When it comes to riding waves–not just standing on a surfboard on top of a wave–Mike Stewart is up there with the greatest of the great. His knowledge of waves is on a level only a few have reached. It’s the kind of innate, born-to-do-this kind of knowledge. Surfing doesn’t require a surfboard. It only needs a wave and a vehicle. Those who look down at bodyboarders are missing the point entirely.
Back in the mid ’80s,His tube riding skills were so far ahead of everyone else’s, no one even realized exactly how far ahead he really was. Decades later, it’s becoming more and more apparent: Mike Stewart is a legend. And he’s still doing what he was doing back then. “I bow down to the greater wisdom of Nat Young, who bowed down to George Greenough,” says surfing’s greatest encyclopedia, Matt Warshaw. “I bow down to the greater wisdom of Tom Curren, who bowed down to Mike Stewart.”