Greg Long is a modern day big wave pioneer. He trains regularly, keeping his body in incredible shape and mastering his breathing techniques. He also studies swells and ocean patterns meticulously, always ready to leave on a moment’s notice.
Greg was born and raised in San Clemente, California where he grew up on the beach. His father, Steve, was the lifeguard supervisor for the San Clemente and San Onofre State Parks and consequently Greg was introduced to the water and surfing at a very young age. He began surfing competitively at the age of twelve and continued to surf at the top of his class during the years following, winning the 2001 NSSA National Men’s Open Title.
Along the way he met local Big Wave hero Jon Walla who took Greg under his wing and introduced him to the world of big wave surfing. At age 15, following the lead of his mentor, he soon found himself tackling some of the largest waves in the world. His competitive focus and desire quickly took a back seat to his new found passion. He’s spent the second 15 years meticulously training his body and mind to do just that.
Long tracked swells obsessively. He swam, ran, or biked every day for cardio fitness. He did breath-holding drills in pools. Under certain conditions, he can hold his breath for up to five minutes. He practiced yoga for strength and flexibility, and to better understand and control his thoughts and fears.
Long’s all-consuming and thoughtful preparation earned him gold medals at the 2003 Red Bull Big Wave Africa, at Mavericks in 2008, at the 2009 Eddie Aikau event, the 2013 Big Wave World Tour, and more category wins at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards than any other surfer. It also saved his life at Cortes Bank—from the physical abilities and mental composure he had developed, to the rescue team he had assembled.
Greg is now branching out in a new direction of inspirational speaking, where he can help us all find the passion and motivation to be the best we can be. Not only for ourselves, but for the ocean environment we love so much. Greg regularly speaks at Sustainable Surf events, conferences, and private events. See this video below for a sample of his amazing presentation.