Pat Curren on the way to winning surfing's GromSearch final at Lakey Peak this week

Pat Curren, son of world champion Tom Curren and grandson of legendary namesake Pat. Photo: Mick Curley/Rip Curl

Surfing’s most influential clans, perhaps more than in any other sport, continue to make their mark. We thought we’d look at some of the DNA strands that have changed surfing.

The Fletcher-Hoffmans

<iframe width=”612″ height=”412″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>The Fletcher-Hoffman clan extends its tentacles so far into the American surfing psyche that it's hard to know where it starts and where it stops. Herbie Fletcher was a great longboarder in the '60s before going on to start Astrodeck, produce the "Wave Warriors" surf videos, and kick-start the tow-surfing movement. He married Dibi Hoffman, sister of two-time world champion Joyce Hoffman and daughter of big-wave pioneer and surfwear textile giant Walter Hoffman. They then produced Christian, one of the most iconic surfers of the late '80s and early '90s, who is credited with taking aerial surfing mainstream.

His brother, Nathan, meanwhile, is regarded as one of the best big-wave surfers in the world; his wave at the Billabong Code Red swell at Teahupoo netted him the 2012 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards Ride of the Year distinction. The short-lived HBO series "John from Cincinnati" was said to be based on the Fletcher clan.

The Hos

Mason Ho rips hard in his front yard. Photo:

Mason Ho rips hard in his front yard. Photo: Courtesy

Michael Ho — or Uncle Mike, as he's known — was one of the best Hawaiian surfers of all time, famously winning the Pipe Masters with a broken wrist and finishing in the top 16 for 10 consecutive years. His younger brother, Derek, was the 1993 world champion and a multiple Pipe Masters champion. Their Hawaiian pedigree has been handed down to the next generation with Mike's children Coco and Mason making their mark at an early age. Coco, 24, has been ranked consistently in the top 10, while Mason's big-wave surfing and crazy aerial antics have seen him become one of the best-known freesurfers.

The Irons

Andy Irons and his younger brother, Bruce, were the two most talented surfers to come out of Hawaii for two decades. Andy, who died in 2009, was a three-time world champion and the only surfer to ever really challenge Kelly Slater, his greatest rival. Bruce did not achieve the same level of competitive success, but his freesurfing and free spirit made him one of the most popular and well-paid surfers. Their uncle Rick was the best of six very talented brothers and a professional surfer, while Rick Irons Jr. has play keyed roles in the surf industry, including being publisher of SURFER.

Bruce and Andy's other cousin Janna has followed in Rick's footsteps, handling managing-editor duties at SURFER for years and acting as editor-in-chief of Salted before leaving last year and ultimately pursuing the van life.

The Currens

Lee-Ann and Tom Curren on their way to Japanese waves.

LeeAnn and Tom Curren on their way to Japanese waves. Courtesy photo

It's hard to go past the Curren clan in terms of services to surfing. The patriarch, Pat Curren, was one of surfing's first big-wave chargers and an iconic surfboard maker whose surfing in the '50s in Hawaii and California influenced a generation. His eldest son, Tom, was a three-time world champion and is universally acknowledged as the most stylish surfer ever to ride a surfboard, while his youngest son, Joe, was also a talented surfer and photographer.

The Curren legacy has continued with Tom's France-based daughter, LeeAnn, a professional surfer who qualified for the elite tour in 2009. In a full circle, Tom's youngest son, Pat, last year won the Rip Curl International GromSearch Final in Indonesia, meaning the Currens' 50-year legacy isn't done yet.

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