Jun 20

June 20, 2011 marks the 7th annual International Surfing Day (ISD), a day where surfers and surf enthusiasts alike from across the globe join together to celebrate this world-renowned sport. Since its founding, ISD has grown into over 200 separate events in 25 different countries with an emphasis on giving back to the world’s oceans and beaches that provide us humans with such awe-inspiring experiences. 

It’s not just humans that can ride the waves though, hang ten and take a look at ARKive’s top surfers!

Perfect 10 for Fantastic Maneuvering

Photo of a gentoo penguin surving on a wave

Gentoo penguins may have a funny walk on land, but when they are in the water, there is nothing funny about this amazing talent. Using their feet for powerful propulsion, gentoos can dive an impressive 170m deep in pursuit of prey.

Perfect 10 for Waves Caught 

Photo of short-beaked common dolphins surfing

The most common of dolphin species, the short-beaked common dolphin can be found swimming in packs of 10, and sometimes even up to 500 individuals! They are highly active mammals, often leaping out of the water (known as breaching), and slapping their flippers on the water’s surface (called lobtailing). Dolphins are known to use surf as a way to travel on long journeys, and also for sport.

Perfect 10 for Style

Photo of a South American sea lion surfing on a wave

Maybe this South American sea lion went surfing because he was eager to catch its competitor (and sometimes prey) the gentoo penguin. When this sea lion is not hunting for food in the Falkland Islands, it cannot help but enjoy the wonderful surf of the region – as this photo illustrates, humans are not the only ones that surf with major style.

Get involved

Find out more about International Surfing Day and see how you can get involved in the beach cleanup events to help keep the world’s oceans and beaches clean for both humans and nature alike to enjoy.

Shelley Alingas, Program Assistant, Wildscreen USA