The Ultimate Surfer will bring together some of the best and most exciting surfers in the world to train and live together as they compete at the World Surf League’s surf ranch in Lemoore, California.
Male and female surfers will compete in individual and team challenges focused on various surfing disciplines.
Contestants will be eliminated weekly leaving two men and two women as finalists to battle for the titles of The Ultimate Surfer – and the prestigious opportunity to compete on the WSL Championship Tour.
Reality Titbit has comprised a big reveal of the ABC show’s line-up below, so you can ride the wave and meet this year’s The Ultimate Surfer cast.
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Meet the guys on The Ultimate Surfer
Name: Kai Barger
Hometown: Haiku, Hawaii
Kai Barger had been earmarked as one of the most talented surfers in Hawaii since childhood.
In surfing circles, he became a household name when he competed and then went on to win the World Junior title in 2008 at 19 years old.
Name: Austin Clouse
Hometown: Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Austin Clouse grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida, and lived across the street from the ocean. He was taught to surf at the age of 5 by his brother and spent as much time as he could surfing with the kids in the neighborhood.
With dedication, lots of hard work and the support of his hometown, he continues to chase his surfing dream.
Name: Mason Barnes
Hometown: Venice, CA
Mason Barnes grew up in Wrightsville Beach.
An enthusiastic and talented surfer as a kid, frequent trips to Oahu’s North Shore led to a love of big waves. Out of the water, Barnes is as comfortable in a Gucci suit as he is riding huge waves.
Name: Ezekiel Lau
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Ezekiel Lau is a proud native Hawaiian who honed his wave-riding craft in Honolulu. From the age of 10, Lau was an early standout but his road to the Championship Tour was a long and bumpy one.
Eventually, in 2017, after years of hard work, the Hawaiian reached his lifelong ambition of making the top tier in surfing and had three consecutive years surfing against the best in the world. Of all ‘The Ultimate Surfer’ cast, he has had the most elite-level experience and success.
Name: Luke Davis
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Luke Davis grew up in the thick of the professional surfing community in Southern California.
As young as eight at the time, his talent was obvious and early junior success led to sponsorship deals with local surf shops.
After treading the well-worn path from the junior pros to the WSL’s Qualifying Series, Davis went on to carve out a career as a free surfer.
Name: Alejandro Moreda
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
For the last decade, Alejandro Moreda has been at the heart of Puerto Rican surfing. For 10 years, he has fostered the next generation of talent with his Los Gallitos de Ale grommet event and runs a surf school to share his talent, experience and lust for life.
When Hurricane Maria hit in 2017, Moreda shelved all his ventures and went to work, taking a job with FEMA as a generator mechanic to help restore electricity to water pumps, schools and hospitals all over the island.
Name: Koa Smith
Hometown: Kilauea, Hawaii
After a successful junior career that saw Koa Smith claim three national championships, an elite-level career beckoned.
Instead, Smith chose the life of a professional freesurfer and has been paid to travel the world and surf the dreamiest waves he could find.
Away from the surfing world, Smith made a splash in 2015 when he won the prestigious VMAN/Ford modelling competition and became the face of the Alexander Wang campaign that year.
With his brothers Travis and Alex, Smith also runs several coffee and health food shops in Hawaii, California and Japan called Sunrise Shacks.
Meet the girls on The Ultimate Surfer
Name: Brianna Cope
Hometown: Koloa, Hawaii
Brianna Cope started surfing when she was 4 years old with her dad and sister, and immediately fell in love with the ocean. She started competing at the age of 10 and won her first surf contest shortly after.
That victory was the start of her competitive surfing dreams where she enjoyed a successful junior career.
A beacon of positivity, Cope is a role model for many and uses her huge social media following to spread her message on good health, meditation, fitness and the power of positive thinking.
Name: Kayla Durden
Hometown: Jacksonville Beach, Florida
It was on a family trip to Cocoa Beach that Kayla Durden watched her brother catch a wave, and when her dad asked if she wanted to try, she said yes. From that point on, Durden was hooked!
Despite success in the junior surfing ranks, Durden was always committed to her education and graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in marketing and a minor in Spanish.
Since then, she has been appointed as the physical education teacher, athletic coordinator and girls varsity basketball head coach at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.
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Name: Bruna Zaun
Hometown: Hermosa Beach, California
Bruna Zaun grew up in a small town in the south of Brazil. Under her big brother’s influence, she started surfing at the age of 9, competing at 11, and became the youngest Brazilian to win a professional surfing event at 15.
In 2010, when she was 18, she qualified to compete on the WSL Championship Tour (CT), a feat she repeated in 2011, the same year she was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
After her time on the CT, Zaun travelled the world as a Roxy Global Ambassador, a role she maintains to this day.
After meeting her now-husband and pro surfer, Dane Zaun, she relocated to California and used her role model status to create fun, recreational opportunities for Brazil’s less fortunate city children.
Name: Juli Hernandez
Hometown: Costa Mesa, California
Juli Hernandez describes herself as Cuban and Costa Rican with some Italian and Spanish thrown in and has made a name for herself in the California surf and skate communities.
Hernandez started surfing and skating at around 7 and, despite both scenes being dominated by boys, quickly gained the respect of her peers.
She competed in both disciplines on the junior circuits, with her initial goal to become the first girl ever to surf and skateboard in the U.S. Open of Surfing.
Name: Malia Ward
Hometown: San Clemente, California
Malia Ward is the daughter of pro surfer Chris Ward and fitness model Jacqueline Miller, and spent a large part of her youth in the ocean.
Growing up with her mother, Ward lived a lifestyle filled with travel whilst competing on the junior circuit as a teenager, being an all-round athlete and an A-grade student.
In between surfing and studying, she pursued a budding commercial and theatrical acting career, and also played tennis.
Name: Anastasia Ashley
Hometown: Miami Beach, Florida
Anastasia Ashley started surfing at the tender age of 5, and she won her first surfing competition by 6. From there, Ashley committed herself to competition and became a professional surfer picking up a number of awards including a national title.
In her early 20s, Ashley’s modelling and business career took off with an appearance in 2014’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and the launch of her jewellery line. Numerous TV appearances followed, and her Instagram account alone has topped 1 million followers.
Name: Tia Blanco
Hometown: Oceanside, California
Tia Blanco’s father was in the Coast Guard so they were always stationed near the ocean which is how she started surfing at just 3 years old.
With big wins in 2015 and 2016, Blanco came close to her ultimate dream of qualifying for the Championship Tour.
A committed vegan, Blanco’s positive energy and health-conscious outlook on life has helped her amass over 300,000 followers on Instagram alone.
In 2018, Blanco and her sister, Aja, launched Dear Self, a cruelty-free skincare line. While Blanco has carved out a successful business career, her main goal remains to reach the upper echelons of competitive surfing.
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