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Get to Know Big Wave Surfer Jamie Sterling

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Jamie Sterling’s name is almost synonymous with big wave surfing, having already established himself within the scene by the time he was a teenager. His stature is such in the sport of surfing that despite years away from competition, Sterling is still recognized as an elite big wave surfer. Jamie’s resume boasts a 2011 WSL Big Wave Championship and other accomplishments so great he’s practically guaranteed a spot in the Surfer’s Hall of Fame.

While we could talk nonstop about Jamie’s highly successful career, we wanted to give you a better idea of the man behind the board. To do so, we caught up with Sterling and asked him a few questions about life, surfing and the type of music he listens to. 

Adventure IO: Where are the 3 best places in the world to go surfing?

Jamie Sterling: That’s easy. The best waves in the world are found in Hawaii, Mexico, and California.

AIO: What have been your major career highlights/accomplishments?

JS: My biggest career accomplishment has to be winning the 2011 WSL Big Wave Championship. I surfed all sorts of massive waves as part of that big wave world tour. It was easily one of the most fun and biggest highlights of my career.   

AIO: What are the top 5 instructional tips you can give to someone trying to get better at surfing?

JS: 1. Consistency 

2. Patience 

3. Set realistic goals 

4. Learn the wave lineups 

5. Have fun. 

AIO: Tell us the 3 most important pieces of equipment you own. 

JS: For surfing – my physical body, a surfboard, and fins

AIO: Describe the scariest (or most exciting) adventure you’ve ever taken.

JS: Surfing the Great Lakes in the middle of winter was both scary and exciting. I remember the cold weather made it hard to even open my eyes and the waves were pulling much harder than expected. Made for some fun surf though! 

AIO: What are the top 5 travel accessories you must have on every trip/adventure?

JS: 1. First aid kit 

2. Surfboard 

3. Fins 

4. Sunscreen 

5. Board shorts/wetsuit. 

AIO: Tell us about the weirdest injury you’ve ever had. How did it happen?

JS: I had my arm extended as I fell while riding a big wave. The force of the impact plus the current pulling on my arm ended up dislocating my right shoulder. That was definitely a weird one. 

AIO: What’s on your Spotify playlist?

JS: Oh man… some alternative stuff, some old school rock. I enjoy a little bit of everything. 

AIO: What is the one piece of equipment you can’t live without?

JS: My surfboard.

To book a private surf session with Jamie (available in Hawaii and California) visit his guide page on the Adventure IO app. And don’t forget to check out his session at the Great Lakes below.


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