Full Legends

posted by / News / December 6, 2007


(L to R) Charlie Kuhn, Lisa Andersen, Todd Holland, and Bob Mignogna

It was a lot easier in 1996. Back then, no East Coast surfers were officially recognized for their influence, so every major name was a potential pick. No wonder the first round of Hall of Fame inductees was the largest to date, reading like a Who’s-Who from Eastern history books: 23 in total from Mimi Munro to Murph the Surf; Pete Smith to Gary Propper. Twelve years and seven classes later, today only a handful gets selected, which means making the cut is much more difficult.

“We only take seven surfers in five categories every two years,” says Greg Loehr who heads the nominating committee. “Competition is fierce, to say the least. But there’s a real system in place. It’s not like, “Dude, that guy always had the best weed back in the day, we gotta get him in.”[laughs]

Of course, the East Coast has only, uh, grown in impact and more and more modern stars are taking the place alongside the legends of yore. Many of the 2008 class made their marks as recent as the 90s – pros like Todd Holland, Charlie Kuhn and Lisa Andersen, not mention former Surfing mag publisher Bob Mignogna. On the other hand, this year’s Pioneer is Richard Lisiewski, who first surfed New Jersey in the 40s while Florida’s Dr. Jim Cartland traded his ESA jersey for an X-ray machine back in the 80s.

And while the early rounds were filled with posthumous inductions, only one name is deceased — surfboard manufacturer Ted James, Hatteras hero and founder of {{{Fox}}} Surfboards —as organizers try to honor surfers while they can still stand on stage and accept the award. It’s a benefit felt even more strongly this year, as the Hall of Fame mourned the loss of two members: longtime {{{Daytona}}} Beach activist Gaulden Reed and Bill Whitman, who built boards with the help of Tom Blake back in 1932.

But no matter when they get recognized, every legend’s achievements will live eternally at the Hall of Fame Museum at Ron Jon’s in Cocoa Beach. Completed in 2004, 1500 square foot museum features a wall for inductees, a movie theater of classic footage, a recently added skateboard section plus spots for adopted icons Tom Blake and Duke Kahanamoku – there’s even a spot devoted to Kelly Slater, who ironically, has yet to be inducted.

“We want to get Slater and the Hobgoods and all those young guys in,” notes president Cecil Lear. “But the rules say you either have to be 40 years old or retired so I think it’ll b e a while. [laughs].”

No worries. We can wait. In the meantime, Surf {{{Expo}}} attendees can witness the following surfers get inducted into 2008 East Coast Surfing Legends Hall of Fame in a ceremony on January 11.

(Thanks to Greg Loehr for the surfer bios. Stay tuned to Eastern Surf Magazine in the coming year for in-depth stories on various East Coast Surfing Legends, beginning with Gaulden Reed in January.)

Surfers – Men:

Jim Cartland – FL: Standout surfer of the 70′s and early {{{80}}}’s. A smooth styled competitor, Dr. Jim reached a competitive zenith at the highly regarded 1974 ESA and US championships in Cape Hatteras by placing second in both events losing only to Greg Loehr (Easterns) and Rick Rasmussen (US) (both ECSHOF inductees 2000). Also winner of the prestigious Katin award in 1975 for his athletic and academic excellence. Today Dr. Jim is a surfing radiologist in central California.


Todd Holland

Todd Holland – FL: Easily one of the finest and most recognizable surfers from his era. Besides a long and impressive list of amateur championships, Holland was the first eastern surfer to regularly place in the top 10 on the ASP world tour. His aggressive surfing in Hawaii (Pipeline), Australia (The Box) and beyond is the stuff of legend. Todd continues to surf today and his continued competitive success in local events shows the competitive fire still burns.

Charlie Kuhn – FLWinner of both the East Coast and US men’s championships (1982). Standout surfer of the 80′s, Charlie went on to put Eastern surfing on the professional surfing map by holding down a coveted top-16 spot on the ASP for many years – including winning the US Bud tour. Charlie today lives and surfs in Costa Rica.

Surfers – Women:

Lisa Andersen – FL: Arguably the greatest woman surfer of all time, this four-time world champion no longer competes on a regular basis. Lisa is enjoying a banner year in 2007 having coached USA women surfers to a gold medal in this summer’s x-games competition and being voted best female action sports athlete by viewers of Fox network’s Teen Choice Awards. In August, Lisa was awarded the prestigious waterman of the year award by the surf industry manufacturers association.


Lisa Andersen

Media:

Bob Mignogna – NY: Business manager and publisher of Surfing Magazine for 30 years, the longest running stint as publisher of an international surfing magazine in the history of the sport. While at Surfing’s helm the magazine championed the emergence of youth surfing, the surf apparel industry and the focus on the competitive arena within the sport. Also one of the founders of SIMA and the NSSA.

Industry:

Ted James – NC:Competitor representing the East in the 1970 World Championships in Victoria, Australia. Owner of Fox surfboards, starting production in West Palm Beach, Florida in the late 60′s and continuing to this day in Cape Hatteras, NC. Visionary shaper and shop owner, Ted has had a lasting influence in both board building and business in both surfing and windsurfing. Ted’s untimely passing in the spring of 2004 left a void in the mid-Atlantic surf business.

Pioneer:

Richard Lisiewski – NJ: Began surfing in the 1940′s in the New Jersey/New York area. In the early 60′s he began building and wholesaling surfboards in the Northeast. Rich produced belly boards, wake boards, rescue boards and surfboards and also produced his own urethane foam blanks. From 1966 to 1981 Rich owned and operated the Brant Beach Surf Shop on Long Beach Island and from 1981 till today has owned and operated the Brighton Beach Surf Shop.


Charlie Kuhn

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts