25. Brian Wise
The Wiseguy was known in the 90’s as a bit of a hardass in competition, someone whom you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy having in a heat because you’d know he’d hassle the hell out of you. That same intensity went into his riding. His very peculiar style was focused on big waves and power carves and he pretty much made the carve-to-spinner combo a staple. His reverse spinners blew chunks of water, he rode big waves and true to his reputation of going big, look to his waves at the two Pipe contests which he competed in which the waves were massive. In one he got a ten second beatdown and in this year’s Pipe contest his air drop is on more than a few people’s desktop backgrounds. On land he’s mellowed out considerably, finding Christ and living in Hawaii… in the water he’s still one of the most fearless guys ever to hop on a sponge.
24. Alexandre de Pontes
The beginning of the Brazilian revolution occured thanks to this man. Xandinho rode big, boosted and had style, poise and charisma. He also liked big hollow waves. Sound familiar? Xandinho fell victim to a car crash and the sport lost one of its best ambassadors. But the deed had been done… the doors to the world stage had been blasted down, and thanks to him Brazilian hellmen have been wreaking havoc on the world of bodyboarding ever since.
23. Pat Caldwell
Co-inventor of the El Rollo, lanky, long, kooky and crazy. Pat is a hell man and for a time he just wanted to get demolished by the biggest waves in existence. His closeouts at Waimea still hold water as some of the craziest slabs I’ve ever seen anyone willingly take on the head. Apart from that, Pat was recently elected as the new General Manager of the IBA World Tour. Pat is a guy who loves the water, loves big waves and the influence of him and other judges and riders on scoring criteria are helping push bodyboarding to the next level… which is several feet above standup surfing’s BS melodrama.
22. Kyle Maligro
Maligs rode dropknee the way you wanted to ride dropknee, rode standup the way you wanted to ride standup and rode prone the way you wanted to ride prone. The most talented of the original Kauai Classic Team, Kyle is one of the top 3 riders to influence my brother in his approach to riding prone and dropknee. In a time when people were scrounging ugly ass reverse rollo attempts, Maligs was launching them so perfect that you were torn between loving him for being so good and hating him for making it look so easy. If I needed to use one word to describe Maligs I don’t have to think too much… seamless.
21. Chad Barba
16th century hermits have shit on Chad Barba when it comes to living off the beaten path. Made famous for his exploits on the Inside and Crave the Cave, Chad’s Kong-sized-balls approach to the Wedge and huge Puerto showcases that on waves hellmen would pull into to score the barrel of their lives, he’d be gunning to hit the end section and soar 15 feet in the air.