some of the most memorable video performances in Taylor Steele’s big movies. I used to have a bunch of friends in high school who worshipped Ross to the point of getting the same-colored Billabong wetsuits and matching airbrushes on their boards. Ross was an idol to so many people I knew it’s crazy. His smooth surfing and powerful turns were often imitated but never recreated.
Other than huge Christmas-tree sprays coming off of every one of Ross’ turns, he can be seen charging any wave the world has to offer. The question often arises, though-what influences Ross to do these great things? We’ve got the answer, straight from the Silky Cat’s mouth.
“My wife and my parents are the biggest influence in my life for sure,” Ross proudly says. “My wife is amazing-she has the most charm, is always smiling and always upbeat. She’s so talented socially, always remembers names, she’s humble, and so nice she makes me feel like a dick sometimes. She’s a good influence on me because she loves surfing so much. She’s been surfing for five years and she’s so stoked. She always gets me amped to get in the water.”
Ross’ other big influence is his parents. “I lived with my parents ’til I was twenty. They’ve taught me to be humble and mellow. They didn’t give me lessons,” laughs Ross. “But they’ve always been inspirational by just enjoying life. They love music, movies, and culture, so that rubbed off on me. My parents are like my friends-we have a really good friendship.”
As far as surfing is concerned, Ross is a Tom Curren fanatic: “Tom Curren was by far the most influential surfer in my life. I remember studying his style and being so stoked on his surfing. Like everyone else, I subconsciously tried to mimic his style, almost to the point of worshipping him,” laughs an embarrassed Ross.
As you can see, Ross was influenced by a lot of the same things that you and I were. The difference is how he’s influenced thousands of surfers much the way Tom Curren did for Ross’ generation. To all the kids at my high school who loved Ross, it’s okay to try to surf like him-who wouldn’t want perfect style with the power to match? -Chris Coté