The waterman is also considered humble and fun-loving around the ocean and onshore, while simultaneously being fearless, but respectful, of rough water conditions or big-wave surf. And, always, they retain a deeply embedded connection with the ocean and take safety in the water very seriously.
Watermen are also considered skilled in interpreting weather and tide information to decide the best water activity for the conditions. They also work to improve water resources, reduce water pollution, and protect the environment and water species from over-exploitation.
But it is a term that cannot be self-appointed. It is a honorific description that is entirely dependent upon the opinion of one's peer.
George Freeth of Hawaii, Duke Kahanamoku of Hawaii, and Johnny Weissmuller are examples of early 20th century waterman. Ky Hurst of Australia and Bruckner Chase and Kenny Rust of the USA are modern-day examples of watermen. Jordan Mercer of Australia and Grace van der Byl of California are examples of a contemporary waterwomen.