The Huntington Surf And Sport Hall of Fame 2005

posted by / News / July 31, 2005


The Ceremony Took Place just beneath The Duke’s Watchful Eyes

The intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway and Huntington’s main street is about as close as surfing gets to having a cultural epicenter. On the ocean side of the street is the pier, the place where legends have surfaced since the invention of foam. Across the street are two Huntington surfing establishments, Jacks Surfboards and Huntington Surf and Sport.

These shops used to be made of wood, with carpets that stink of old wetsuits from people coming in and hanging out after surf sessions. Now they seem like the kind of places that might kick you out for coming in dripping wet. Outside both stores are odes to the heroes, plaques and handprints honoring the legends of our sport.

Lisa Andersen, the woman who helped push female pro surfing into the modern era, stood on this corner when she was 16, after having run away from her home in Florida. Two years ago she was inducted into the Hall of Fame, she told the crowd today what a trip it is for her to come back here an remember that moment, her sixteen year old self never imagining that some day her name would be in concrete here.

Lisa is in the audience watching as four new members are inducted into the hall. Four-time world champ Mark Richards is one of those being inducted today. He also talked about standing on this street corner back in the day, having traveled here from Australia. With destinations like Indo and Tahiti, it is hard for us to imagine that the Huntington in the 70s was an exotic surf destination. Growing up, Richards had seen videos of people shooting the pier and knew he had to come. Now thirty some odd years later he is being immortalized in the cement. When the world was surfing single fin pintails, Richards revolutionized surfboard design and style with the creation of the winged twin fin. His lanky frame and strange style earned him the nickname “wounded gull”.

Also being inducted today is Robert McKnight, the CEO of Quiksilver. There was a lot of talk during the ceremony about the soul of the Quiksilver brand still being the surfing lifestyle. I was a bit skeptical, but then I heard McKnight’s story, and I realized Robert is just a surfer. Robert started the brand in a back of a {{{Volkswagen}}} bus, driving up and down the California coast selling only boardshorts. In those early days, he sewed the clasps onto every pair of boardies. That he has taken the brand from those beginnings to what it is today is remarkable, and he has remained a surfer throughout the process “Thanks,” he told the crowd, “for letting me never grow up or get a real job.”

Also inducted into the hall was Carl Hayward, a long time south side surfer. Carl embodied the surfing lifestyle. Throughout his life he coached the marina surf team and worked for Hurley. He lived, breathed and even died doing what he loved, suffering a brain aneurism while surfing the pier.

Tom Carroll was the fourth surfer inducted this year. Not much needs to be said about this legendary surfer. Caroll dominated professional surfing in the eighties, winning two world championships, and probably would have been able to get a third, but chose instead to boycott South African Contests due to the countries policy of apartheid.

When you walk down Huntington’s Main Street, remember: you’re walking among legends.

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